Paul Bearer Cause Of Death, WWE Releases Longtime Veteran, Top WWE Star To Deal With Legal Problems After WM29, Concern Over Punk vs. Undertaker, Diddy Added To Wrestlemania, Royal Rumble & Elimination Chamber Buys, Evan Bourne Returns

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 23, 2013 to Friday, March 29, 2013 as well as all five Ask WNW segments from the week. Use this newsletter as your own personal tool to catch up on any of the news that you may have missed during the week. Below is a table of contents:

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

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

WWE News

- TMZ is reporting it was a heart attack that killed Paul Bearer on Tuesday, March 5, 2013. Citing Bearer’s son Michael, TMZ reveals Paul’s death certificate lists the cause of the heart attack as supraventricular tachycardia or SVT — a dangerously high heart rate. SVT is actually quite common and usually isn’t deadly. However, the symptoms are common and include anxiety and heartburn and can sometimes go untreated. This is likely what happened in the case of Paul Bearer as he suffered from SVT in the final weeks of his life. Bearer, whose real name was William Moody, was only 58.

- We are able to confirm WWE has released longtime referee Jack Doan from his contract with the company. Doan began his WWE career as a WWE truck driver in October 1991. Details surrounding his release are not currently available.

- WWE Divas Champion Kaitlyn discussed breaking into pro wrestling at this link. Below is an excerpt:

How did you get involved with “WWE NXT”?

I played competitive soccer for about 15 years, and then I made a decision not to play in college. I got into fitness and bodybuilding, and I competed for a few years. And then I started wondering, “What’s next?” When you’re on stage for that kind of competition, it’s a little bit of a static, one-dimensional version of you, and I felt like I had more to offer than that.

I’ve always loved a challenge, so I tried out and won, and the rest is history. I loved it from day one, and I still love it. Whatever happens in this crazy circus that I’m part of, I have this weird love for it; it’s the best thing ever.

What was the transition like to the WWE?

It was so mind-blowing for me. I’ve been an athlete my whole life; I ran track, I played soccer and I was always super fit, but this was a whole other beast. There’s so much that goes into it. Anyone can do the moves, but it’s so much more than that. You have to think about who you are as a fighter, what’s your identity, what way are you going to wrestle, what way are you going to show people what you’re all about.

We’re telling a story with our bodies, and there’s so much that goes into it that you don’t even think about. Just the physical aspect of it; there’s nothing that can compare to being super out of breath and having to do a crazy flip, punch, kick death-drop. There’s nothing that can prepare you for getting the wind knocked out of you like that when you’re already tired.

- Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen is featured in the April 2013 issue of WWE Magazine in a Q&A. Below is an excerpt:

You want to step in the ring? Who would you face?

I’d go against John Cena. Me and him, one-on-one. Let’s go. He’s bigger than me but that’s OK. He says, “You Can’t See Me,” but he won’t be able to see me! I’ll be using my speed, maneuvering around the ring, just avoiding his grasp.

Everyone’s looking for a five-tool baseball player, but who’s a five-tool Superstar?

I’d probably have to say The Rock, based on the fact that he played football for Miami. He’s just an all-around athlete.

Does that mean you’re Team Rock at The Show of Shows this year?

Absolutely, that was my dude growing up, so you can bet I’ll be rooting for him. Cena’s cool, but, I gotta go with Rock.

McCutchen also reveals he’s never been to a WWE live event.

The April 2013 issue of WWE Magazine is on newsstands everywhere and is now available in the Apple App Store, Goole Play and for Amazon Kindle.

- Dr. Chris Amann, senior ringside physician, is spotlighted in the April 2013 issue of WWE Magazine. In it, he talks about leaving his practice in 2008 to take a job with WWE and his frequent patients. Below is an excerpt:

Leaving His Practice:

“Quite honestly, I wasn’t looking to leave the medical practice I’d built up pretty strong back in Chicago. But I had the opportunity to send WWE my résumé, and I did. A couple of weeks later, I went out for an interview at a TV taping in Albany. I got a chance to see what went on behind the scenes and speak with the staff, learn the requirements. I was intrigued about having the chance to develop their sports-medicine program not to mention the job sounded like a bunch of fun. So I left my practice to join up with WWE.”

Frequent Visitors:

“I can’t single out one Superstar. But, and this is sort of funny, there was a period of time when the joke backstage was, ‘If you’re having a match with Kofi, you were going to end up with me.’ So I was seeing his opponents one after the other at one point! Then there are Superstars such as John Cena, who barely frequent the training room. But when a medical issue does come up, he’s good about letting us know.

For more on Chris Amann you can check out his WWE corporate biography at this link.

- The Prime Time Players are featured in the “Twweet Us” segment in the April 2013 issue of WWE Magazine. Below is one of the odder questions and responses.

Each of you has 10 seconds to name the other one’s most annoying habit. Go!

Darren Young: Titus’s most annoying habit is that he’s very gassy. Any time we eat at a soul food restaurant and we have to drive to the next city, it’s like a Dutch oven in our SUV. It makes me sick!

Titus O’Neil: Darren’s most annoying habit is taking the longest showers ever and leaving tanner all over the bathroom. He’s the only African-American guy I ever met that goes tanning. It’s very annoying, because we sometimes have to get up earlier than usual to hit the gym and find somewhere just so he can tan. It’s very annoying because I like to get my rest.

The feature can be read in its entirety in the April 2013 issue of WWE Magazine. Available wherever magazines are sold as well as virtual formats in the Apple App Store, Google Play and for Amazon Kindle.

- Mark Henry is fine after the leg/knee injury scare that happened Saturday night in Norfolk, Virginia. Henry competed as scheduled against Kane Sunday night in Baltimore. Saturday, he and Kane went home quick when Henry appeared to have injured his leg. The referee used the X signal, indicating a non-kayfabe injury.

- Sean “X-Pac” Waltman had to be hospitalized and required surgery following his match against Jerry Lynn, Horace the Pyschopath and JB Trask Saturday night in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Waltman was injured when he missed on a bronco buster attempt. He was good enough to give a speech after the match about Jerry Lynn’s career but was taken to the hospital afterwards.

He underwent surgery Sunday morning as the blown spot literally “ripped his backside apart.” He lost a lot of blood from the injury.

Former WWE Diva Ryan Shamrock (real name Alicia Webb) posted the following photo of Waltman in the hospital on Twitter:

You can also view a photo she posted on Instagram at this link.

- We reported back in February here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com that Trish Stratus would be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by either Amy “Lita” Dumas or Fit Finlay. In a new appearance on MOS Radio, Trish commented:

“Funnily enough, before I done this interview, I put a poll on my website, asking who would my fans like to see induct me into the Hall of Fame. Lita won with a landslide, I would say, I can’t disagree with that sentiment.”

The 2013 WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony will take place Saturday, April 6, 2013 from Madison Square Garden in New York City.

- Sean “X-Pac” Waltman is scheduled to be released from the hospital on Monday. He wrote the following on Twitter:

We broke the story, Waltman was hospitalized and underwent surgery after being injured Saturday night at the Jerry Lynn retirement show. The injury occurred when Waltman missed a bronco buster, essentially ripping his backside.

In a new detail, not only did Waltman give a speech at the show after suffering the injury but attended a party afterwards. It was when he didn’t stop bleeding he was taken to the hospital by ambulance where he underwent surgery on Sunday.

- Triple H was able to ink Arnold Schwarzenegger to a deal to induct Bruno Sammartino into the WWE Hall of Fame at the 2013 induction ceremony on Saturday, April 6, 2013 from Madison Square Garden in New York City.

It’s something that Hunter pursued with almost as much vigor as he put into getting Bruno to agree to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in the first place. Arnold wrote the following on Twitter:

We broke the story back in February here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium that Arnold had emerged atop WWE’s wish list to induct Sammartino. Details of the deal were not disclosed, however, Arnold’s Tweet confirms a deal has been reached.

- A new video of WWE United States Champion Antonio Cesaro in Germany is now online at this link.

- Speaking of the strongest men in WWE, Mark Henry’s Texas state powerlifting record was broken over the weekend. Click here for more.

- We’re told Jack Swagger’s new court date in Biloxi, Mississippi is Tuesday, April 9, 2013. The date stems from his arrest on the charge of Driving Under the Influence last month. Swagger was originally due in court on March 12, 2013 but Vince McMahon told him to delay it as they are pushing him under the assumption innocent until proven guilty.

- Kassius Ohno is expected to be called up to the main WWE roster shortly after Wrestlemania 29 when his feud with William Regal on NXT concludes.

- Scott Hall is doing great living with Diamond Dallas Page and aside from his many stints in rehabilitation centers, this is the longest he has been sober in the last decade. Many of his friends were very skeptical about DDP being able to help Hall but it looks to be working. We’re told Scott feels so good he hasn’t ruled out a return to the ring after his hip surgery next month. Many of his friends are discouraging Hall from that and want him to take things one day at a time.

- World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio wrote on Twitter (in Spanish) that WWE will return to Mexico in September.

- Twelve years ago on Monday, March 26, 2001 the final episode of WCW Nitro aired on TNT. You can watch it in its entirety here on dot com.

- This week’s WWE Raw from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA is sold out.

- The Miz was recently a guest on The Sam Roberts Show where he was asked about CM Punk’s comments towards him in the “Best in the World” DVD. In the DVD, Punk said one of the reasons he was fed up in WWE, one of the reasons he was talking about quitting, was because The Miz was in the main event of Wrestlemania 27 and it was unacceptable to him.

Below is Miz’s response:

“My favorite part about that DVD is the entire time I’m just putting him [Punk] over, putting him over… then I watch that and I’m like… what?!? What?!?! But if you look at it this way and this is the way I look at it. Any superstar that’s not in the main event of Wrestlemania should be pissed off, should want it more than anybody. And I think that’s what CM Punk thought. I mean, I think he thought he deserved it more than anybody. And I think everyone should feel that way. Right now, I want to be in the main event of Wrestlemania 29. Do I feel like I deserve it? Absolutely. There’s no one that’s worked harder than me this entire year. That’s done more media that’s traveled all over the world, have done live events. Filmed a movie, I mean I’m non-stop all day everyday. I don’t have days off nor do I ask for days off. Do I feel like I should be in the main event of Wrestlemania? Absolutely. Am I mad that I’m not in it? Absolutely. Now am I going to sit there and, ugh, complain about it. No, I’m going to build from it. I’m going to say, you know what, Wrestlemania 29, I may not be in the main event but I can still steal the show and have everyone talking about me after Wrestlemania.”

This was just in the opening five minutes of the interview. He went on to talk about dealing with Vince McMahon, messing up on TV and getting kicked out of the locker room.

- Ric Flair is backstage at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, the site of tonight’s episode of WWE Raw. No word as to whether or not he will be used on the air.

UPDATE: We are now receiving word that Flair has left the Wells Fargo Center as he was reportedly not feeling well. We are receiving conflicting reports that indicate that he is either en route to a hospital or back home to North Carolina.

- Last week’s Smackdown did a 2.11 cable rating with an average viewing audience of 2,990,000 viewers on SyFy.

- As Brooks noted here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com, Ric Flair was backstage at WWE Raw in Philadelphia. He was bothered by an issue with a blood clot in his leg and was examined by WWE medical personnel. The decision was made by senior ringside physician Chris Amann to send Flair to the hospital for further evaluation. Flair was later released from the hospital and is on his way back to his home in Charlotte, North Carolina. Flair had to pull out of a booking with All Japan Pro Wrestling back in January due to an issue with a blood clot.

- 18,168 was the announced attendance for this week’s WWE Raw from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The show was a legitimate sellout.

- For those that missed the photo CM Punk and Triple H Tweeted of Urn Anderson from backstage at Raw, you can view it below:

We also have it here on Instagram.

- Our first “Open Thread” Watch Party was a huge success for WWE Raw. Don’t miss the one Tuesday night at 6:30 PM EDT for Smackdown Spoilers. You can confirm on Facebook at this link.

- Chris Jericho vs. Fandango was officially announced for Wrestlemania 29 on this week’s episode of WWE Raw.

- Wrestlemania 29 will start an hour earlier than a typical WWE pay-per-view as it goes live on the air at 7:00 PM ET/4:00 PM PT. While not officially announced, I would assume the pre-show will begin on WWE’s YouTube channel an hour earlier. We’ll have the live stream here. The show carries a hefty price tag of $69.95 for High Definition and $59.95 for Standard Definition. DirecTV customers can begin ordering Wednesday.

- ESPN’s John Kruk was at this week’s WWE Raw. Kruk, who is from my home state of West Virginia, used to play for the Philadelphia Phillies.

- WWE released a “We The People” t-shirt for Jack Swagger at this link.

- Stephanie McMahon wrote the following on Twitter:

This is great coming from a McMahon. Equal rights for all!

- ESPN’s Jon Gruden will be a guest on this week’s JBL and Cole show on WWE’s official YouTube channel.

- Natalya posted a sneak peek of her dress for the 2013 WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony. You can view it below:

- TMZ has more details online regarding Sean “X-Pac” Waltman’s injury from over the weekend. They also have video of the injury occurring during the match against Jerry Lynn, Horace the Pyschopath and JB Trask at the Jerry Lynn retirement show on Saturday night.

Apparently Waltman didn’t even notice the blood at first and it wasn’t until he went to the bathroom at the after-party that he noticed an enormous pool of blood in his singlet. This is when he called an ambulance for himself.

Waltman was admitted to the hospital and underwent a sphincteroplasty to repair a rip in his anus on Sunday. He was released Monday afternoon. You can watch video by TMZ embedded below and check out their coverage at this link.

- After this week’s WWE Raw went off the air, John Cena, Sheamus & Ryback beat The Shield via disqualification. The match was thrown out when Seth Rollins used a chair on Ryback.

- Randy Orton hasn’t been shy about his desire to work again as a heel. Orton, who is currently working as the “voice of reason” in the team opposing The Shield that includes Big Show and Sheamus, wrote the following to a Twitter follower that questioned the role:

- We heard CM Punk was actually criticized for his promo on this week’s WWE Raw as the feeling was it wasn’t “up to par.” This goes deeper than just an “off-night” as Punk is very concerned about his Wrestlemania match against The Undertaker. Not only is Undertaker’s in-ring health a question mark, but his health is also an issue. Punk is concerned about the match’s quality and is having a hard time even selling it to himself.

- Booker T took Ric Flair’s spot on the Legend’s panel in the closing segment of this week’s WWE Raw. No major rewrite was done even though Flair was pulled the day of the show.

- WWE Divas Champion Kaitlyn received mixed reviews backstage for her match. While some praised her for trying to go the extra mile by making all her bumps look over-the-top and giving 100%, others were concerned she was reckless with her own body and could have hurt herself. The company has moved away from Layla and are going with AJ Lee vs. Kaitlyn at the pay-per-view.

- As of this writing, both The Rock and Brock Lesnar are in the plans for Extreme Rules next month.

- Mick Foley announced that Terry Funk will be inducting him into the WWE Hall of Fame this year, via a video on his son Mickey’s YouTube channel.

- Jim Ross has a new blog on his official website with his thought’s on this week’s WWE Raw. He also wrote he might visit some Wrestlemania 29 tailgates, announced he’s looking at writing a book and put his support behind gay marriage. Below is an excerpt:

Anyone planning on tailgating at MetLife Stadium on Sunday of WrestleMania? If so, let me know via Twitter @JRsBBQ. I might just drop by and sample your tailgate food. Ol JR is a tailgating veteran.

Beginning to start doing research right after WM29 on a potential book. This is going to take months so don’t expect a JR’s book until likely 2014 at the earliest. I’m not going to half ass this project or throw something together for a pay day.

I rarely get political here but I do not feel that I have the right, as a human being, to tell other people who love each other that they cannot marry even though they might be of the same gender. All of God’s children deserve to be happy.

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

- This week’s WWE Raw did an average viewing audience of 4,616,000 viewers on the USA Network. Below is the by hour breakdown:

  • Hour 1 – 4,580,000 viewers
  • Hour 2 – 4,690,000 viewers
  • Hour 3 – 4,580,000 viewers

The show ended up doing a 3.24 cable rating.

- WWE has announced that Wade Barrett will defend his Intercontinental Championship against The Miz at WrestleMania 29.

- Below is the updated lineup for Wrestlemania 29:

WWE Championship Match
- The Rock © vs. John Cena

No Holds Barred Match
If Triple H loses, his career is over.
- Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H

The Streak
- The Undertaker vs. CM Punk

World Heavyweight Championship Match
- Alberto Del Rio © vs. Jack Swagger

Six-Man WWE Tag Team Match
- Randy Orton, Big Show & Sheamus vs. The Shield

Singles Match
- Ryback vs. Mark Henry

WWE Tag Team Championship Match
- Team Hell No © vs. Dolph Ziggler & Big E Langston

WWE Intercontinental Championship Match
- Wade Barrett © vs. The Miz

Singles Match
- Chris Jericho vs. Fandango

Wrestlemania 29 will take place Sunday, April 7, 2013 from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. We’ll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.

- John Laurinaitis returned to WWE television in a segment taped for this week’s Smackdown. The show opened with The Rock cutting a promo on John Cena. Laurinaitis interrupted, explaining he had permission from Teddy Long to be out there. Laurinaitis explained the reason he’s here is because he has a problem with John Cena. He blamed Cena for his “firing” and offered to be in The Rock’s corner at Wrestlemania 29. When Laurinaitis extended his hand for a handshake, Rock gave him a spine buster and The People’s Elbow to end the segment. Laurinaitis, who works backstage as a producer, last appeared in front of a WWE audience at a WWE Raw live event in Doha, Qatar last month.

- Ted DiBiase beat Braay Wyatt (formerly Husky Harris) in a dark match prior to this week’s Smackdown taping in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Wrestling News World reader Timothy McCardle attended and sent in the following notes:

I attended the taping in Hershey. I wanted to send a few notes about the show. One thing I think was missed in your spoilers was that during Main Event they showed a graphic for The Bella Twins and Rhodes Scholars vs. “Tons of Funk” and the Funkadactyls in a mixed tag match for WrestleMania.

It did appear as though the arena was a legit sellout. The crowd was pretty bad though. They were dead for most of the night, which is disappointing to me as I thought it was one of the best shows in a while, at least for a Smackdown. The crowd popped for Mick Foley. The only time the ENTIRE crowd came alive was when the Rock came out. after that they were basically dead.

The crowd had no idea who Bray Wyatt was.

When Antonio Cesaro came out and talked both times he uh, “sang”. Not sure if this was the first time, but it is the first time I picked up on it, mostly because it was awful.

Also Kane and Big E were just at ringside for the Kaitlyn and Bryan vs. Dolph and AJ

I was definitely impressed with the shows tonight. I am not sure if the awful house show I saw at the Bryce Jordan Center last year is clouding my judgment or not, but I though the shows have been lackluster recently. The Rock being there was a plus. While he is great on the mic and is entertaining, I am so annoyed with him coming out, running his mouth and leaving. They really should have booked him in some matches before the pay-per-views.

- The agency that represents Ric Flair, Legacy Talent and Entertainment, issued the following statement on his health:

“Ric is doing well, he feels great, and is home. WWE’s medical staff performed a physical on Ric yesterday, like they do all of their athletes, and recommended that he have a doctor take a closer look at his swollen leg. Upon arriving back in Charlotte today he went to see his doctors and it was determined that there is a blood clot. He was not admitted to the hospital, rather released with medication, which the doctors are confident will work quickly causing Ric to completely heal soon. Ric appreciates everyone’s concern and is looking forward to seeing fans at his next scheduled appearance in Hagerstown, MD on Friday and performing for WWE very soon.”

You can view the original post here on Facebook.

- Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith was at this week’s Smackdown taping in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Smith took to Twitter to thank WWE for their hospitality in taking care of his family. Triple H replied:

You can view a photo of Smith and The Rock below:

- WWE has a new article on dot com highlighting what happened at this week’s Smackdown taping in the “weight lifting” competition between Ryback and Mark Henry. Here is the article:

Mark Henry and Ryback broke the NFL Combine record for the 225-pound bench press with a stunning 53 repetitions each during a sold out television taping of SmackDown in Hershey, Penn., on Tuesday night.

The World’s Strongest Man crushed the record of 51 reps, set by Justin Ernest at the 1999 NFL Combine. His count nearly stood at 54, but WWE referee Scott Armstrong elected not to count the final lift.

“[Henry] hit the 53,” said the seasoned official, explaining why he didn’t count the last attempt, “but when he was about to hit 54, he couldn’t get it all the way up and then he racked it. So the official mark stands was 53.”

Though Henry’s feat was truly incredible, Ryback looked ready to break the newly established record with 54 reps. However, after tying The World’s Strongest Man, his WrestleMania adversary prevented him from going further by pushing the bar down upon him. See what happened first-hand and the controversial call by the referee this Friday night on SmackDown at 8/7 CT on Syfy.

This storyline comes as Henry’s Texas state powerlifting record was broken over the weekend. Click here for coverage by dot com.

- After this week’s Smackdown finished filming, Sheamus, Randy Orton & Ryback beat The Shield via disqualification when a chair was used. The babyfaces ended up hitting their finishers to conclude the show and send the crowd home happy.

-The April 2013 issue of WWE Magazine features an article titled “The 25 Funniest Superstars in WWE History.” This list is as follows:

  1. The Rock
  2. Steve Austin
  3. Bobby Heenan
  4. Mick Foley
  5. Santino Marella
  6. Shawn Michaels
  7. Chris Jericho
  8. Roddy Piper
  9. Triple H
  10. John Cena
  11. William Regal
  12. Mr. McMahon
  13. Edge
  14. Eddie Guerrero
  15. Booker T
  16. Ric Flair
  17. Kevin Nash
  18. The Miz
  19. Jerry Lawler
  20. Kurt Angle
  21. Zack Ryder
  22. Kaitlyn
  23. Derrick Bateman
  24. Ron Simmons
  25. Team Hell No

- Wrestling News World reader Hiroaki Kawafuji sent word that WWE has added Ryback to their May 2013 tour of Japan.

- WWE Champion The Rock was on Live with Kelly and Michael on Wednesday where he presented fill-in co-host Vanessa Williams with roses and Michael Strahan with a WWE title belt. You can view a photo below:

- While I’m aware some are reporting that tickets for WWE Raw the night after Wrestlemania 29 are sold out, I was just able to get pretty decent seats for a single ticket. You can still purchase at this link.

- Ken Shamrock told Ring Rust Radio that he’s tried to reach out to WWE about doing some work for them.

- Booker T’s second autobiography, titled “Booker T: From Prison to Promise,” is currently scheduled for an April 2014 release.

- WCNC covered Ric Flair being pulled from this week’s WWE Raw due to a blood clot in his leg. Flair is resting comfortably at home. You can check out their coverage at this link.

- WWE is actually hosting a casting call for their upcoming WWE Studios film “Christmas Bounty.” The following details are from dot com:

WWE Universe Open Casting Call: “Christmas Bounty” Presented by WWE Studios — The WWE Studios team is looking for talent during WrestleMania Axxess! You have an opportunity at auditioning for a role in WWE Studios’ upcoming film, “Christmas Bounty.” Your audition could be posted on WWE’s YouTube channel for all to check out … do you have what it takes?

- Jim Ross has a new blog online at this link.

- WWE announced here on dot com that Brodus Clay & Tensai and Naomi & Cameron will face Team Rhodes Scholars and The Bella Twins in an Eight-Person Mixed Tag Team match at Wrestlemania 29.

Add this to the other matches announced and the card is up to ten bouts.

- Mark Madden interviewed CM Punk on Wednesday and asked him about being one of the few top guys in WWE that’s there every week. Madden asked him if it sucked or if he wanted to be there every week. Below is Punk’s response:

“If I didn’t want to be there every week, I wouldn’t be there every week. And I’m the only guy that says that. The Miz will go out there and say, ‘no it’s great having these guys back and blah, blah blah’ because, you know, I truly believe he thinks he has to say that.

“The honest reality of it is you bust your ass for 365 days of the year and there’s other people that come in and don’t work as hard and maybe get paid the same amount of money.

“So to me, as a business man, it just makes me look at it and go, ‘OK that’s the deal I need to get.’ I need to get that deal where I work 15 days a year. You know what I mean? It makes me work harder though and dammit that’s going to burn me out.”

You can listen to the full interview at this link.

- Mark Madden interviewed CM Punk on Wednesday. Since there was so much in the interview, we’re breaking it up and running it in different posts. In the below excerpt, Punk talks about his Wrestlemania 29 match against The Undertaker:

How do you make The Undertaker seem vulnerable?

Take his urn I guess. Everyone is expecting me to try and top the Shawn Michaels matches. That’s not my goal. My goal is to make the match the best the situation allows me to make it.

A lot of people think you’re the top guy in wrestling and you’re in a main event at Wrestlemania. Do you ever take the time to savor that or are you too busy doing it?

I’m way too busy doing it. I think I put too much stock in being the last match at Wrestlemania so I’m way too angry about not being the last match. I think I put too much pressure on myself and I certainly don’t enjoy certain aspects. I don’t enjoy the ride so to speak.

When Madden told him to have a good match at Wrestlemania, Punk assured him he would try his best.

You can listen to the interview in its entirety at this link.

- Mark Madden conducted an outstanding interview with CM Punk on Wednesday. Since there was so much in it, we’ve broken it up into several different posts. In the below excerpt, Punk was asked if WWE has changed since he “walked out” with the WWE title in the summer of 2011. Below was his response:

“Well it’s one of those interesting things. Here’s what I love about the climate of the business right now. You have me going out there and saying I want the WWE to change and I want ice cream bars. I did that as a good guy. To this day there are still people that are still pissed off they didn’t get them ice cream bars. They don’t realize that part of it is design that as a bad guy, I was lying to them.

“I don’t know what change that they thought was going to happen… I really don’t know but we really got ‘em on that one. It’s a television show first and foremost. So for me to go out there and say I want change and I want this and I want that is to rally people behind me and piss them off eventually when they didn’t get their ice cream.”

Click here to listen to the interview in its entirety.

- Mark Madden interviewed CM Punk on Wednesday. Since there was so much to the interview, we’ve broken it up into several different posts. In the below excerpt, Punk discusses his ability to get over, his real-life friendship with Paul Heyman and whether or not he’s a pro wrestling lifer.

You don’t need a win or a title to stay over with the fans. Is that a blessing or a curse?

I think it’s a curse.

Madden said Punk is the “best talker out there” yet he’s paired with Paul Heyman, who is also a great talker. Madden asked how that’s not overkill. Punk said he’s not sure if he’s the best talker out there and an argument could be made that Paul Heyman is the best. Punk said the friendship that he and Heyman have off-screen really shines through in their work together.

When you were in my studio years ago I said and you agreed that you were not a wrestling lifer. Do you still feel that way or have you become a safer?

No I don’t want to be a lifer. I just feel like I’m one of those guys that gets bored easy. So what’s the next mountain?

You can listen to the full interview at this link.

- The Undertaker is being advertised to return to London with WWE for the first time in four years. The O2 wrote on their website that he’ll appear at the Smackdown taping in London on Tuesday, April 23, 2013. As of this writing, Undertaker is not included on WWE’s list of advertised talent. Click here for local event information.

- Chris Jericho’s shiner that he had on this week’s WWE Raw happened at last week’s Smackdown taping in his bout against Jack Swagger. Speaking of Jericho, he is being advertised by WWE for their April 22nd Raw taping in London, England. He’ll be in the country with his band Fozzy (tour schedule).

- Tyson Kidd, who is currently out with a knee injury, wrote the following on Twitter:

- Zack Ryder published his Wrestlemania Axxess schedule on Twitter. You can view it below:

- The New York Post is reporting that Mayor Bloomberg and Diddy are expected at the WWE Superstars for Sandy Relief reception April 4 at Cipriani Wall Street. (Thanks to WNW reader Dave L for sending this in.)

- Did you know The Rock’s grandfather, “High Chief” Peter Maivia, was a villain in the James Bond film “You Only Live Twice”? Click here for coverage by Yahoo.

- Bray Wyatt continues to receive high marks from WWE employees and co-workers alike. Chris Jericho actually requested to work with Wyatt at the March 22nd WWE NXT taping in Winter Park, Florida.

- Kofi Kingston discussed rumors of a possible heel turn and his desire to get on the Wrestlemania 29 card in a new interview with Brian Soscia. You can watch it at this link.

- Sean Waltman has been updating fans and friends about his condition on his Twitter account. He says that hotel security called the ambulance. He’s having some fun over the ordeal, writing, “Easy to be a stand up guy when it hurts so much to sit down.”

- Paul Heyman is quoted by The Trentonian in-character for a piece to promote Wrestlemania 29. Below is an excerpt:

“It means everything,” Paul Heyman said, referring to the New York/New Jersey area as the center of the universe. “Who doesn’t want to perform in front of their hometown?”

“I wish Stephanie would stay at home and watch the Pay-Per-View on TV,” Heyman said. But it’s not because she would be a distraction for either competitor. “When she hits me, it hurts,” he said.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- Also in character, Ryback, is quoted by PressofAtlanticCity.com. Below is an excerpt:

“I bring an intensity to the ring that nobody has – speed, explosiveness. And I get the crowd involved like no other –– that’s what sets me apart,” he says.

You can read the full article at this link.

- WWE issued the following press release on Thursday:

STAMFORD, Conn., March 28, 2013 – WWE today announced a partnership with Sean “Diddy” Combs, featuring a live performance at WrestleMania 29® on Sunday, April 7 by the three-time Grammy Award winner and entertainment powerhouse. Combs will also co-host the Superstars for Sandy Relief party with WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon as a part of the WrestleMania® Week festivities and serve as an ambassador for WWE’s Be a STAR anti-bullying initiative.

Emanating live from MetLife Stadium, Combs will perform a medley of songs in front of more than 70,000 fans in attendance with millions watching worldwide on pay-per-view. Diddy-Dirty Money’s highest charting single, “Coming Home,” from the acclaimed album Last Train to Paris is an official theme song of WrestleMania 29 and will be integrated throughout the show.

The Superstars for Sandy Relief party, co-hosted by Combs and McMahon with special guest Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg kicks-off WrestleMania® Week on Thursday, April 4 at Cipriani Wall Street. The charitable fundraiser is part of WWE’s efforts to unite the sports and entertainment worlds and provide fans the opportunity to bid on unique, once-in-a-lifetime experiences. As a part of the online auction, Combs is offering the opportunity to be an intern for a day at his world-renowned entertainment company Bad Boy Records and learn what it takes to manage today’s top artists. All proceeds will benefit The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund.

Combs will also serve as an ambassador for Be a STAR, an anti-bullying initiative co-founded by WWE and the Creative Coalition to encourage young people to treat each other with tolerance and respect. In addition, through Combs’ association with the Invisible Bully clothing line, he will continue to encourage individuals to put an end to bullying and contribute to Invisible Bully’s mission to stand for something or fall for anything.

“WrestleMania is one of the biggest spectacles in the world and I’m looking forward to performing in front of millions on April 7,” said Combs. “I’ve always been a fan of WWE and I’m excited to support these two important causes, Superstars for Sandy Relief and the Be a STAR anti-bullying initiative.”

WrestleMania 29 airs live on pay-per-view Sunday, April 7 at 7:00 p.m. ET from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ.

- The Baltimore Sun has a new Q&A online with Kevin Nash. In it, he puts over WWE’s current developmental roster. Below is an excerpt:

For a long time, when I went to any sort of developmental, it seems like every guy there had a cookie-cutter look to them. Just a really generic look. Now there are a lot of guys that really look like professional wrestlers. I feel really comfortable with the new group that’s there right now. They’ll be able to continue the business.

You can read the full article at this link.

- Sports Illustrated has a new article online looking at the college basketball career of The Big Show where they also promote Wrestlemania 29. You can read it at this link.

- Men’s Fitness posted John Cena’s workout routine at this link.

- The Miz will be at the Pool After Dark at Harrahs Resort & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey on Saturday night. Click here for more information.

- WWE confirmed that Extra Host Maria Menounos will induct Bob Backlund into the WWE Hall of Fame.

- WWE has updated their Key Performance Indicators with the preliminary Elimination Chamber buyrate. The show did an estimated 210,000 buys, which is up from the 178,000 the show drew in 2012 and 199,000 in 2011.

The company also solved the Royal Rumble buyrate estimate by confirming the show did 498,000 buys.  This is also up from the 443,000 buys the show did in 2012.

Both shows were headlined by CM Punk vs. The Rock.

Click here to view WWE’s Key Performance Indicators.

The final numbers will come out when WWE releases their 2013 quarter one earnings.

- Evan Bourne has returned to the ring after suffering a career-threatening injury that sidelined him for a year. A picture surfaced of him facing Sammy Sane (formerly El Generico) at tonight’s NXT Wrestling live event.

- A photo from inside MetLife Stadium revealing the setup for Wrestlemania 29 has made its way online. You can view it here on WrestlingNews.net.

- Speaking of Wrestlemania 29, WWE launched a channel promoting it on Yahoo at this link.

- Wrestling News World reader Ryan sent in this link, which goes to a photo gallery from last weekend’s WWE Smackdown live event in Norfolk, Virginia.

- Carlo’s Bakery (known for being featured on Cake Boss) surprised the WWE office with a Wrestlemania 29 cake. Stephanie McMahon Tweeted a photo that you can view below:

- Mike Jones (who?) interviewed Damien Sandow to promote next week’s WWE Raw in Washington, D.C. You can listen to it at this link.

- Variety looks at the celebrities taking part in Wrestlemania this year at this link.

- The latest update on Scott Hall is located at this link

- We’re told Paul Heyman has been pushing hard to get Stephanie McMahon involved in the Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar program. Nothing has been decided yet as to her level of involvement, if any, but she has been receptive to the idea. While Heyman and Stephanie haven’t gotten along well at all in the past, both feel it would just add to the dynamic of Triple H with Stephanie facing Lesnar with Heyman.

- WWE has made a late surge for celebrity involvement at this year’s Wrestlemania 29. On Thursday, the company announced both Sean “Diddy” Combs and Maria Menounos. A deal was finalized on Monday for Arnold Schwarzenegger to induct Bruno Sammartino into the WWE Hall of Fame. While Wrestlemania traditionally features celebrity tie-ins, there had some been some back and forth about how much celebrity involvement was needed with both The Rock and Brock Lesnar on the show. While WWE has been negotiating with Arnold for weeks, we’re told the acquisition of Diddy was seen as more of a panic move to assure the show had a musical performance by a celebrity.

TNA News

- TNA Knockouts Champion Velvet Sky was on Charlotte Today on Friday to promote the TNA Wrestling live event in Concord, North Carolina (show results). She credited Lita for inspiring her career.

- Brandon Baxter interviewed Tara on Friday to promote next week’s Impact Wrestling tapings in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Tara discusses getting her start in Memphis with Brandon and getting bullied during her early days in the WWF. You can listen at this link.

- The preliminary TNA Lockdown buyrate number came in at approximately 17,000 buys, according to David Meltzer. This is around the same number the show did last year, which was considered the lowest bought Lockdown in TNA history. This number is a test of sorts with TNA not running a show in February in hopes of creating more excitement and build with fewer live pay-per-views. The show was headlined by Jeff Hardy vs. Bully Ray for the TNA Championship.

- Former TNA Knockout Nikki Roxx talked about rejecting the company’s offer to work their “Knockouts Knockdown” pay-per-view taping in an interview with The Greg DeMaro Show. Below is an excerpt of her comments:

On declining an invitation to appear on the all-Knockout PPV special:
“You can only get kicked so many times. … I think that I had finally had enough. They had trouble treating me very well to begin with and I felt like I was being a glutton for punishment every time I went back. … I felt like it was the right time to tell them no. It was like one of those bad relationships where you keep trying to get away from it. … You can’t treat people badly and then hope that they’ll come back and hang out. … A lot of the girls I’ve spoken to turned them down.”

On the pay for a TNA Knockout:
“I absolutely loved being a part of it. … I loved being a part of history [with the division]. That being said, I feel like they are not sure how to treat their employees. … There were multiple times where someone was working a day job while being on TV. You’re supposed to be an international TV star but you’re having to get a job tending bar or working at a Sunglass Hut. … From my experience I would see that was straight across the board [not just limited to Knockouts]. … They weren’t very biased about it.”

- Kurt Angle used his Twitter account to address rumors of his health and retirement:

Retirement has been a widely discussed topic of Angle. He claimed in May 2012 he wouldn’t wrestle past 46 years old. Angle is currently 44 and won’t be 45 until December 9, 2013.

- TNA Wrestling announced on Monday that voting for the Gut Check Challenge returns/begins on Thursday, April 4, 2013.

- TNA X-Travaganza, the company’s first “One Night Only” pay-per-view special, premieres on Friday, April 5th at 3 PM on iNDEMAND. The full schedule of airings is available here at iNDEMAND.com. The show was taped in mid-January from Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.

- Big changes could be coming to Spike TV, the home of TNA Impact Wrestling, due to slipping ratings and lower advertising revenue in 2012. Broadcasting & Cable has a new article online featuring quotes from Viacom’s head of ad sales, Jeff Lucas, regarding a transition of the network.

“Spike is a network that is transitioning, a majority of it, to more of a general entertainment network,” he says. “This year we’re announcing to the marketplace that we’re developing scripted programming for Spike.”

It’s also possible the network could get a new name.

While Impact was not brought up in the article, it was noted that Spike will continue to focus on male-oriented programming such as Bellator MMA.

Click here for coverage by Broadcasting & Cable.

- TNA Wrestling sent out the following press release on Tuesday:

IMPACT WRESTLING SUPERSTARS TARA AND MR. PEC-TACULAR TAKE ON SCRIPTED DRAMA

Wrestlers Are Soap Stars in “Tainted Dreams”

NEW YORK CITY, March 26, 2013 – “IMPACT WRESTLING” superstars Lisa Marie Varon, known as Tara, and five-time CBS “Big Brother” superstar, Jessie Godderz, known as Mr. PEC-Tacular, have signed on to join the cast of NYC Brand Production’s “Tainted Dreams.” This new, scripted “soap within a soap” is set to blow the lid off the behind-the-scenes comedy and drama of producing a daily soap opera. “Tainted Dreams” is a rare, realistic look at the interaction of actors, cast, and crew involved in producing a daily, scripted drama.

Emmy-winning director and “Tainted Dreams” creator, Sonia Blangiardo finds the casting choice of Jessie and Lisa Marie natural and symbiotic.

“Wrestling has evolved into an ‘action soap opera,’ combining athletic prowess with the on-going, serialized drama taking place in and out of the wrestling ring,” said Blangiardo. “There is a tremendous crossover audience between traditional soap operas and wrestling which creates a perfect fit for Jessie and Lisa Marie in our cast.”

In the world of pro wrestling, Mr. PEC-Tacular (Jessie) and Tara’s (Lisa Marie) onscreen chemistry has earned them monikers such as “The Hollywood Power Couple” and “The First Couple of IMPACT WRESTLING” where they already rival the popularity of some of the most well-known pairings in wrestling history. Both Godderz and Varon are world-class athletes in their own right. Godderz is the youngest 2-Sport Pro Athlete in History. Lisa Marie was an All-American in Cheerleading and has held numerous fitness and wrestling titles including winner of the Fitness America Series, Miss Galaxy and the TNA Wrestling Knockouts Championship.

“Tainted Dreams” boasts a unique combination of high profile soap stars, reality stars, sports figures, singers and theater actors. To date, casting announcements for “Tainted Dreams” include Dina Manzo (“Dina’s Party and “Real Housewives of New Jersey”) Alicia Minshew (“All My Children”), Kelley Menighan Hensley (“As The World Turns”), Walt Willey (“All My Children”), Marnie Schulenburg (“As The World Turns”), Michael Lowry (“All My Children”) and Anthony Wilkinson (“My Big Gay Italian Wedding”).

Distribution details for “Tainted Dreams” are not yet finalized.

- TNA Impact Wrestling has been canceled by Sky TV in New Zealand. The following was posted on the Impact Wrestling Australia Facebook page:

We regret to inform our wonderful fans in New Zealand that TNA IMPACT WRESTLING will no longer air on the BOX beyond April 2013.

Therefore the last episode of TNA IMPACT WRESTLING on the BOX will be on Saturday, April 27.

It is the goal of everyone working at TNA IMPACT WRESTLING to find a new home for all TNA programming in New Zealand.

The show was canceled due to poor ratings.

- Dixie Carter wrote the following on Twitter:

We’ll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.

TNA Wrestling posted the following on their official website:

TNA President Dixie Carter has announced that the World Heavyweight Title rematch between champion Bully Ray of the Aces & Eights and “The Charismatic Enigma” Jeff Hardy will take place on Thursday, April 11 during the LIVE IMPACT from Corpus Christi, Texas! Tickets are still available for the huge event – don’t miss the Bully Ray vs. Jeff Hardy rematch that shocked the wrestling world at Lockdown!

Don’t miss your chance to experience IMPACT LIVE with the upcoming events:

Thursday, April 11: Corpus Christi, TX: TNA’s IMPACT WRESTLING on Spike TV is coming to Corpus Christi on Thursday, April 11 at the American Bank Center live at 7:00 pm. Tickets go on sale today at www.ticketmaster.com or charge by phone at 800-745-3000.

Thursday, April 25: Indiana, Pa.: TNA’s Thursday Night IMPACT WRESTLING LIVE on Spike TV is coming to Indiana, Pa. on Thursday, April 25 at the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex live at 7:00 pm. Tickets go on sale Friday, March 29 at www.comcastTIX.com or charge by phone at 800-298-4200.

Thursday, May 9: Tupelo, Miss: TNA’s Thursday Night IMPACT WRESTLING LIVE on Spike TV, presented by Direct Auto Insurance, is coming to Tupelo on Thursday, May 9 at the BancorpSouth Arena live at 7:00 pm. Tickets go on sale Friday, April 5 at www.ticketmaster.com or charge by phone at 800-745-3000.

Thursday, May 23: Tampa, Fla: TNA’s Thursday Night IMPACT WRESTLING LIVE on Spike TV, presented by Direct Auto Insurance, is coming to Tampa on Thursday, May 23 at the USF Sun Dome live at 7:00 pm. Tickets go on sale Friday, April 26 at www.ticketmaster.com or charge by phone at 800-745-3000.
Thursday, June 6: Duluth, GA: TNA’s IMPACT WRESTLING on Spike TV is coming to Duluth on Thursday, June 6 at The Arena at Gwinnett Center live at 7:00 pm.

Thursday, June 20: Peoria, IL: TNA’s IMPACT WRESTLING on Spike TV is coming to Peoria on Thursday, June 20 at the Peoria Civic Center live at 7:00 pm. Tickets go on sale Friday, May 24 at all Ticketmaster locations, online at www.ticketmaster.com or charge by phone at 800-745-3000.

- Brandon Baxter interviewed TNA President Dixie Carter on Tuesday to promote this week’s Impact Wrestling tapings in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Below are the highlights:

  • Dixie Carter said taking Impact on the road was a business decision. She said you have to be financially able to go on the road and it’s a very expensive proposition. Dixie said there were a lot of different signals that indicated now was the right time to make the decision.
  • She touted how fun it will be for fans to attend Impact live and how it is her desire for the live experience to be like a party.
  • Dixie put over TNA’s talent roster, their storylines and production quality as the aspects that set them apart from competing organizations.
  • She said they’ve made a huge decision that their women are the best wrestlers in the world. Dixie put over the fact the Knockouts are talented and sexy and as long as the company handles them with class and respect, they are doing something no one else on this entire planet is doing. As a female head of a wrestling company, this is something Dixie takes extra pride in but extra caution in as well.
  • Dixie is not intimated by the males in the business, even when she’s the only female in the room.
  • She is excited about the new guys who most people didn’t know who they were when TNA started ten years ago. Dixie talked about how they are just starting to come into their primes and will be the talent that will carry the company. AJ Styles, Bobby Roode, Austin Aries, Samoa Joe, James Storm, Matt Morgan and Hernandez were all mentioned and she said “every single one of them” has peaked at the right time.
  • Carter said that there are younger/newer guys behind them “nipping at their heels.” Magnus, Robbie E and Robbie T were mentioned by name. She put over their roster depth before calling Sting and Hulk Hogan the two greatest wrestling icons you could ever want on your roster.
  • Dixie said all of the original TNA talents have come in and given people like Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy and Rob Van Dam a “run for their money.”
  • Dixie revealed she first met Jeff Jarrett when she first graduated college in Las Colinas, Texas. She said they actually lived in apartments on the same floor, along the same wall. It was then Jeff told her he was a professional wrestler. She didn’t get into the pro wrestling business until several years later, obviously reuniting with the man she met years prior.

- TNA Wrestling has announced AJ Styles vs. Austin Aries to their Wrestlemania 29 weekend show on Friday, April 5, 2013 from the NYCB Theatre in Westbury, New York.

The following details were released on Tuesday by TNA:

TNA IMPACT WRESTLING brings a loaded lineup to the NYCB Theatre in Westbury, NY on Friday, April 5 as part of “The Road To Slammiversary World Tour.” Tickets are on sale now at the NYCB Theatre box office, at all Ticketmaster locations, online at www.ticketmaster.com or charge by phone at 800-745-3000.

HUGE UPDATE: TNA IMPACT WRESTLING ADDS DREAM MATCH TO LOADED WESTBURY, NY CARD

AJ STYLES, AUSTIN ARIES LOCK UP FOR FIRST SINGLES MATCH IN IMPACT WRESTLING  DURING PRO WRESTLING’S BIGGEST WEEKEND

TNA IMPACT WRESTLING’s already-loaded lineup for the Friday, April 5 show at the NYCB Theatre in Westbury, NY just got a little more star-studded and action-packed.

“The Phenomenal” AJ STYLES and “The Greatest Man That Ever Lived” AUSTIN ARIES face each other in singles competition for the very first time in an IMPACT WRESTLING ring as part of “The Road To SLAMMIVERSARY World Tour” stop in Westbury, Friday, April 5 at 7:30 p.m.

STING and HARDY will team to face current TNA World Heavyweight Champion BULLY RAY and fellow ACES & EIGHTS co-hort DEVON, with the match stipulation announced that night by IMPACT WRESTLING’s General Manager, “The Immortal” HULK HOGAN…..plus MORE BELOW!

SPECIAL VIP EVENT AVAILABLE IN WESTBURY - CLICK HERE FOR INFO AT SHOPTNA.COM

This VIP event takes place during intermission at the TNA IMPACT WRESTLING “Road to Slammiversary event” in Westbury NY on April 5, 2013.

- Only 40 available
- $199.99

The VIP offer includes:
- (1) Sting banner
- (1) Sting hat
- (1) Signed & numbered limited edition TNA Wrestling Sting Action Figure
- (1) professional quality 4×6 photograph with “The Icon” Sting (in face paint!)

You MUST have a ticket to the “Road to Slammiversary” Westbury event on April 5, 2013 to take part in this VIP offer.

Visit http://shoptna.com/westburyvip13.aspx to purchase your intermission VIP ticket for Westbury, NY!

EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW VIDEO: CLICK HERE TO WATCH ON YOUTUBE

The Road To Slammiversary stop in Westbury will feature the only New York-area appearances from “The Icon” STING and “The Charismatic Enigma” JEFF HARDY during pro wrestling’s most anticipated weekend in the area in history.

The action-packed card also includes hard-hitting grudge matches between some of IMPACT WRESTLING’s biggest names:
• “The IT Factor” BOBBY ROODE takes on “The Cowboy” JAMES STORM in a New York Street Fight.
• CHRISTOPHER DANIELS renews his long-running rivalry with “The Samoan Submission Machine” SAMOA JOE.
• Knockouts Champion VELVET SKY faces GAIL KIM.
• The Olympic Gold Medalist KURT ANGLE pairs off against former protege-turned-Aces & Eights-member WES BRISCO.
• JOSEPH PARK squares off against ROBBIE E.
(Card subject to change.)

Tickets are on sale now, and fans who purchase a $75 ticket will receive an early entry autograph session with select IMPACT WRESTLING Superstars at 5:30 p.m. (Redeemable with ticket the night of the show.)

CLICK HERE TO BUY TICKETS ONLINE

- Kurt Angle was at Tuesday’s New York Knicks at Boston Celtics NBA game to do media for TNA Slammiversary. He was photographed with Knicks point guard Jason Kidd. You can check out photos at this link.  He did an interview prior to the game with The Boston Channel. You can watch it at this link.

- Velvet Sky and Mickie James discuss Impact Wrestling hitting the road in this TNA ReACTION clip.

- Taryn Terrell talks about Gail Kim and Brooke Hogan and gives a sneak peek at her new attire in this video.

- Robbie E’s contract with TNA Wrestling has been renewed for another year. He wrote the following on his official Facebook page:

“Officially another year with Impact Wrestling… OH!! Gonna be a big one for me…”

Speaking of Robbie E, he has a new blog online here at Spike.com.  Dixie Carter had high praise for him when classifying the TNA roster in a media interview earlier in the week.  You can read how she views the roster at this link.

- Adam Pearce is backstage at the Impact Wrestling taping in Jonesboro, Arkansas. The word making rounds is he’ll compete in the TNA Gut Check segment.  Join us for Impact Wrestling coverage and our first ever TNA “Open Thread” Watch Party.  You can confirm on Facebook at this link.

- Tara has been added to the Alumni section over on WWE’s official website.

- Jeremy Borash was on The John Boy and Billy radio show to promote Thursday’s Impact Wrestling taping in Jonesboro, Arkansas. You can listen at this link.

- TRISTAR has released all new Impact Wrestling trading cards. Check them out at this link

- This week’s Impact Wrestling was sold-out. While the official number hasn’t been released yet, Dixie Carter sent out the tweet regarding the crowd:

- If you missed this week’s Impact Wrestling, the results can be found here. Two matches were announced for the next live show that will happen on April 11, 2013 from Corpus Christi, Texas. The matches are the following:

Full Metal Mayhem Match for the TNA World Title
- Bully Ray (c) vs. Jeff Hardy

TNA Tag Team Championship Match
- Austin Aries and Bobby Roode (c) vs. Hernandez and Chavo Guerrero

We will have exclusive live play-by-play coverage of the show right here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com!

- Tickets for TNA Slammiversary officially went on sale on Friday at 10 AM EDT. You can purchase tickets now at this link. TNA Slammiversary 2013 will take place on Sunday, June 2, 2013 from the Agganis Arena in Boston, MA. We’ll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.

- This week’s episode of Impact Wrestling did a 1.03 cable rating with an average viewing audience of 1,310,000 viewers on Spike TV.

Ask WNW

What happened to the high flying indy worker PAC?

PAC signed a WWE developmental contract in July 2012 and is currently working in NXT Wrestling as Adrian Neville. You can check out his recent work set to air on WWE NXT in the taping results posted here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.

Who has a better chance of going over at Wrestlemania 29 – Brock Lesnar or CM Punk?

Pretty much everyone I speak with feels Undertaker is going 21-0 while Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar is more up in the air. I personally feel that both Lesnar and Punk go under and that Triple H avenges his loss from SummerSlam while Undertaker upholds the streak. My preference is for Punk to end the streak although I can see valid arguments from both sides on Hunter vs. Lesnar. Many readers are interpreting my personal preference of Punk “ending the streak” to think I’m saying it’s likely to happen or even being talked about. This is unfounded as I feel Undertaker goes over and that he’s returning to do just that. However, I do think WWE has a unique opportunity and if there is ever going to be a payoff to the streak, this is the year.

Is it just me or does it seem like there is a lack of hype for Wrestlemania 29?

This week’s WWE Raw is critical to the build of Wrestlemania 29 and WWE must rebound from a very weak show last week. The Rock is back so expect a heavy push for his WWE title match against John Cena. The hype for Wrestlemania started strong but has dwindled with weak programming. I recommend you check out our “Open Thread” Watch Party Monday night and join in with the discussion. Click here for more information or click here to confirm on Facebook.

Did WWE ever think the reason for viewership dropping in the third hour of Raw is because the show doesn’t end until 11:15 and young audience isn’t up until that time especially a Monday night with school the next day?

WWE pursuing a younger audience could be a culprit for viewers tuning out for the third and final hour of Raw, however, I do not feel this is the reason. Prior to WWE taking Raw to a three-hour format, the 10-11 hour was always the most watched hour. WWE PG began in 2008 so the audience has been getting younger since then. My belief is viewers are suffering from viewer fatigue and are tuning out for the third and final hour.

After the closing segment on this week’s WWE Raw (highlights here) with John Cena and The Rock do you think Cena could finally be turning heel?

Kendra Bunyon and Jesse Sherwood have an outstanding debate about this topic now online here at WWENews.net. I recommend everyone check that out before reading the rest of this answer. In that article, while playing devil’s advocate to Jesse, Kendra brought up a great point highlighted by Mick Foley. Can Cena turn heel and still be as effective as he is with charities like the Make-A-Wish Foundation? Set aside his ability to draw and move merch for WWE and consider the effect outside of WWE. That’s something that shouldn’t be taken lightly and I’m sure a sticking point for any plan that would see a full heel turn for John Cena. I, like Kendra, have always seen a huge benefit in turning Cena heel but this new perspective is certainly worth considering. I have long said I’ll “believe it when I see it” in regards to whether or not it will happen but I do agree with Jesse that it could open up Cena to an entire different set of fans. I do want to send a message to all the haters in that the closing segment of this week’s WWE Raw was well done. I only wish Flair would have been healthy enough to take part because I thought it came off as realistic and captivating. This was crucial after last week’s lackluster show.

Do you think Jim Ross should commentate at this year’s Wrestlemania?

If it were up to me Jim Ross would still be the lead play-by-play man for WWE and on television as much as possible. I am for any situation that puts JR back where he belongs – with the headset on announce. This isn’t a dig at Michael Cole either – Cole stepped into an impossible situation and has improved. However, I’m all for contributions by the best play-by-play man in the history of the wrestling business.

Is it just me or does this seem to be the weakest Wrestlemania lineup in the last decade?

It’s just you because I certainly don’t feel the Wrestlemania 29 is weak. Many fans, me included, are against re-matching Triple H and Brock Lesnar and The Rock and John Cena at Wrestlemania but that doesn’t mean they aren’t two top drawing matches. Remember, last year’s show (headlined by Cena vs. Rock), drew the biggest pay-per-view buyrate in the company’s history. The lineup is strong although predictable but WWE can always alter how predictable in their booking. This week’s Raw was a tremendous step in the right direction heading into Wrestlemania 29.

Which match would you have close the show at Wrestlemania 29?

The three main events for Wrestlemania 29 are Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H, Undertaker vs. CM Punk and John Cena vs. The Rock. I have a hard time seeing any situation that doesn’t have Cena and Rock go last unless they decide to end the streak or end the career of Triple H.

We all know Fandango is a good in-ring worker but does he have what it takes to put on a credible match at Wrestlemania match against Chris Jericho?

For those not familiar, Fandango has been in WWE’s developmental system since 2006 and was on WWE NXT (the first version of the TV show) as Johnny Curtis. We’ve seen a lot of his work although not under the Fandango gimmick. He’s someone that WWE sees extraordinary potential in, which is why he’s remained under contract for so many years. I feel a lot of people are writing off Fandango before giving him a fair chance. It was fun with the memes about “never getting his name right” so we didn’t have to sit through the gimmick, but now’s not the time to shun something because it’s different. Fandango vs. Chris Jericho at Wrestlemania 29 has the potential to serve as a launch pad for Fantango’s career and the fact he’s working with Jericho only helps legitimize him. Given the fact that Wrestlemania 29 is stacked with so much part-time talent, it’s essential at least one up and coming worker is able to benefit from it. It’s refreshing to see Fandango on the Wrestlemania card and I’m optimistic about the match. On the flip side, if he can’t get over working with Jericho, things will become very bleak.

Where do you see CM Punk after Wrestlemania?

It seems like CM Punk is going to need some time off to nurse his wounds and heel up from injury. I am disturbed at the thought of Punk going under The Undertaker after doing consecutive jobs to The Rock and one clean job to John Cena on free TV for good measure. Punk has been the best thing to come out of WWE in the last several years yet he was “fed the giants” the moment his title reign reached historic proportions. I fully expect Undertaker to remain undefeated at Wrestlemania but I also feel it will be a terrible mistake that could damage the long-term future of CM Punk.

When is Vince McMahon and WWE going to “turn things up a notch” with their women’s division?

I wouldn’t hold my breath in regards to the Divas in WWE. Following the multitude of female departures late last year, WWE surveyed fans about what they wanted to see with their Divas. Three months into 2013, I really can’t say much has changed with limited storylines, short matches and forgettable programs. The reason Divas matches tank on pay-per-view is because they are given so little TV time, fans are apathetic about their programs.

What are your least favorite finishers?

I dislike any finisher that is illogical. When the product is contrived and the outcomes are preplanned, finishers must be convincing if they’re going to sell me on their legitimacy. In no particular order, some of my least favorite finishers include the five-knuckle scuffle, the people’s elbow, Hulk Hogan’s leg drop and The Great Khali’s vice grip.  On the flip side, some of my favorite finishers include the 450 splash, the shooting star press, Styles Clash and the Stone Cold Stunner.

We all know that Punk is the better worker on the mic without a doubt. But between CM Punk and Daniel Bryan, who do you think is the better in-ring worker? Or is there someone on the current roster to top them both?

I do not like to make lists because lists are easily debatable and often hinge on the situation; however, this is one rule I easily break for Daniel Bryan. Bryan, in my opinion, is the best in-ring worker in WWE and the second in the world next to Kurt Angle. CM Punk is certainly the better talker and no slouch in the ring himself but I don’t think many people will doubt Daniel Bryan’s in-ring talent. Alex Barie used his platform on TNANews.com to detail a fantasy match between Angle and Bryan at this link.

Will Brock Lesnar ever be WWE Champion again or is it in his new contract?

We heard one of the perks of Brock Lesnar’s new two-year agreement following Wrestlemania 29 that a title reign was in there. I don’t know how flexible this is and will caution plans are always subject to change. However, this is what we heard when Brock signed a contract extension.

What match are you mostly looking forward to see at Wrestlemania?

I would be lying to you if I wrote that there was one match that I was just “dying to see” at this year’s Wrestlemania. The fact of the matter is two out of the three main events have been done in the past year and CM Punk and Undertaker are both less than 100%. My focus will be on the outcomes of each as well as how Fandango takes advantage of the opportunity against Chris Jericho. The Shield have proved they can work on the big stage, expect them to be in overdrove at Wrestlemania.

What is Sin Cara’s status backstage nowadays?

Sin Cara is currently out after suffering a concussion. I’m sure he is frustrated and I’m sure WWE is frustrated. He came to the company from Mexico with huge expectations and so far, it just hasn’t worked out. Cara disappointed many with his Wellness violation a couple years ago and hasn’t been able to stay healthy.

Do you really think a loss to The Undertaker after losses to The Rock and John Cena could seriously damage CM Punk’s career? After all, Jack Swagger lost match after match for months only to come back after a six-month absence and be pushed as championship material. Doesn’t this prove that wins and losses are fairly meaningless?

One thing at a time. Before we can conclude a statement such as “wins and losses are fairly meaningless,” let’s look at Jack Swagger. Do you think fans buy him as a main event talent? Many were outraged he went over at Elimination Chamber and have continued to criticize his push. We don’t know how WWE will book him at Wrestlemania (and beyond) but my point is the perception of Swagger was hurt by his losses despite his six-month absence. On the other hand, CM Punk has the ability to get over regardless if he loses. One could make an argument that Ryback got over while losing. So wins and losses aren’t everything in making fans care. The reason I have been so vocal in my argument about Punk ending the streak is I feel WWE has an extraordinary opportunity. Punk is in his prime and coming off a historic WWE title reign, he has the chance to go “one step further.” Making him “just another streak statistic,” benefits no one. Not Punk and not Undertaker. Some have mentioned that Punk might not work much longer. Even if Punk only works one more year (I fully expect him to work more), using him as the star that ended the streak would be much more effective than getting no payoff. I don’t see Punk ending the streak and look for Undertaker to go 21-0, however, I feel it will be a mistake.

Why does WWE feature talent under TNA contract (such as Sting, Kurt Angle and Tara) in the Alumni action of dot com?

WWE features TNA stars on dot com because it generates page views. When Jeff Hardy’s TNA contract was up last month, WWE used the hype surrounding his status to add his profile to their website. It’s a smart move for free promotion and keeps fans talking. It also doesn’t hurt that WWE owns so much footage of their careers they have the ability to sell DVDs about them.

What happened to Jeff Jarrett in TNA Wrestling and why doesn’t anyone ever mention him anymore?

The last I heard from Jeff Jarrett he was backstage at the 2/16 TNA Wrestling live event in Beckley, West Virginia with Karen. It’s known an ongoing power struggle took place behind-the-scenes between Team Jarrett (Jeff Jarrett and Vince Russo) and Team Hogan (Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff).  We all know who won, however, Jarrett still owns part of the company.

What’s next for Daniel Bryan? I thought he had a great run as WHC and the AJ/CM Punk angle. Though I have enjoyed Team Hell No at times I feel WWE have gone backwards with his character. What can we expect from Bryan in the future? Does WWE see him as a main event talent?

Everything I’ve heard about Daniel Bryan indicates that Vince McMahon is high up on him and sees him as one of the most versatile workers on the roster. I agree there have been streaks of brilliance with Team Hell No but now it’s time for something more serious. There has been a lot of talk about splitting Team Hell No and programming Bryan against Kane. It almost seems inevitable but creative plans are always changing. Bryan said recently he was “aching for the more serious stuff.”

Given his excellent history with IWA in Puerto Rico and with TNA, do you see WWE giving Dutch Mantell a job in creative after his run as Zeb Colter?

Vince McMahon is reportedly high up on the Zeb Colter character and many believe his future is brighter than the future of Jack Swagger. A lot of the great work with the TNA Knockouts several years ago was written by Dutch Mantel and I would be all for him taking control of the WWE Divas. However, I haven’t heard of anything putting Mantel in any other role as of this writing.

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