John Cena In A Car Accident, McMahon Fuming Over Recent Leaks Regarding WWE Network, The Identity Of Lord Tensai, Developmental Fiasco, Top WWE Star Helps Matt Bloom Get Rehired, Details On Spat Between Eric Bischoff & Jeremy Borash, Bruce Prichard Suffers Two Heart Attacks Ask WNW Archive & All The Big News From This Past Week

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, March 17, 2012 to Friday, March 23, 2012 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 Impact Wrestling News
Ask WNW

WWE News

- WNW reader Danny Hecht sent in an interview of WWE Diva AJ, conducted by Marvel. In the interview, she discusses her favorite comic series, X-Men, as well as her onscreen relationship with Daniel Bryan. Click here to read the full interview.

- CM Punk recently appeared on The Wedge on MuchMusic.com, and discussed his feelings on Chris Jericho’s band Fozzy, connections between wrestling and punk rock, what he does in his downtime and more. Punk revealed that his upcoming DVD will feature bands he chose himself, such as H20, The Bouncing Souls, and Rancid. In addition, he revealed that he’s recently become a vegan. Click here to watch the full interview.

- Below is a summary of last night’s WWE Vintage Collection courtesy of our old pal Devin Cutting:

The Road Warriors’ WWE Hall Of Fame Induction Video & Speech

The Road Warriors vs. Doom
WCW Power Hour – February 23rd, 1990

Dusty Rhodes’ WWE Hall Of Fame Induction Video & Speech

Dusty Rhodes vs. The Big Boss Man
WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event – November 25th, 1989

Edge’s WWE Hall Of Fame Induction Video

Edge vs. John Cena vs. Rob Van Dam
WWE Monday Night Raw – July 3rd, 2006

- We’ve received a lot of emails regarding a rumor currently making rounds that WWE has signed Attitude Era star Matt Bloom (a/k/a A-Train and Giant Bernard) to possibly return after Wrestlemania XXVIII. I have been unable to confirm the news but did hear it’s something that was talked about at last night’s WWE live event in Montreal. Bloom denied the rumor on Twitter. The following is from Bloom’s official Twitter:

As I responded to a reader’s email, so far we have an unconfirmed rumor and a denial. There is nothing I can write to report Bloom is returning to WWE although I cannot deny it either.

-Tommy Dreamer wrote an article for The Kingston Whig Standard recently, in which he analyzes the match between The Rock & John Cena at WrestleMania XXVIII. Click here to read the full article.

- Natalya has a new blog up on her official website in which she discusses her fashion-related preparations for WrestleMania weekend, and makes some in-character digs at Eve & Kelly Kelly. Click here to read the blog.

- WWE Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes is now on Twitter at Twitter.com/CodyRhodesWWE. He posted the following video:

- The Roman Show has a new interview up with Ricky Steamboat, in which he discusses his legendary match with Randy Savage at WrestleMania 3. The interview is embedded below:

-WNW reader Shannon sent in the following:

The Rock‘s movie Fast Five will premiere on Saturday, April 7 at 8 PM on HBO. The premiere will be on the same week that Game of Thrones comes back, which is the same night Wrestlemania XXVIII airs.

-The official WWE YouTube channel posted a short interview with John Cena at an appearance at a Toys R Us in New York, embedded  below:

-The Roman Show has new interviews up with WWE and FCW Superstar Husky Harris as well as Tough Enough winner Andy Leavine, embedded below:

The following list, which names “Things AJ can do to make herself a better Diva,” was posted by Daniel Bryan‘s official Facebook page:

  1. Be taller. Not sure how? How about trading in those Chuck Taylors for a nice pair of heels?
  2. Adopt a strict vegan lifestyle to stay mentally and physically fit. Maybe if you stop eating eggs, you’ll stop walking on eggshells all the time.
  3. Highlight your beauty through silence. Be seen but not heard.
  4. Focus on inspiring others as a role model, exhibiting real beauty on the inside and outside … like me.
  5. How about trading in those skulls you wear on your clothes for the butterfly of the Divas Title?
  6. Remember that “gamer” really means “loser couch potato”.
  7. Only champions have enough discipline to not get fat from eating vegan animal crackers. Please stop asking me to share and buy a second box.
  8. Just consider that Pokemon is a silly children’s game and will prevent people from taking you seriously.
  9. To create a constant glow, fill yourself with the blissful reality that you are dating the World Heavyweight Champion!

-Natalya posted the a video of Beth Phoenix and herself on Twitter prior to last night’s WWE live event in Madison Square Garden, announcing that the Divas of Doom will reunite. Click here to view it.

- CM Punk visited the WWE warehouse yesterday for his upcoming DVD. He posted several pictures of memorabilia to his Twitter account, including a 75-foot-long WrestleMania V banner, a WCW Thunder sign, a 1996 SummerSlam chair, and a number of caskets and ladders previously used in WWE. The pictures can be viewed in the posts from his Twitter account, embedded below:

- Alberto Del Rio worked last night’s WWE supershow live event from Madison Square Garden in New York City. He was booked in a very quick bout against Mason Ryan, as he is still recovering from his torn groin injury that required surgery to repair. (Click here for full results.) Like Rey Mysterio, Del Rio has been rumored for the 12-man tag team match at Wrestlemania XXVIII to determine control of the brands. If Del Rio is able to go, he is obviously slated to join the other heels on Team Johnny.

- Evan Bourne is officially off the suspended list and is eligible to return to WWE after failing his second Wellness test. More importantly for Evan, he will once again collect the downside portion of his WWE paycheck after going two months without payment. While Bourne’s future in WWE looked bleak a couple months ago, there have been rumors recently linking him to the 12-man tag team match at Wrestlemania XXVIII for control of the brands. There have been sources that have said it’s extremely unlikely WWE would reward him with the Wrestlemania bonus after consecutive Wellness violations, but it has been out there. I have yet to see Bourne advertised for any future WWE shows and while the feeling was he would end up getting cut, he is available if WWE decides to bring him back.

- Mick Foley was at yesterday’s WWE supershow live event from Madison Square Garden in New York City. Foley lives in Long Island so he and his family were at the show visiting.  He did not appear before the live crowd. Foley is under contract with WWE and has been rumored to have some type of role at Wrestlemania XXVIII although nothing has been confirmed.

- NewsChannel 4 KFOR out of Oklahoma has a video report online about the state banning combat sports after the end of this month.

The report mentions the October 1st edition of Raw Supershow, scheduled to take place at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, could be canceled.

You can watch their report embedded in the video below:

- WWE posted this afternoon on dot com that John Cena was involved in a car accident today in Philadelphia. According to their report, Cena was traveling in an SUV and was rear ended by a tractor trailer. Police responded and no immediate injuries were reported. Click here for coverage by WWE.com.

- The New York Post is reporting that Stacy Keibler is in talks to join “The X Factor.” Due to her lack of experience  in the music business, Keibler could be used as a host rather than a judge. Keibler, a former WWE Diva, has grabbed headlines lately for dating actor George Clooney.

- John Cena, Triple H, CM Punk and Dolph Ziggler are all advertised for tomorrow night’s Smackdown taping from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Click here for official event information.

- WWE has announced a live event from the Civic Center in Lake Charles, Louisiana on May 27, 2012.

- John Cena’s car accident today in Philadelphia was legitimate… TMZ has the pictures to prove it. According to the celebrity-gossip publication, Cena was leaving a media appearance when his SUV was rear-ended by a Honda Civic which was also hit by a “massive big rig.” Cena did not appear to be injured but was scheduled to see the WWE physician when he arrived at the Wells Fargo Center for tonight’s Raw Supershow. Update: CBS 3 reports Cena was on his way to be a guest on CBS’ noon program “Talk Philly.” You can read their coverage at this link.

- I answered a question in today’s Ask WNW regarding WWE stars finding gyms in cities where the company holds shows. While not everyone has the status of The Rock, he worked out today at the Philadelphia Eagles complex. The team posted the following photo of The Rock with offensive lineman Evan Mathis today on their Facebook page:

- I’m told WWE officials are “absolutely livid” over some of the recent stories regarding the upcoming WWE Network. One story in particular, written by the New York Post and recapped here, has Vince McMahon absolutely fuming.

McMahon was particularly upset about the following part of the article:

Although WWE’s TV shows draw big ratings, it has yet to strike a single deal with a cable or satellite-TV provider to carry its own cable channel, sources said.

Since there would be no way for cable or satellite providers to know the status of negotiations for any deal other than the deal with that particular cable or satellite provider, Vince was convinced the New York Post’s sources for that information came either from people within the company or former employees of the company.

WWE has gone as far as hiring private investigators to try to find out who has been leaking information about the WWE Network and some people have been told they risk termination if they are suspected of speaking to the press about the difficulties the company is having in launching the network.

While it is true WWE has failed to strike any carriage agreements, it has hurt their negotiating position for it to be so publicly known that nobody has agreed to carry the network so far. I was told by somebody involved, the phrase “complete disaster” would actually be quite an understatement to describe the status of the network at this time.

- The UK Sun has a new article online featuring quotes from Kevin Nash. Below are the highlights:

The Undertaker vs. Triple H at Wrestlemania XXVIII:

“It’s going to be hard for them to follow last year, because the match they had was so epic.

“By adding the cell and by adding Shawn Michaels, they’ve got some more things to use as far as from a psychology and moving parts standpoint.
“It changes the psychology of the match. I’m really looking forward to seeing that what they do.

“I know that Mark’s beat up, like we all are. I know Paul’s beat up. His job is behind the scenes and in the office. When he does wrestle it’s an added thing.

“It’s added responsibility and I think that puts a ton of pressure on him, because he is so involved in so many day-to-day decisions that are made within the WWE.

“For something like WrestleMania it’s easy for either one of those guys, the calibre of performer that they are, to be able to put one out of their hat.

“Mark hasn’t worked since last Mania, so I think he’s just a WrestleMania-type guy. Once he’s gone it’s the end of that era. I think you try to keep him part of it to some degree.
“But if it is ‘one and done’, he’s through after this WrestleMania and he was to get beaten, then I’m sure he’d be inducted into the Hall of Fame and you go from there.

“But I personally don’t think it will be the last time we see either one of those guys.”

Time in WWE:

“The return at the Royal Rumble was fantastic. It was something I won’t forget.

“I’d still like to do something with CM Punk in the future. I think we’ve got a chapter that’s still open. Originally it was going to be me and Punk, but it turned out to be me and Hunter.

“I knew that I wasn’t allowed to go off the script in those promos. I think he had a little more leeway than I did.

“I came in as a heel. I didn’t ask the people to look at me in any way as a tweener. My job was to come in and be a heel. I think I did my job well.

“I didn’t look for any kind of admiration from the fans. My job wasn’t to be funny, it was to be a nemesis, and that’s what I did.

“I’ve had my run. At this point if I can do something to assist somebody to bring them up a rung on the ladder and make the perception that they are a bigger star than they are or give them a little bit of a bump to make sure they become a bigger star, that’s my job now.

“My job’s not to be a world champion. I can’t go out there and work 300 days a year, and if you can’t work 300 days a year you can’t be in that spot.

“I’m a realist. I know my days are numbered in this business, but I think I’ll always be a part of it. There’s nothing that defines me more than professional wrestling. I still love it.”

Would he return to TNA?:

“I’m not saying I wouldn’t go back. It’s only 50 miles from my house!

“If they had something for me and they needed me, I might go back and do it. Right now I’m starting to get bored!”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- The following is from the Twitter account of Jim Ross:

- Triple H returned to the ring at yesterday’s WWE Supershow live event from Madison Square Garden in New York City. For those that missed the results, Hunter teamed with WWE Champion CM Punk & Randy Orton to face Chris Jericho, Dolph Ziggler & WWE Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes. In the match, Triple H did The Undertaker’s “throat slash” and gave Ziggler the Tombstone Piledriver before pinning him to give his team the victory. Hunter even pinned Ziggler like Undertaker by sticking his tongue out. WWE uploaded video footage at this link.

- WWE began airing vignettes on tonight’s Raw Supershow for a new character with a Japanese-like gimmick named Lord Tensai. Tensai is actually Matthew Bloom and his signing was a topic of conversation backstage at this weekend’s live events. Bloom has spent the past six years with New Japan Pro Wrestling working as Giant Bernard and was in WWE during the Attitude Era as A-Train. Bloom denied over the weekend he had signed with WWE.

- WWE announced on tonight’s Raw Supershow that Flo Rida will perform live as The Rock comes to ringside for his match against John Cena at Wrestlemania XXVIII. Cena confirmed last week he’ll enter to “Invincible” by Machine Gun Kelly. Wrestlemania XXVIII will take place in two weeks, on Sunday, April 1, 2012, from the Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Florida.

- Shane Douglas had some fun at tonight’s WWE Raw Supershow. During Big Show vs. Kane, Douglas was shown on-camera wearing a Lucha Libre mask and a white button up shirt. He removed his shirt, exposing his black and yellow “Franchise” t-shirt and removed the mask to expose his identity. He screamed at the camera and attempted to get the audience to pay attention to him. Douglas was escorted out of the arena. Douglas is best-known for his time in ECW where is was a four-time ECW Champion but has worked everywhere including WWE, WCW and TNA. You can view cell phone footage of the stunt embedded in the video below:

- WWE is  shutting down Florida Championship Wrestling, their official developmental territory. The company has already contacted their local television provider, the Bright House Network, and informed them of their decision. The programming will cease to air in three weeks. Everyone involved with Florida Championship Wrestling is expected to relocate to Stamford, Connecticut until a decision regarding the company developmental program is made. FCW became the official WWE developmental promotion in 2007 when WWE severed ties with Ohio Valley Wrestling and Deep South Wrestling.  Steve Keirn, who started FCW, was put in charge of the company’s developmental program.  No word as of this writing on Keirn’s status. From what I understand, the decision to shut down the Tampa-based promotion will be effective immediately and includes the training facility.

- Daniel Bryan was recently interviewed by The Daily World and discussed a number of topics, including wrestling in his backyard during his childhood, his transition into having a heel persona and using his vegan lifestyle to draw heat, his upcoming match at WrestleMania XXVIII with Sheamus, and more. In the following excerpt, Bryan discusses working as a heel:

“I’ve always loved being a bad guy; there’s something more fun about it. It always makes me smile. Now, I’ll hear my music and (the crowd) instantly starts booing. I have to keep myself from laughing, because it makes me happy.”

Bryan also discussed what he learned on the indy circuit:

“Confidence, I’ve been in just about every possibility imaginable in the ring. What (those matches) do is instill in you confidence that you can go out there and do your job and perform. I’ve been in the ring when a wrestler snapped his leg during a match. I’ve been in the ring when a fan runs in, with no security and the only one there to help you is your opponent.”

Bryan was then asked about his match with Sheamus, to which he replied:

“I’m not nervous about the match, but I’m excited about the experience. We’re not afraid to hit each other. Some guys like to fight. I like to fight. Sheamus was a bouncer for years. There’s something about being in front of a large crowd and getting hit. It fires you up. We want to steal the show, even with Rock vs. Cena (on the card).”

Click here to read the full interview.

-WNW reader Aimee M sent in the following:

John Cena was on the Preston & Steve Show in Philadelphia this morning promoting RAW and Wrestlemania. They talk about cars, performing for the armed forces, Make a Wish, when he’ll stop wrestling & more.

Cena also named Hulk Hogan as his favorite wrestler of all time. Cena comes on around the 1:20:00 mark. Click here to listen.

-Eve posted an in-character video to her Twitter account and discusses Zack Ryder, why she is no longer friends with Kelly Kelly, and more. Click here to watch the video.

- The following is from the official Twitter account of Flo Rida:

- The Miami Herald has a couple new articles online as they increase coverage as we get closer to Wrestlemania XXVIII. One of the articles covers a Jack Swagger appearance last week while another ironically covers a Florida Championship Wrestling show. You can read at the articles below:

- Devin Cutting reporting… The WWE house show in Augusta, Georgia has been moved to June 2nd, 2012. It’s original date was June 3rd. The WWE house show in Savannah, Georgia has been moved to June 3rd, 2012. It’s original date was June 2nd.

- I contacted Florida Championship Wrestling President Steve Keirn via email this morning to ask about rumors regarding WWE shutting down the Tampa-based promotion. Keirn replied with the following quote:

There is no truth to the rumor we are at school today training and the WWE will respond to this to clear it up. Thank you for your concern. SK

News broke late last night/early this morning when WWE informed their local TV affiliate, the Bright House Network, they were pulling the series effective immediately. The initial word was that the remaining programming taped would air but the series would end in three weeks.

The news sent shockwaves through the Florida wrestling scene as I reported earlier this morning that current developmental workers were thinking of quitting and many were expecting cuts. At this point we’ll see where the news goes from here and await an official response from WWE.

- I’m told Matt Bloom has been in touch with John Laurinaitis about returning to WWE for the last few years. My sources reports Bloom was always told there was “nothing for him.” Recently, there was a creative idea pitched  to have someone as the on-screen “muscle” for Laurinaitis and Bloom’s name was one that was tossed around. It was actually The Undertaker that helped Bloom land the opportunity. I’m told Undertaker spoke highly of Bloom, which ended up pushing his name to the top of the list. WWE contacted Bloom and offered him a deal if he was interested. The deal wasn’t exactly a big secret backstage as many were talking over the weekend. When the story first made it online, Bloom was upset because he didn’t want the leak costing him the job. Remember, leaks have cost people jobs before as I can recall a situation with Trevor Murdoch. This is why Bloom denied the reports on Twitter and was hoping he doesn’t get blamed for the story going public. Given the fact WWE went forth with their vignettes for Bloom as Lord Tensai on last night’s Raw Supershow, there are definitely plans for an immediate spot on the main roster. I haven’t heard if the creative plans still involve Laurinaitis but those are likely to develop in the coming weeks.

- WWE issued the following press release today:

WWE® (NYSE: WWE) today announced hip-hop stars Flo Rida and Machine Gun Kelly will perform at WrestleMania XXVIII live on pay-per-view Sunday, April 1 at 7 PM ET, emanating from Sun Life Stadium in Miami. More than 70,000 fans are expected to be in attendance with millions watching worldwide.

Miami native and Grammy Award-nominated, international superstar Flo Rida will perform two of his chart-topping tracks, “Good Feeling” and “Wild Ones.” Bad Boy Records’ newest recruit, Machine Gun Kelly (MGK), will deliver a show-stopping performance of his hit single “Invincible.” Both artists’ performances will set the stage for WrestleMania XXVIII’s highly-anticipated main event match between Dwayne “The Rock®” Johnson and WWE Superstar John Cena®. Flo Rida and MGK join a renowned list of legendary performers that includes Kid Rock, Cee Lo Green, Mary J. Blige, Nickelback, Run-D.M.C., Pitbull, Diddy-Dirty Money and Trace Adkins who have performed at major WWE events.

Flo Rida’s “Good Feeling” has become a top-10 hit in 16 countries, reaching Number 1 on the Billboard Pop Songs chart in the United States, and “Wild Ones” has topped music charts in four countries. Both singles are official WrestleMania theme songs and are available digitally.

“Invincible” has been downloaded more than 100,000 times since being released on iTunes, helping MGK earn the title of “Hottest Breakthrough MC of 2011″ by MTV. While at Monday Night Raw in his hometown of Cleveland, he was personally invited to perform at WrestleMania by Cena. His debut album, Lace Up, is slated for a summer 2012 release.

The official WWE website has released an announcement by Executive Vice President of Talent, Paul Levesque, otherwise known as Triple H. Levesque had the following to say to the rumors about Florida Championship Wrestling, WWE’s developmental territory, closing down:

“It is absolutely not true. FCW is not closing. I don’t know how the rumor started but I believe it’s a situation where the ‘dirt sheets’ want to believe they have the scoop on everything. If anything, we are in the process of ramping up our entire developmental system. It’s the lifeblood of our company. It’s what feeds our future and in no way are we going to close it down.”

In addition, Levesque had the following to say about possibly relocating FCW out of Tampa, Florida:

“There are plans in the works, but nothing definitive I can discuss right now. Shortly after WrestleMania, there will be a major announcement about our developmental system.”

“WWE’s developmental system is being revamped, not shut down. If anything, it’s going to get bigger and better than ever. WWE Developmental cultivates the future talent of WWE. By no means is it going to get smaller or shut down.”

Click here to view the article.

- WWE issued the following press release this evening:

STAMFORD, Conn., Mar 20, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) — WWE® and NBCUniversal are joining forces to televise “Once in a Lifetime — Rock vs. Cena,” an epic one-hour special that follows WWE Superstars The Rock® and John Cena® on their respective roads to WrestleMania® XXVIII. This first ever behind-the-scenes special premieres Monday, March 26 on USA Network at 8/7c and will also air on NBCUniversal networks including Syfy, Bravo, E!, Oxygen, G4, Style, NBC Sports Network, mun2, CLOO and Universal HD leading up to WrestleMania on Sunday, April 1 at 7:00 p.m. ET.

This lifestyle special is a candid and compelling look at two of the biggest icons in sports entertainment history as they prepare for their Once in a Lifetime main event match. From touring and training on the road to Hollywood movie sets to the 54th Annual Daytona 500, this in-depth look with exclusive footage gives viewers unprecedented access and a glimpse into the personal lives of these men.

- The Belleville-Nutley Patch has a new article online featuring quotes from Christian. In it, he says his high ankle sprain was the most frustrating injury he’s had in his career:

“It was without a doubt the most frustrating injury I have had in my career,” Christian told Patch. “It was a high-ankle sprain. It was very frustrating. I tore some ligaments as well and had to rehab it for seven weeks.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- WWE No Way Out is officially returning and is expected to feature Steel Cage matches as the show’s main events. There will be a presale to obtain tickets to WWE No Way Out from the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey beginning tomorrow at Ticketmaster.com with the password WWENEWJERSEY. The presale will end on Friday and tickets will go on sale to the general public on Saturday. The pay-per-view will take place on Sunday, June 17, 2012. We’ll have exclusive play-by-play coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.

- WWE has announced the June 18th episode of Raw Supershow will take place from the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. (Thanks to our old pal Devin Cutting.)

- Tammy Sytch, formerly known as Sunny, is backstage visiting at tonight’s Smackdown taping in Newark, New Jersey.

- Below is video footage of John Cena on FOX & Friends today to promote Wrestlemania XXVIII:


- As previously reported on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, Yokozuna is the next inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame. The announcement was made during this week’s Smackdown tapings. The late Yokozuna will join Edge, The Four Horsemen, Ron Simmons, Mike Tyson, and Mil Mascaras in the 2012 Class. The official WWE website is promoting an official announcement of the next inductee at 10 AM ET tomorrow. Click here to view it. The 2012 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony will take place the night before Wrestlemania XXVIII, Saturday, March 31, 2012 from the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

- WWE is advertising another Hall of Fame announcement over on dot com at 10 AM EDT this morning. It’s expected the official website will announce Yokozuna as a member of the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2012, as they announced at last night’s Smackdown taping. The 2012 WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place the night before Wrestlemania XXVIII, Saturday, March 31, 2012, from the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

- As noted earlier this morning here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, WWE officially announced Yokozuna as a 2012 WWE Hall of Fame inductee over on dot com. Below is the blurb they wrote in their announcement:

One of the largest and most imposing WWE Champions of all time, the mighty Yokozuna will be posthumously inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame the night before WrestleMania XXVIII.

You can watch his Hall of Fame video embedded below:

- World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan is dating Brie Bella. While the legitimate relationship is not newsworthy in of itself, it is interesting that WWE is doing a program with Bryan’s real girlfriend and Bryan’s storyline girlfriend. As we saw last week on Smackdown, Daniel Bryan stopped Brie from making the twin switch, allowing for AJ to beat Nikki. WWE explained over on dot com that perhaps Daniel was “emotionally scarred” from his break-up with the Bella Twins. Remember, WWE did an angle where Daniel dated them both last year. This week’s Smackdown will feature a match between AJ & Brie Bella that was taped last night.

- Embedded in the video below is footage of Shane Douglas being tossed from Monday’s Raw Supershow. Please be advised the video contains explicit language so if you’re at work or anywhere public you’ll want to turn the volume down or send audio it to your headphones:

- WWE announced today on dot com that Lilian Garcia will perform “America the Beautiful” at Wrestlemania XXVIII.

 “When I got the news this morning, I screamed,” she told WWE.com. “I even teared up, I’m so thrilled.”

Click here for coverage by WWE.com.

- The latest on the WWE developmental fiasco is the company is looking at opening a developmental territory in Stamford, Connecticut. They have also ended their deal with the Brighthouse Network to carry Florida Championship Wrestling in the local Tampa market. With that being said, the word is the company will maintain their relationship with FCW and there are no plans at this time to shut down the promotion. This is a situation where if there’s smoke, there’s fire and there were details that hit the Internet the company clearly didn’t want getting out. While WWE officials indicated the reports were completely bogus, I can assure you that isn’t the case.

- Lilian Garcia inadvertently announced Zack Ryder as “The Long Island Iced Z… Jack Swagger” at last night’s Smackdown taping in Newark, New Jersey. After the taping ended, John Cena came out with Ryder and Tony Chimmel and ripped Lilian for getting a local’s name wrong. Cena asked Chimmel to properly introduce Ryder. Production ribbed him by cutting off his mic several times. Cena went on to face Kane in a dark match main event after announcing Ryder himself. After the match, Cena, Lilian, Chimmel and Ryder went to the corners of the ring to end the taping.

- WWE Studios will be screening “The Day” next month at the Sarasota Film Festival in Sarasota, Florida.The screenings will take place on April 20th and April 21st. Below is a synopsis of the film:

In a post-apocalyptic world, five survivors are on the run from the cannibals who relentlessly follow them. Originally twelve, their numbers have dwindled over the ten years that they have been on the run. Low on ammunition, food, and morale, the group decides to rest at an abandoned home for the night. This proves to be a grave mistake and they must now take a stand if they want to survive the night. Douglas Aarniokoski’s THE DAY is a classic horror thriller, a battle to stay alive that provides copious chills.

Click here for more information.

-WWE Raw Supershow is returning to the Time Warner Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina on October 29, 2012. WWE will be making tickets available at the March 25th live event from the venue.

- Our old pal Devin Cutting has compiled the air time schedule for “Once In A Lifetime – The Rock vs. John Cena.” You can view it below:

Monday 3/26
8 p.m./7 p.m. CT – USA Network

Tuesday 3/27
7 p.m./6 p.m. CT – CLOO

Wednesday 3/28
8 p.m./5 p.m. PT – UNIHD
12:30 a.m./9:30 p.m. PT – UNIHD

Thursday 3/29

6 a.m./5 a.m. CT – Style
8 p.m./7 p.m. CT – Mun2
1 a.m./12 a.m. CT – E!

Friday 3/30

6 a.m./3 a.m. PT – NBC Sports
8 a.m./7 a.m. CT – Syfy
11 a.m./10 a.m. CT – Bravo
7 p.m./6 p.m. CT – Syfy
11 p.m./8 p.m. PT – UNIHD

Saturday 3/31

9 a.m./8 a.m. CT – USA Network
6 p.m./5 a.m. CT – Mun2
10 p.m./9 p.m. CT – G4 (WWE Tough Enough marathon airing 12 p.m. – 10 p.m./11 a.m. – 9 p.m. CT)

Sunday 4/1
8 a.m./7 a.m. CT – Oxygen
10 a.m./9 a.m. CT – G4
12 p.m./11 a.m. CT – CLOO

John Cena will be appearing on Showbiz Tonight, and the following preview has been released by HLN, in which John Cena challenges the men from Jersey Shore to meet him at WrestleMania XXIX in New Jersey, embedded below:

- Hornswoggle has spoken with The Rock and apologized after Hornswoggle posted a tweet following The Rock’s concert on Raw. The tweet, which has been removed, read:

Glad @TheRock needs to sing karaoke to get his $hit in. @JohnCena will always be a true professional, doesn’t need scripted lines, bullet points, or #stupidsrxualinuendos like @TheRock

Hornswoggle posted the following today, along with a photo of writing on his wrist:

The Rock responded with the following tweet:

- John Cena recently participated in an interview on Mix106.1 in Philadelphia and discussed the current WWE Title design, his influences, future stars in the company, which Superstar he’d like a match with in any era (besides The Rock), and more.

Cena says that the current “Spinner” WWE Title design is the most requested and sold belt in WWE history, but also has the following to say:

“Being the guy who truly invented it, it needs to change. It has been the way it’s been for years now. It’s had it’s run. It doesn’t even spin anymore. It’s heavy. It’s awkward. It really is. An average championship belt weighs about 12 pounds. The current WWE spinning championship weighs 27 pounds. So we need a rehash. I’m proactively trying to do that, but I’ve only got so much stroke, guys. I can’t do everything.”

Cena also praises upcoming talent such as Seth Rollins, Dolph Ziggler, Zack Ryder, and Cody Rhodes as future stars. When asked which wrestler from any era he’d like to face, he chose “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and said that he believes he has one more match in him, and says although CM Punk wants that match, he’d like to throw his name in the hat as well.

The full interview is embedded below:

- Paul Bearer has confirmed he will be at WWE Fan Axxess in “The Undertaker’s Graveyard” on March 30th, March 31st and April 1st. The following is from his official Twitter account:

Thanks to Wrestling News World reader Matt Scott for sending this in.

- Wrestling News World reader Jordan sent this link which goes to a new Quinnipiac Poll that shows Linda McMahon leading in the primary but trailing bad in the general election. Linda is running as a Republican for a United States Senate seat out of the state of Connecticut. You can read more in-depth coverage at this link.

- TheDay.com is reporting that Sacred Heart University will name its new student commons in honor of Board of Trustees member Linda McMahon. McMahon, who is in the midst of a second run for US Senate, provided a $5 million gift to the university for capital projects. The commons will be dedicated at 10 AM on Friday, April 13, 2012.

- The next live Smackdown will air live on The Score in Canada on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 8 PM EDT. As we have previously reported, the show will air live in the United States on SyFy.

- Phil Strum of the Poughkeepsie Journal has a new article online featuring quotes from John Morrison to promote a Northeast Wrestling show he’s on in the city on Friday. In the piece, Morrison speaks on his relationship with WWE:

“The door is open to go back,” Hennigan said of his current relationship with WWE. “I left on really good terms with everybody and what I wanted to do was take time off to heal, get refreshed and take a little vacation. Shows like this are a fun show and a way to keep sharp. I really like wrestling. That’s why I do it. I was working a 250-plus day a year schedule and I wanted to be refreshed. Right before I left, I felt like I was going to work. I wasn’t enjoying it as much as when I started.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- John Cena posted the following video on Twitter:

- The Score in Canada will air a 3-hour block of WWE programming leading up to Wrestlemania XXVIII on April 1, 2012. Below is the schedule courtesy of our old pal Devin Cutting:

  • 

4 PM (ET) – Once In A Lifetime-Rock/Cena Special
  • 5 PM (ET) – WWE Vintage Collection
  • 6 PM (ET) – The WWE Experience

- Wrestling News World reader Jeff sent this in… I came across this lengthy John Cena interview the other day talking about The Rock and the wrestling business in general. I’ve listened to a lot of Cena interviews in the past and this has to be the most interesting interview I’ve heard. Click here to listen now.

- Continuing the WWE developmental saga, Florida Championship Wrestling has added several new dates to their schedule including three upcoming television tapings. Click here to view it.

-WNW reader Arda Ocal sent in the following:

In a classic #Aftermath Radio interview with Arda Ocal (@arda_ocal) and Jimmy Korderas (@jimmykorderas), WWE Hall of Famer Edge recalls a funny moment in a tag team match between Edge and Christian and Jeff Jarrett/Owen Hart where Jarrett/Hart decided to play a little rib involving clown noses. The video can be found here.

-WNW reader Patrick Peralta sent in the official WWE Twitter account’s list of FCW talent, which now includes new Twitter accounts from Antonio Cesaro, Dean Ambrose, Kassius Ohno, Leo Kruger, Big E Langston, Bo Rotundo, Damien Sandow, and more. Click here to view it.

- Wrestling News World reader Daniel Hill reporting:

On March 26th, WWE will be releasing ‘WWE Hall Of Fame 2012 – The Music’ on iTunes, it features some tracks which could give be spoilers for some of the inductors at the ceremony. The track listing is:

WWE Hall Of Fame 2012 – The Music – Track Listing

01 – Edge (Edge) – Jim Johnston

02 – On The Edge (Edge) – Jim Johnston

03 – Blood Brother (Christian) – Jim Johnston

04 – Just Close Your Eyes (Christian) [feat. Bedlam's Gate] – Previously Unreleased – Jim Johnston & Bedlam’s Gate

05 – Fist (DX with Mike Tyson) [feat. Prince Michael] – Jim Johnston & Prince Michael

06 – Are You Ready? (D-Generation X) – Jim Johnston

07 – Are You Ready? (D-Generation X) [feat. Age Against The Machine] – Previously Unreleased – Jim Johnston & Age Against the Machine

08 – Horse (Four Horsemen) – Jim Johnston

09 – Common Man Boogie (Dusty Rhodes) – Jim Johnston

10 – Damn (Ron Simmons) – Jim Johnston

11 – Nation of Domination (Faarooq) – Jim Johnston

12 – Longhorn (JBL) – Jim Johnston

13 – Sumo (Yokozuna) – Jim Johnston

14 – So Close Now (The Usos) [feat. David Dallas] – Jim Johnston & David Dallas

15 – Bad Man (Rikishi) – Jim Johnston

16 – Realeza (Alberto Del Rio) [feat. Mariachi Real De Mexico] – Jim Johnston & Mariachi Real De Mexico

The PR firm of Ted DiBiase sent in the following video:

Ted DiBiase, Jr. gave a health update on his official YouTube channel as he recovers from shoulder surgery and a broken ankle. Ted discusses such things as where he is currently at with his recovery, a timeline for his return to the wrestling ring, the winner of the DiBiase Posse Party Wrestlemania Tickets Contest and whether he will be at Wrestlemania XXVIII next weekend. Video is embedded below:

- Florida Championship Wrestling has canceled tonight’s show from the Deland Armory in Deland, Florida. I haven’t heard why the show was canceled but it’s likely due to the fact WWE is running in Lakeland, Florida tonight. The two towns are less than 100 miles apart.

- Layla continues to make progress towards her return to WWE television as she worked last night’s Florida Championship Wrestling show in Tampa. Layla tamed with Audrey Marie in a match against Sofia Cortez & Paige. From what I understand Layla looked good and people were talking about some face-paced moves she added to her arsenal. The former WWE Women’s Champion has been out since May 2011 with torn MCL and ACL ligaments in her knee.

- Big Daddy V is reportedly booked on a tour in Georgetown, Guyana over Wrestlemania XXVIII weekend so reports that he would be available for WWE Fan Axxess are apparently incorrect. I apologize for the error.

WWE has announced a May 12th live event from the Bob Carpenter Center at the University of Delaware on Newark, Delaware.

TNA Impact Wrestling News

- The Miami Herald has a new article featuring quotes from Matt Morgan to promote Sunday’s TNA Victory Road pay-per-view. In it, Morgan discusses drawing from within and overcoming ADHD. Below is an excerpt:

“I went from 1st grade to 6th grade in different learning disabled classes,” Morgan said. “I got kicked out of four different schools between 1st and 3rd grade for all different stuff, because a lot of these teachers and principals didn’t have classrooms for learning disabled. They just had normal, mainstream classrooms.

“So they thought I had behavioral issues, when in reality, some kids are starving for attention, and I would do anything it took to keep their attention. I’m talking some crazy, outlandish things.

“Once we were able to handle my ADD, we used the path Behavior Modification. They put me into a learning disabled classroom that had cubicles. So any time it was time for me to study in a situation where I needed to retain information or memorize to take a test the next day, I would do so in a cubicle, where I had no choice but to either pay attention or stare at brown walls. That’s not very enlightening and not very entertaining.

“I had some learning disabled teachers as well who helped keep me on task and gave me 1-on-1 attention when it was time to retain information and move me along at a pace someone my age should be.

“Once we got a handle on that, and we realized Behavior Modification — not pharmaceuticals — was the way for me to go. The rest was history. From 6th grade on, I was nothing short of first honors. In middle school, I got first honors. In high school, I got first honors. I almost got Valedictorian. In college, I graduated magna cum laude [great honors].”

His ADD did not effect his in-ring work or promos in WWE, OVW, All Japan, New Japan, HUSTLE, Ring Ka King, TNA. Morgan revealed his ADD during a TNA (outside the ring) profile on SpikeTV.

“[Former TNA writer] Vince Russo said, “I had no idea you had ADD. Really? You’re a smart guy. I had no idea,’” Morgan explained. “I said, ‘Vince, it has nothing to do with being intelligent or not. It just means I can’t focus on things for long periods of time, unless I’m interested in it.’

“Take wrestling for instance. I’m very interested in it. I’ve been a fan since I was 6-years-old. So that’s something I’m never going to have a problem focusing on, and that’s what’s cool about pro wrestling, because if you’re in the middle of a match, you can’t just sit there and start daydreaming and wondering, ‘Hey, what’s that guy doing out there eating popcorn in the third row? I wonder if it’s good…’ Boom… You get your face taken off by Samoa Joe.

“You can’t do that, obviously, if you enjoy your life [Morgan chuckled].”

He continued: “Anytime you have an ADD kid that’s in a situation with sports — where there are very quick rewards for hard work — I think they’re going to be successful 10 out of 10 times in that environment.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- TMZ is reporting that “Repo Games” host Josh Lewis has signed on to partake in a TNA Impact Wrestling angle. It’s unclear when he’ll come in but according to their report, it’s in the “very near future.” He is set to “get physical” but it’s unknown if he’ll actually working a match.

- The latest regarding Rob Van Dam is he is returning to TNA Impact Wrestling. His current deal with TNA was believed to expire this month, however, it may have included an option for another year. While RVD had grown frustrated with the way he had been booked and was rumored to be considering another run with WWE in late 2011, TNA does provide him an opportunity to work less dates.  It should also go without saying that RVD could be more optimistic about his character under the company’s new creative direction. As for a possible time frame, the last I heard he could return as soon as this week.

- Kurt Angle, who at one time guaranteed he would make the 2012 Olympic United States amateur wrestling team, now says his chances are slim to none.

GoErie.com has a new article online featuring quotes from Angle where he blames injuries for destroying his chances at an Olympic comeback. Below is an excerpt:

“Slim to none,” Angle says in describing his chances. “I’m 43 years old and I’m not as good as I used to be, obviously, but I believe I can still contend.”

“I’ve beaten myself up a lot,” Angle said. “When I came back and started working out for the Olympics this time, I kept getting hurt. I popped a patellar tendon, then I popped an Achilles, then I blew out my hamstring. I went to my doctor and said, ‘What’s going on? I’m a machine, I don’t get hurt.’

“He said you’re over 40, things are gonna happen to you unless you train. So I spent four months training just to get ready to get back on the mat.”

- Devon beat Robbie E at tonight’s TNA Victory Road pay-per-view to win the TNA TV Championship.

- Dixie Carter announced on tonight’s TNA Victory Road pay-per-view that TNA Slammiversary 2012 will take place on the campus of University of Texas Arlington.

- The following video featuring The Motorcity Machine Guns aired on tonight’s TNA Victory Road pay-per-view:

- TNA issued the following press release in regards to the location of Slammiversary being unveiled on last night’s Victory Road pay-per-view:

TNA WRESTLING CELEBRATES 10 YEARS OF ACTION WITH “SLAMMIVERSAY 2012” LIVE PAY-PER-VIEW EVENT IN ARLINGTON, TEXAS ON JUNE 10 – PRESENTED BY DIRECT AUTO INSURANCE

Total Nonstop Action (TNA) Wrestling will celebrate its 10th anniversary at the “Slammiversary 2012” pay per view event in Arlington, Texas. This will be TNA Wrestling’s first televised event from the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex area. The annual live, anniversary pay-per-view extravaganza is scheduled for Sunday night, June 10, at The College Park Center in Arlington. Tickets for “Slammiversary 2012” start at $15 and go on sale Friday, April 20.

TNA Wrestling was founded in Nashville in the summer of 2002 and this June marks the 10th year anniversary. The internationally televised “Slammiversary 2012” pay-per-view event will be one of the biggest night’s in TNA’s history.

The reigning TNA World Heavyweight Champion, Bobby Roode, leads the invasion of IMPACT WRESTLING stars including Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair along with “Cowboy” James Storm, Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle, “The Charismatic Enigma” Jeff Hardy, “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles, Rob Van Dam, the lovely and lethal Knockouts and more. Fans can celebrate 10 years of body-slams with TNA’s weekly flagship show, IMPACT WRESTLING airing every Thursday night on Spike.

“I can’t wait to bring this big celebration to my hometown area,” said TNA President Dixie Carter. “I’ve been trying to make this first televised show from Dallas-Ft. Worth special and ‘Slammiversary’ won’t disappoint. I’ll be announcing other exciting things around this pay per view event in the coming weeks.”

Tickets for “TNA Slammiversary 2012” go on sale Friday, April 20 at 10am, at UTACollegePark.com, The College Park Arena box office or charge by phone at 817-272-9595.

“TNA Slammiversary Fan InterAction” will be taking place on Saturday, June 9 with details to be announced soon. “Fan InterAction” is a popular fan friendly event giving fans a chance to meet many of the stars of TNA IMPACT WRESTING.

TNA will also be offering a limited number of travel packages that will include lodging and tickets to Slammiversary. Full details of the travel package will be announced soon at www.shoptna.com

- TNA Impact Wrestling has finalized a deal to make TNA Lockdown available in theaters. You can view a full listing of theaters across the United States carrying the pay-per-view at this link. TNA Lockdown will take place on Sunday, April 15, 2012 from the Nashville Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. We’ll have exclusive live pay-per-view coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.

- TNA Wrestling’s official YouTube channel has released the following preview of TNA Lockdown, coming to select theaters as well as pay-per-view on April 15:

The full list of participating theaters has been released, as well as ticket information and more. Click here for more information.

- I reported on Sunday here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com that Rob Van Dam was returning to TNA Impact Wrestling. While his return to television hasn’t happened yet, RVD was announced for this weekend’s live events in New York and Pennsylvania in singles matches against Robbie E. You can view the lineup for Friday’s show in Elmira, New York at this link.

- The Australian tag team of Shane Haste & Mikey Nicholls worked a dark match after last night’s TNA television tapings against Gunner and Kid Kash. The team has worked in Ring of Honor.

- One of the more talked about stories in TNA last week was Eric Bischoff’s comments on Jeremy Borash. For those that missed it, Bischoff took to Facebook and called Borash a “low rent bit player who should be fortunate he has a job” after he claimed a bartender in Nashville told him that JB had said he was an “owner” in TNA. You can read the full comment at this link. I’m told Borash has a bit of a reputation in some circles for trying to use his position in TNA for personal gain (free drinks, meals and other random perks). For those who are already not fond of him, like Bischoff, it’s a bit of a recurring joke. Bischoff has been insistent when asked that the story he posted was true and he was just having a bit of fun exposing Borash’s propensity to overstate his role when it’s convenient to do so. As for the backstage reaction, Bischoff faced heat from workers like Magnus, but has enough power to where he can call someone out like that and not face any repercussions. My source reports Borash didn’t make a stink about it because he figured the story was probably true and was a bit embarrassed by it.

- Kurt Angle went on a rampage on Twitter last night. During the rampage, he Tweeted that it only took him a year to become a main eventer in WWE when it took Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels fifteen. Angle apologized for the comment today:

Apparently Angle removed the controversial Tweet and while there were others, I thought this one was pretty funny:

- WNW reader @DanTheCannon sent in the following:

@DanTheCannon, on behalf of allwrestling.com’s Week in Review, had the pleasure of having a few words with TNA’s very own AJ Styles. In a 75-minute interview, we went-in depth on quite a few topics, including his thoughts on Victory Road, reflecting on the past, predictions for the future, his thoughts on creative, what it was like working with Ric Flair, whether he will regret not going to the WWE before he retires & will he be attending WrestleMania XXVIII? And that’s just a taste of what was a “phenomenal” interview. You’re not going to want to miss this one! Click here to listen to the interview. It is also available on iTunes & anywhere podcasts are available.

- Dixie Carter noted on her Facebook page that she is in Clearwater Beach and visited with Jesse Sorensen for the first time since he was released from ICU after suffering a broken neck at TNA Against All Odds in February. Below is her update with a photo:

I’m in Clearwater Beach w/family & just got to see Jesse Sorensen for 1st time since the ICU. Great seeing you!

Photo Credit: Dixie Carter's Facebook

- Bruce Prichard, TNA’s Senior VP of Programming and Talent Relations, suffered two heart attacks this past week. Apparently he’s doing fine as John “Bradshaw” Layfield posted the following update on his Facebook page:

Very happy one of my best friends Brother Love (Bruce Prichard) is ok after suffering two apparent heart attacks this past week. He’s got two new stents and doctor says that according to his research he actually does have a heart. Very, very happy that my pal is ok. A few years ago Gerald Brisco, who hired me at WWE and is also good friend of mine and Bruce’s, had a heart attack-so apparently both of them have a heart-who would have believed it?

Prichard was not at this week’s Impact Wrestling tapings but specifics as to why were not available.

- TNA Champion Bobby Roode’s legal adviser, announced as William Kelly, on last night’s episode of Impact Wrestling was Shane Haste. Haste teamed with Mikey Nicholls to work a dark match against Gunner & Kid Kash after Monday’s TV taping.

Ask WNW

Months ago I asked your opinion on who is going to win at Wrestlemania XXVIII, either The Rock or John Cena, has your opinion changed at all? I have come out with a theory that Rock would win, Cena would turn and we could have a Rock/Cena II at Wrestlamania XXIX.

I have spent a lot of time going over the outcome of The Rock vs. John Cena at Wrestlemania and I will admit I don’t envy Vince McMahon’s decision. You could make a case for either worker but at the end of the day if The Rock is not returning to WWE full-time, it would be difficult to put him over the face of the company. There has been a lot of speculation about The Miz getting involved but I have been an advocate for a clean finish. The only way I would be for Miz getting involved would be to guarantee his elevation and I don’t see that as a feasible position at this time.  While The Rock said he would be involved in Wrestlemania XXIX next year I don’t know if there are plans for him to compete.  Obviously if he does plan on working, this could be a factor in the way the outcome of the match is booked.

When Wade Barrett comes back will WWE push him to the moon or take it easy with him?

Wade Barrett’s dislocated elbow injury couldn’t have happened at a worse time. Not only was he scheduled for a big push into the spring, he was slated for the big Wrestlemania payday. Injuries are one of the downsides of the business and the reason so many people work hurt is so they don’t lose their support. In Barrett’s case, his injury was severe enough where it required surgery and will require significant rehabilitation time for him to return. The last I heard WWE plans to pick his push up where they left off when he returns, however, there are no guarantees. It will hinge on what the landscape looks like when Barrett comes back, however, there are many that are high up on him. As for a timetable, Barrett is expected back in June or July.

When is Rey Mysterio scheduled to return to WWE?

Rey Mysterio is still targeting Wrestlemania XXVIII as his return from his knee injury. He is currently rumored as a possible participant for the 12-man tag team match for the battle of the brands as a member of Team Teddy. Nothing is confirmed but we should find out soon enough.

Does WWE have deals with local gyms when they are in town or do workers have to pay for their own trip to the gym?

WWE does not cover travel expenses and that includes gym fees. WWE workers are on their own on the road and while the WWE office can help them in booking flights, rental cars and hotels – they have to pay their own way. One of the first things a worker does when they arrive in a particular city is find a gym and get a quick workout before continuing their day.

Does WWE have any plans to involve Brodus Clay in Wrestlemania XXVIII, possible a spot in the 12-man tag team match?

Brodus Clay has been rumored for the 12-man tag team match at Wrestlemania but I honestly think it’s too late to add him. Clay was kept off television again last night and limited to only working a dark match against Michael McGillicutty. WWE seems very hesitant about pushing Clay given the problems they have already had with him. There is still room for him to be a late addition to “Team Teddy” and I’ll have more regarding his status later in the week.

Why are all WWE live events so dark?

WWE doesn’t need the lighting necessary for television at live events. They turn the house lights down and adjust the lighting to focus on the in-ring action. There is no reason to light the crowd when the cameras aren’t filming.

Do you feel Triple H vs. The Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell with Shawn Michaels as special guest referee at Wrestlemania is getting more hype than John Cena vs. The Rock?

No and I was actually glad to see John Cena and The Rock take a backseat on last night’s Raw Supershow to Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker and Triple H. I have already heard readers say they are sick of The Rock with the typical anti-Cena comments. Wrestling fans get burned out easy so WWE has to be careful not to overdo Cena and Rock before the main event at Wrestlemania. This is one of the reasons I was so against The Rock wrestling at Survivor Series. Anticipation for the match needs to be at an all-time high after next week’s Raw Supershow and hopefully the one-hour documentary that will precede it will rejuvenate any lost interest.

In yesterday’s Ask WNW you talked about workers finding gyms when they arrived in cities. Do the stars have any free time in cities just to knock around?

WWE workers have free time in the cities they tour and while things aren’t as wild as they used to be, there are still several people that love to party. A lot of workers still frequent bars after shows and enjoy drinks with their friends. You can read about some of the stuff that happened after last week’s Raw Supershow at this link.

When Brock Lesnar announced his retirement from the UFC there was a lot of hype and speculation of a possible WWE return. Have you heard anything lately on a possible return?

WWE is definitely interested in Brock Lesnar but I don’t know if Lesnar is interested in WWE. There was a contract situation Lesnar had to work out with UFC before he would be available to sign with WWE or anywhere else. I heard UFC officials were being careful about working them out, as they didn’t want Lesnar to be able to take the big payday for a competing MMA promotion. There was no way WWE would have been able to work out the issues in time for Lesnar to work Wrestlemania XXVIII but you never know about next year.

Where have The Rock, Triple H and Undertaker been training to work off any ring rust?

I don’t know about private workouts but Triple H worked last Sunday’s WWE live event from Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Rock wanted to work Survivor Series and didn’t show much ring rust at all and Undertaker wants to wait until Wrestlemania and doesn’t feel he will have any problems. Again, I don’t know about private workouts but that’s what I can tell you about matches in front of live crowds.

With The Undertaker coming back for Wrestlemania, are there any chances of Michelle McCool coming back?

WWE would love to have Michelle McCool back but she said in January she had no plans on coming back anytime soon. There is nothing I can add to that but can tell you it will be Michelle’s decision if/when she returns.  As for The Undertaker coming back, there were plans for as long as I can remember for Undertaker to work Wrestlemania this year so I don’t see his status playing a factor in her status.

Do you find Daniel Bryan’s heel character refreshing? You have other heel characters that seem to have the same “I’m mad” personality, but Daniel Bryan’s character is different.

Daniel Bryan won my support with his stellar in-ring work. I’ve been accused of being a “mark” for Daniel Bryan and that’s fine by me because his in-ring work is what every wrestler should strive for. Bryan’s in-ring skills are a work of art and he’s able to execute incredible matches regardless of his opponent. With that being said, the knock on Bryan was that he lacked charisma and was too bland to ever get over with the mainstream WWE audience. Bryan has shown the cream always rises to the top as he got an opportunity and is taking full advantage of it. He’s generated a ton of heat and is going into Wrestlemania the World Heavyweight Champion. Bryan is an example of God-given talent outweighing everything else. So to answer your question, I find Daniel Bryan’s heel gimmick incredibly refreshing and it’s nice to see a talented guy produce an entertaining gimmick. WWE tries to force a lot of people to the top but Bryan is a natural and represents everything I love about the wrestling business.

Does The Miz have some major backstage heat right now? He talked about having such a major drop off from headlining Wrestlemania XXVII last year to not even being on the card this year. What happened?

The last time The Miz had backstage heat was in February when he failed to catch R-Truth on a spot out of the ring on Raw Supershow. Triple H met with him directly over it and that resulted in some pretty nasty allegations I covered in detail at this link. As for him not having a match at Wrestlemania, I feel like he’ll end up appearing, it just depends on what the writing team decides to do with him. The most-talked about scenario I have heard is to have him be involved in The Rock vs. John Cena. While this could provide a huge opportunity for The Miz, they have to be careful not to ruin the match with something that falls flat.

With Matthew Bloom, formerly A-Train, rumored to be the “muscle” for John Laurinaitis, is this an indication that Team Johnny will beat Team Teddy at Wrestlemania?

To make sure everyone is caught up, there was talk about joining Matt Bloom to Laurinaitis to provide him with some on-screen muscle, I mentioned this in a Backstage News article on Tuesday. However, that piece of information was originally relayed to me before the cryptic Lord Tensai vignette aired on Monday’s Raw Supershow. Given the new Japanese-like gimmick, plans to pair Bloom with Laurinaitis could have changed. With all of this being said I haven’t heard the outcome of the 12-man tag team match at Wrestlemania and do not know which direction WWE wants to take with the “control of the brands.”

Can you see WWE giving a push big enough for Alex Riley or Justin Gabriel to obtain the United States or Intercontinental Championship? What is your opinion on it?

Those are reasonable expectations, however, neither are currently receiving a push. It’s a bad time of year for mid-card talent as WWE is pulling out all the stops to promote Wrestlemania XXVIII. The focus this time of year is on the upper mid-card and main event guys. WWE will begin new pushes after Wrestlemania next month but there is also a possibility they wil have to survive a round of cuts that usually come after the show (not saying that Riley or Gabriel are in jeopardy of being cut, but it’s usually a time where people get paranoid).

From what I understand The Undertaker has been known as the leader or “locker room general” in WWE. When he finally retires, who will be the next “guy in charge”?

The Undertaker hasn’t been around the past year and it’s up to other veterans to be the locker room leaders. The established main event level veterans like John Cena, Randy Orton, CM Punk and Chris Jericho are guys that are well-respected and carry weight in the locker room. Other long-timers, like Mark Henry, carry a high level of respect from their peers.

I’ve always been a big fan of Tyson Kidd and have been following him ever since he debuted in the WWE. He’s great in the ring and not as bad on the mic as most seem to think. Personally I would love to see him get a well deserved push, possibly challenging Cody Rhodes for the title sometime down the line leading to a final match at SummerSlam which I know would be a great match. What are your thoughts on Kidd and do you think something like this could happen?

Tyson Kidd is currently working in the lower card in WWE and whether or not he ends up challenging someone like Cody Rhodes depends on whether or not the company decides to push him. As I discussed in yesterday’s Ask WNW, this is a really bad time for lower card talents because WWE is completely focused on the build to Wrestlemania. There are going to be some spots open up after the company returns from their post-Wrestlemania overseas tour next month. Kidd is like so many others in that he will have to compete for one of the few spots that will bring a push to remain relevant. While I agree he is talented, he may have to avoid possible post-Wrestlemania roster cuts to get the push you want him to have.

I understand he CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho match obviously has to take a back seat to The Rock vs. John Cena and Triple H vs. The Undertaker but I’m surprised by the degree with how little emphasis is on the match. There was so much anticipation for the return of Jericho but since his return he hasn’t been booked as a world-beater. In retrospect, do you think Jericho should have won the Rumble, even though it was the obvious choice?

I disagree. I feel like Chris Jericho has been booked well since his return and what more could a Chris Jericho fan ask for? He’s challenging for the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania and they kept his heel persona (avoiding the dreadful over-the-top babyface Jericho). Outside of The Rock vs. John Cena and Triple H vs. The Undertaker, this is the third main event on the card. As you noted, Jericho vs. Punk obviously has to take a backseat to these two aforementioned bouts, but other than that we’ve seen entertaining mic work that will lead to a Wrestlemania dream match. Jericho wasn’t hurt by not winning the Royal Rumble because he’s challenging for the WWE Championship regardless. Sometimes I say Internet fans can be impossible to please and this seems like one of those situations. There is literally nothing WWE can do to highlight him any better.

With the fact that there will be only one GM after Wrestlemania, do you see the WWE Draft being less important this year or even a possibility of the brand extension ending?

The 2012 WWE Draft is expected to be just as important as the drafts of years past. There has been no talk of the brand extension ending as I haven’t heard the rumblings regarding brand unification that were prevalent the last couple of years. WWE has been pleased with the ratings Smackdown has been doing and I have to believe some of that is attributed to the fact that Raw now features talent from both brands and there is a carry-over in the ratings. I expect this to be tested when names swap brands later this spring.

How many arena’s, PPV’s and tickets has Hornswoggle sold? This guy should be glad he has a job and he’s shooting on The Rock? Rock shows up, holds 20,000 people and millions of TV viewers in the palm of his hand………..SELLING THE PRODUCT (in a way no one on the current roster can do)………and making all of them $$$ in the process……….and Hornswoggle dumps on him? Is the WWE locker room that immature or just plain drop dead stupid?

This reader is talking about Hornswoggle’s comments on Twitter regarding The Rock concert segment from Cleveland a couple of weeks ago. Hornswoggle and Rock have since squashed the beef and you can read about how it all went down in the public eye at this link. As for my thoughts, last month, The Rock said many of the boys don’t get the “business” part of the business (link here) and this follows right along with that comment. Hornswoggle’s comments reflect the feelings of many workers in WWE who have a certain level of resentment for the way The Rock treats WWE. They don’t like it that he’s a star outside of the wrestling business and can return whenever he wants to get a guaranteed main event spot, taking it from someone else and cashing in the process. What these workers don’t understand is, he draws. If he didn’t draw, WWE wouldn’t offer him the big payday. My argument is, rather than criticize The Rock, learn from him and try to become a bigger star than The Rock. Now please understand I’m not saying Hornswoggle has the potential to be the next Rock, that’s ridiculous, but these comments perfectly highlight the bitterness between your average WWE worker and The Rock. It’s so stupid how workers resent anyone that has success outside of the ring and cry foul when they cash in. The Rock has earned this payday and I’m glad he’s headlining one of the best Wrestlemania lineups we’ve seen in years.

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