Sting Sheds Light On His Future, CM Punk Resurfaces, HoF Announcement Delayed, Is JBL ‘Cranky Vince?,’ WWE Upset Over Randy Orton Blowup, In-Ring Incident At Raw, TNA Knockout Released When Word Leaked She Was Planning To Quit, Low Morale Causes Triple H To Call A Meeting With WWE Staff

WWE News

- UFC President Dana White was on The Chad Dukes Show on Friday and was asked about CM Punk. He said they literally never talk about business but if Punk wanted to fight, he’d talk to him about it. You can listen to the interview at this link.

- As Matt Kunka noted here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, it was announced on this week’s episode of Smackdown that Carlos Colon will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame over Wrestlemania XXX weekend. His induction video is online at this link. Colon joins The Ultimate Warrior, Lita, Jake Roberts and Paul Bearer as 2014 inductees. The 2014 WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place on Saturday, April 5, 2014 from the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, LA.

- The Usos called out any WWE tag team that wants to challenge them for the WWE Tag Team Championship on this week’s episode of Smackdown Fallout. You can watch at this link.

- Sting did a Q&A event on behalf of Revolution Pro Wrestling in London on Friday night. The most notable responses came in regards to questions surrounding The Undertaker. Regarding a match against Undertaker at Wrestlemania 31, Sting said he would love for that to happen. He also said there is only one more match that he would like to have and that it would be one with Undertaker.

- Jim Ross had a great “quotable” in a recent blog entry on his official website. Below is an excerpt:

Speaking of WM, I’m not answering any questions regarding who is going to win the Andre the Giant 30 Man Battle Royal because I’m not even sure who’s in it. The irony of this attraction is that many participants wouldn’t have been on the card if not for this match but they will be some of the same individuals who complain about their pay offs.

Some things in life never change.

Click here to read JR’s latest in its entirety but don’t even think about it until you at least check out his BBQ sauces.

- WWE has announced their 2014 Annual Shareholders Meeting will take place Friday, April 25, 2014 from their headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut.

- WWE issued a press release on Friday, announcing they won two 2014 CableFAX Digital Awards. One for Best Smartphone App for the WWE App and another for Best Social Good Campaign for their “Rise Above Cancer” campaign supporting Susan G. Komen. Click here for the official press release.

- CM Punk was with Lyoto Machida, Rener Gracie, Perceu Friza and Tioki Gracie on Saturday night to watch UFC 171. Machida Tweeted the following:

Punk will appear on this week’s episode of Talking Dead alongside Nicole Brown and Yvette Nicole Brown. It’s interesting that Punk is billed by his real name, Phil Brooks.

- CM Punk, appearing as Phil Brooks, was a special guest on AMC’s The Talking Dead tonight. Brooks appeared along side Community’s Yvette Nicole Brown and The Walking Dead’s Melissa McBride. The show aired live with fan interactions pulled from social media and the audience. No mention of Brooks’ return to work or status was mentioned. Brooks did say that he, “feels like a new person”. He appeared to be well rested and happy.

- Total Divas returned to E with the premiere of Season 2 on Sunday night. We’ll have viewership information later but you can watch video highlights here at DivaKnockout.com.

- This week’s episode of After Total Divas is online at this link.

- Dusty Rhodes and Goldust have both said publicly a Cody Rhodes vs. Goldust match at Wrestlemania XXX isn’t going to happen. As I’ve stated previously, even if they did it, they’d be a couple of years late.

- WWE will return to the American Airlines Center on Sunday, July 27, 2014 for a live event.

- TMZ is reporting that WWE will induct Mr. T into the celebrity wing of their Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2014. Vince McMahon is quoted in the report, saying, “His WWE appearances were instrumental in helping to establish WrestleMania as the pop-culture phenomenon it is today.” Mr. T turned down WWE’s offer to be inducted in 2009. He teamed with Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania I and faced Roddy Piper in a boxing match at Wrestlemania II. Mr. T joins Carlos Colon, The Ultimate Warrior, Lita, Jake Roberts and Paul Bearer as 2014 inductees. The 2014 WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place on Saturday, April 5, 2014 from the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, LA.

- WWE issued a press release on Monday, announcing their new animated series called Slam City. The premise of the series is the stars are “fired” from the ring and forced to find day jobs. You can watch the trailer at this link.

- To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, WWE posted a clip of Hornswoggle giving a sneak peek of the WWE Studios production “Leprechaun: Origins.” The film is set to to be released this summer. You can watch the clip at this link.

- With Mr. T being announced as a 2014 WWE Hall of Fame inductee, some readers have asked what this means for Scott Hall. We’re told Hall is still on the list to be inducted, however, his announcement was delayed. According to a source, Hall is expected to be announced as a 2014 WWE Hall of Fame inductee before the end of the month.

- We have a couple of notes on Zack Ryder. He’s not booked for this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw but hopes to be included in the 30-man Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at Wrestlemania 30. In the latest episode of Zack Ryder’s Latest ReZort, he destroys a United States Championship belt and says he’s a future world champion. You can watch at this link.

- WWE posted a commercial for this Saturday’s “Beyond the Ring” program on the WWE Network. You can watch it at this link.

- Dot com has a new Q&A with Orlando and Eddie Colon, better known as Diego and Fernando of Los Matadores, about the Hall of Fame induction of Carlos Colon. You can read it at this link.

- Roddy Piper Tweeted the following about Mr. T’s WWE Hall of Fame induction:

- Last week’s episode of WWE Smackdown did an average viewing audience of 2,801,000 viewers on SyFy. The show finished as the number two cable original. You can check out more ratings data here on TV By the Numbers. The show ended up with a 1.98 cable rating.

- The promoters of WrestleCon announced on Monday that Sting will be appearing at the event on Sunday, April 6, 2014 at The Sugar Mill in New Orleans, Louisiana. He’ll be signing from 10:30 AM until 1:30 PM and they’re limiting the appearance to 250 people. Sting will also be available to people that purchase tickets for photo ops. Click here for more information.

- As seen on this week’s Monday Night Raw it was announced that no matter what, there will be a Triple Threat Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania XXX. The third participant will be the winner of the Triple H versus Daniel Bryan match earlier in the evening. Stay tuned to WrestlingNewsWorld.com for any future updates.

- It was just announced that Hollywood legend, Arnold Schwarzenegger will appear live on next week’s episode of Monday Night Raw.

- We’ve been following the hilarious saga over the last couple years involving the Twitter parody account located at Twitter.com/CrankyVince. The account has been a riot, posting over accentuated Tweets of the Mr. McMahon character, sometimes even revealing things confidential in nature.

In June 2012, I reported the account was believed to be ran by a former WWE wrestler with strong ties to the company. I’ve posted several stories about Vince McMahon and company management going to great lengths to find out who is behind the account. We might have got our first public clue of the account’s identity 15 minutes into this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw.

The following Tweet was posted by both Cranky Vince (located at Twitter.com/CrankyVince) and JBL (located at Twitter.com/JCLayfield) at 7:15 PM CDT (the local time of San Antonio, Texas, the location of this week’s Raw)

Cranky JBL?!?

The Tweet was immediately deleted from Cranky Vince’s timeline but still remains on JBL’s as seen below:

JBL has since gone on the defensive, blocking anyone implicating him to the account. He Tweeted this:

Has the mystery of Cranky Vince been solved or is someone trying to frame JBL?

- Naomi, reunited with Cameron, returned to WWE television on this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw. For those that missed it, the Funkadactyls went over WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee & Tamina in 3:37. Dissension between AJ and Tamina was teased after the match. Naomi, who suffered a facial injury on the February 3, 2014 episode of Raw, wore an eye patch. Some have questioned the legitimacy of the need for the eye patch due to the fact she was photographed recently without it. Speculation suggests it was done to incorporate the injury and return from it in a storyline for Total Divas. The injury, however, was no joke. She suffered a displaced fracture in her face that caused communication between her sinus cavity and the back of her eye socket. This kept her from being able to fly, thus she was pulled from WWE live events and Total Divas tapings. She even missed the recent trip to Cabo. The injury that occurred in a match against Aksana couldn’t have happened at a worse time as Naomi was in the midst of the biggest push of her career.

- Following the airing of this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw, below is the updated list of participants for the 30-man Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at Wrestlemania XXX:

Alberto Del Rio
WWE Intercontinental Champion Big E
Big Show
Christian
Curtis Axel
Damien Sandow
Dolph Ziggler
Fandango
Mark Henry
Ryback
Sheamus
Titus O’Neil

The 30-man Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal will take place at Wrestlemania XXX on Sunday, April 6, 2014 from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. Make plans to join our exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.

- After this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw, Daniel Bryan was stretchered to the locker room. John Cena was scheduled to team with Brya to oppose The Wyatt Family. When Cena came out, he got on the mic and told the Wyatts they stole someone’s entrance. The Undertaker came out to a massive post-show pop and he and Cena proceeded to take out Luke Harper and Erick Rowan to send the crowd home happy.

- WWE posted the following Raw Fallout videos. If you can’t get them to play, click the link above them and it’ll open them in YouTube:

Funk is Back:

Why Christian Why?:

- Mr. T Tweeted the following about his 2014 induction into the WWE Hall of Fame:

You can watch his Hall of Fame induction video at this link or embedded below:

WWE leaked the news of Mr. T’s induction before officially announcing it on Monday afternoon.

- After drawing our attention from disappearing off WWE television, Rey Mysterio has resurfaced. The Master of 619 is in Madrid, Spain, presumably for WWE-related media. He Tweeted:

Real Madrid, led by the beloved CR7, will face Schalke 04 in a UEFA Champions League match on Tuesday.

- Muscle & Fitness released a video of John Cena working out as part of his photo shoot for their April 2014 cover. Click here to watch now.

- AMC posted a bonus clip of CM Punk on Talking Dead from Sunday night. You can watch at this link.

- TV by the Numbers did not include Total Divas in the top 100 cable shows for adults 25-54 for their Sunday cable ratings. I’m not sure if this is notable or not, considering none of E’s programming is featured.

Backstage news from Monday Night Raw in San Antonio…

- For those wondering, the tag team division is somewhat of a mess right now as Vince McMahon continues to change course on it.

- A lot of people were talking about CM Punk after his appearance on Talking Dead on Sunday night. There’s tension because Punk isn’t talking to his WWE friends but is fraternizing with his MMA friends and was just seen on national television. As I’ve noted previously, Punk has never been known for his likability but his persistence in not acknowledging his WWE departure with people considered to be his friends, isn’t doing him any favors with his former co-workers.

- WWE officials weren’t happy with the way Randy Orton called a fan out at ringside during his match with Daniel Bryan. The incident happened just before the commercial break, where Orton looked at a fan and said, “Ring the bell, are you kidding me? It’s no DQ, there’s no bell to ring.” He then performed offense on Bryan and pointed at the fan and said it was on him. As it was described to me, it’s one thing for Orton to play a heel but another to acknowledge specific reactions in the crowd. This same observer pointed to Orton’s history at getting frustrated with crowds, noting that could have been why it was brought up afterwards.

- Goldust suffered a laceration above his right eye in his bout against Fandango and he wasn’t happy about it. We’re told he had to have the cut closed when he got to the back.

- As of this week’s show, there were no huge surprises planned for the 30-man Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.

- If you’re confused about the direction of The Shield, it’s because Vince McMahon and Triple H have differing opinions about what to do with the faction. This is why some are questioning if they are now babyfaces after this week’s show.

- We’re told Road Dogg is expected back in the ring soon after resting his sore back.

- The Season 2 premiere of Total Divas on E did an average viewing audience of 1,072,000 viewers Sunday night on E. The show finished with an adults 18-49 cable rating of 0.55. This isn’t good news as only two episodes of the series garnered lower viewership averages in Season 1.  Both of those episodes (episode #8 and episode #11) were up against WWE pay-per-view events.

- Below is the official promotional poster for WWE Legends House that premieres on WWE Network on April 17 at 8/7CT:

You can watch a sneak peek at this link.

- Kane and The Miz discuss their love for Scooby-Doo at this link.

- Dot com posted a kayfabe “injury” update on Daniel Bryan, noting he potentially dislocated his shoulder and had “potential ligament tears” as a result of The Authority’s “attack” on him to end Raw. According to their update, the “damage” cannot be determined until the swelling reduces and an MRI can be performed.

This is kayfabe based on the final segment of this week’s Raw to continue the build to Wrestlemania XXX. WWE’s claim is that Bryan was taken to the hospital as a result of the “attack.”

As we noted here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, they did an off-air stretcher job to remove Bryan from ringside.

Click here for kayfabe coverage by dot com.

- This week’s episode of Monday Night Raw did an average viewing audience of 4,075,333 viewers on the USA Network. Below is how viewership broke down by hour:

Hour one – 4,001,000 viewers
Hour two – 4,174,000 viewers
Hour three – 4,051,000 viewers

It’s worth noting this is a different trend than we are used to seeing. Viewership rose and then pulled back, rather than decline as the show aired. The broadcast did a 1.4 adults 18-49 rating as Monday’s top cable program.

While the show won the night on cable, this was Monday Night Raw’s lowest viewership average of the year.

The show ended up with a 2.98 cable rating.

- It was just announced on Main Event that The Undertaker will be in Brooklyn for next week’s Monday Night Raw to address if Brock Lesnar has any problems. We will have full coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.

- While doing overseas media, Rey Mysterio stated that he hopes to finish his career in WWE. He has no plans to retire and hinted he could be in the 30-man Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at Wrestlemania XXX.

We confirmed in late February that Mysterio’s deal with WWE was coming up soon, however, reported the company was actively trying to re-sign him. He was believed to be in no rush to re-sign because the more interest he drew from outside companies, the more leverage he has with WWE.

Mysterio ended up going to Real Madrid’s match on Tuesday, Tweeting the following photo of Cristiano Ronaldo:

He’s in Rome on Wednesday, where he will speak at a school as part of WWE’s Be-A-Star anti-bullying campaign:

- CM Punk is staying busy nearly two months after walking out on WWE. Fresh of a national television appearance on Talking Dead on Sunday, the former 434-day WWE Champion was in the recording studio with New York-based Hardcore band Madball on Tuesday.

An intentional dig at CM Punk was scripted in this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw as Triple H told Daniel Bryan in the closing segment that “anybody else” would have folded a long time ago and took their ball and gone home. There continued to be a lot of CM Punk talk backstage at Monday’s show in San Antonio.

Below is a photo of Punk laying backup vocals:

- JBL is now connected to the parody Twitter account located at Twitter.com/CrankyVince following an incident after the opening segment of this week’s Monday Night Raw. Since then, the former World Heavyweight Champion now WWE announcer has emphatically denied he is behind the account.

He posted the following on Facebook:

The “Cranky Vince” Twitter account has been an interesting topic over the past couple of years. We’ve followed the hilarious Tweets that over accentuate the quirky personality of Vince McMahon, sometimes even revealing things confidential in nature. We’ve been told Vince has been more confused about it more than anything else but Triple H and Stephanie McMahon have feared he has some type of stalker.

The account is vile and explicit, which is probably why JBL doesn’t appreciate being connected to it. Let’s just look at the latest Tweet:

We can confirm WWE has actually tried to have the account shutdown and have been successful in getting it suspended at times, however, Twitter does not have a policy that bans parody.

What you won’t see on Smackdown from Houston…

- Alexander Rusev w/Lana beat Xavier Woods in a dark match

- Kofi Kingston beat Heath Slater in a dark match

- After the taping, John Cena introduced The Undertaker like he did Monday night in San Antonio to take out Erick Rowan and Luke Harper.

- Video footage of how it was done on Monday is online now at this link.

- Undertaker has also been announced for next week’s Raw.

- WWE will return to the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas for the July 28, 2014 episode of Monday Night Raw. The presale password to obtain tickets is HOUSTON.

- Variety is reporting that John Cena is in talks to join the cast of “Trainwreck.” Check out Variety’s coverage at this link for more details on the film.

- Roman Reigns is quoted in a new piece to promote this weekend’s WWE live event in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Click here to read it.

- If you missed The Undertaker’s appearance on this week’s episode of WWE Main Event, you can watch it at this link.

- WWE announced on Wednesday the Wrestlemania 30 Pre-Show will begin at 5 PM ET on the WWE Network and will last for two hours. The first hour will feature analysis and interviews and will be featured on dot com, the WWE App, YouTube and the company’s social media platforms. The second hour will continue exclusively on WWE Network and feature an exclusive Pre-Show match. You can read more details on the show that will precede Wrestlemania 30 here on dot com.

- This week’s kayfabe interview was conducted by Michael Cole with John Cena, as opposed to Triple H. You can watch at this link.

- Mick Foley says he’s been asked if he thought The Authority’s beatdown on Daniel Bryan to close this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw went “too far,” pointing out the beating he took at the hands of The Rock in Royal Rumble 1999. Below is his response from Facebook:

I thought the closing segment of this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw was well done and a nice followup to the Occupy Raw movement. One for Bryan, one for Hunter. It’s the way to continue to Wrestlemania.

Check out my full reactions from this week’s episode of Monday NIght Raw at this link.

- TMZ.com is reporting that Hulk Hogan’s “Hogan’s Beach Shop” was robbed by four women. According to their report, three of the women distracted the manager, while another made off with a signed wrestling boot. The theft was caught on surveillance video and the Clearwater Police Department is investigating. Police say the women might have knocked over a statue of Hogan outside the door to create a diversion. The suspect that made off with the boot was described as a heavyset white female in her 50s. Click here for coverage by TMZ.

- WWE Chief Financial Officer George Barrios was interviewed by CFO Publishing. In it, he talked about WWE Network

He said today the company’s pay-per-views go for $70 but with WWE Network, you can get them for $9.99/month. (Editor’s note: It’s fairly bizarre he said that as the cost is actually $54.95 for a WWE PPV in HD, unless he’s specifically talking about Wrestlemania, which carries a heftier price tag.)

Barrios went on to put over how many devices the WWE Network is available on. He also re-affirmed the timeline for the Network’s phase one international launch. It’s scheduled to launch at the end of the year in the following English-speaking countries – “UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Nordics”

He also talked about how WWE chooses their partners, giving partnerships with Mattel and 2KSports as examples. You can watch the interview at this link.

- Bleacher Report has a new interview online with Kofi Kingston. In it, Kofi talked about Wrestlemania XXX and his desire to be in the 30-man Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. He said when you’re not part of Wrestlemania, it’s definitely a blow to your ego. Kofi said it was “the worst” having to miss Wrestlemania last year but enjoyed being on the Pre-Show expert panel with Dusty Rhodes and Mick Foley. Click here to read the interview in its entirety.

- The Courant has a detailed Q&A piece online with Cody Rhodes to promote Friday’s WWE live event in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Rhodes says he doesn’t miss the mustache and talked about bringing the white Intercontinental Championship belt back to the company. Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- Cam Carson is no longer with Power 97 out of Winnipeg. This is the DJ that was involved in a ringside incident with Batista at the March 7, 2014 WWE live event in the city.

See also - Fan Incident Involving Batista At WWE Live Event In Winnipeg

Details surrounding Carson’s departure were not immediately available. The incident with Batista was not scripted into the show and alcohol was a factor.

- The signed Hulk Hogan wrestling boot that was stolen from Hogan’s Beach has been returned.

TMZ.com is reporting the husband of one of the women involved pressed them to come clean. While the woman that lifted the boot had already returned home to Michigan, the boot was left in the car of one of the other women involved that lives in Tampa. She called Hogan’s Beach, told them she had the boot and was willing to return it.

Police were waiting for her arrival as she brought back the stolen item. She wasn’t arrested, however, a warrant was issued for the arrest of the Michigan woman.

You read read coverage by TMZ at this link.

The surveillance video of the theft is online at this link.

- Bret Hart spoke to BostonHerald.com’s “The Edge” where he talked about his favorite Wrestlemania moments. He also touched on CM Punk’s WWE departure. Below is an excerpt:

“When you look at it closely, Punk’s burned out,” said Hart. “He’s always given 100 percent in all his matches, and delivered some of the best pay-per-view matches in the past 10 years. And it’s not easy when there are legends who only work part-time, and guys like Punk and Bryan do all the work, and watch someone like Brock Lesnar walk in and take those big matches and big paydays without having to be on the road all the time. I think that had a lot to do with his decision, and rightfully so.

“One of Vince McMahon’s favorite sayings is, ‘Life’s not fair.’ I don’t see Punk being a factor at WrestleMania, but he still has a lot of greatness left in him. As a fan, I hope he comes back, and as a wrestler, I have a lot of respect for him, too.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- This week’s episode of The JBL & Cole Show, subtitled Court is REALLY in Session (Pt. 2), is now online at this link. Part 1 from last week is still online at this link.

- We’re told morale continues to sink in WWE developmental with the complaints about Bill DeMott “louder than ever.” The situation has gotten so bad that it’s not just talent complaining, it’s other trainers as well. One person even claimed DeMott is “determined to make everyone as miserable as he is.” When Triple H got word that even the trainers were upset about the issues with DeMott, a meeting was held and DeMott apologpized. Talent found out about the apology and wanted to know where theirs was. Bill DeMott does not have a good reputation amongst the boys and it’s so bad we’re told there are international stars turning down WWE offers because they do not want to train with DeMott at the WWE Performance Center.

- This week’s episode of WWE Main Event featuring a special appearance by The Undertaker garnered an average viewing audience of 1,380,000 viewers on Ion Television.

We haven’t tracked Main Event’s viewership until the show began airing first on the WWE Network. So far, the fact Main Event is now a repeat airing on Ion Television does not seem to be hurting its viewing audience.  Below are the numbers for the other repeat airings on Ion Television:

March 5, 2014 – 1,487,000 viewers
March 13, 2014 – 1,396,000 viewers

Below is a look at the audience BEFORE the show debuted on WWE Network:

February 26, 2014 – 1,289,000 viewers
February 19, 2014 – 1,316,000 viewers

- WWE updated their Key Performance Indicators on Friday and in them, revealed preliminary pay-per-view buy numbers for Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber.

Exact figures for each show were not given but Royal Rumble 2014 exceeded 400,000 buys but was well short of the 512,000 they did in 2013. Elimination Chamber fell below 200,000 buys and was less than the 213,000 buys the show did last year.

Below is a screen grab of the chart:

2014 Q1

The two shows together added together did a reported 664,000 buys.

Below is a screen grab of that chart:

Q1b

The official figures for each show will be released when WWE reports their quarter one earnings.

Smackdown TV news…

- It was announced on the Smackdown Pre-Show that Daniel Bryan will be on Raw this Monday. We’ll have play-by-play here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.

- During the Fatal Four Way Tag Match on Smackdown, the match ended in a no contest when Kane attacked Roman Reigns. The rest of the match erupted into a brawl as The Shield was beaten by the other competitors. The New Age Outlaws joined Kane in the attack on The Shield.

- The Miz officially announced that he was going to be apart of the Andre The Giant Battle Royal at WrestleMania XXX. Kofi Kingston was also seen during the segment on Smackdown, implying he is also entered into the match.

- Kane gave both the team of Curtis Axel and Ryback, and The Real Americans a future WWE Tag Team Title shot in a backstage segment on Smackdown. Kane also announced that all three members of 3MB would be entered into the Andre The Giant Battle Royal at WrestleMania XXX.

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  • Gary Robert

    I always get fooled thinking this is an interesting headline..and its this damn waste of my time recap. Ugh! lol