Elimination Chamber Buys Down Hard, John Cena Drug Tested Before Wrestlemania, Next Year’s Wrestlemania Dream Match Revealed, Surprising Name Backstage At Raw, WWE Interested In Signing TNA Star & Top ROH Wrestler, Brock Lesnar Negotiations Heat Up, WWE Star & TNA Star Exchange Jabs, Angle Says He’s Injured, 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 24, 2012 to Friday, March 30, 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

Evan Bourne, who is now eligible to return to WWE TV after his second suspension, posted the following on his Twitter account:

He then revealed that he broke his foot in 4 places and dislocated it in 5 places. He posted graphic images of his injured foot on his Twitter account. Click here to view the images.

As we reported earlier here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com, Evan Bourne suffered a severe foot injury in a car accident on Monday. Below are more Tweets from the Twitter account of Bourne:

Needless to say, Bourne is out indefinitely.

Hornswoggle wrote the following on Twitter:

The 12-man tag team match for control of the brands now looks like this:

Team Teddy (Santino Marella (captain), R-Truth, Kofi Kingston, Zack Ryder, The Great Khali and TBA) (with Hornswoggle) vs. Team Johnny (David Otunga (captain), Mark Henry, Christian, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger and TBA)

- Alberto Del Rio claimed during a promotional appearance in Puerto Rico that he will not be performing at Wrestlemania XXVIII. He said there was originally plans for him to face Randy Orton then there were plans for him to be a member of Team Johnny in the 12-man tag team match. However, he said he is no longer in those plans. As of this writing there is one spot remaining on each team and the rumored names to fill those spots were Rey Mysterio (Team Teddy) and Del Rio (Team Johnny).

- As noted in the report from last night’s WWE Smackdown live event, Sheamus was busted open hardway, causing him to bleed heavily. The spot occurred when Daniel Bryan delivered a belt shot to Sheamus’ face during his match against Mark Henry.

- LFPress.com has a new article online featuring quotes from John Cena. Below is an excerpt:

“But I’m not a bad guy. I generate so much hatred just because of the way I act. I look at Tim Tebow as a good example. People couldn’t stop saying his name. He’s such a standup guy. People don’t believe it because it’s almost too good to be true. And he generates that hatred.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- WWE Elimination Chamber 2012 did an estimated 180,000 pay-per-view buys, according to the updated WWE key performance indicators on the corporate version of their official website. If this number holds up, it would be down from last year’s Elimination Chamber which did 199,000 buys and the 285,000 buys the show did in 2010.

- The following is from the official Twitter account of John Cena:

 

- The Los Angeles Times has a new article online featuring quotes from 2012 WWE Hall of Fame inductee Mike Tyson. Below is an excerpt:

How’d you get into the WWE Hall of Fame?

“They think I belong in there and want me to fly out and get inducted into their hall. I’m not going to argue with them. I’m ecstatic. I watched wrestling before I ever watched boxing on TV. Bruno Sammartino was my favorite, but I liked all those guys: Junkyard Dog, Nikolai Volkoff, the Iron Sheik, Superstar Billy Graham.”

Click here to read the piece in its entirety.

- The Miami Herald has a new article online featuring quotes from Trish Stratus to promote her feature film debut in “Bounty Hunters.” The piece is long and detailed but below are some of the wrestling-related highlights:

Still keeping up with Tough Enough cast:

“I know when I went back to ‘Tough Enough’ that I was going to bring some yoga to the Tough Enough kids because I know this is what made me a great performer. I still keep up with them like Luke Robinson on Twitter and A.J. Kirsch, and they still do the yoga. I definitely recommend for any wrestler to have an element of yoga in there because it really will increase the longevity of your career. I feel like if I started 10 years earlier then I would probably be wrestling today.”

WWE Divas today:

“I think when Beth Phoenix and Natalya started the ‘Pin-Up Strong’ movement, it was all them creating this and making the fans want it and creating that chatter on Twitter. At the end of the day it helps to have the WWE backing. We’ve seen it with Eve and her storyline gaining traction. There is more interest for fans, and that is a great thing. It’s about creating memorable moments no matter what you are given. It’s also great to have the backing, character development and all that, which is key to making it stick.”

Natalya’s flatulence gimmick:

“A lot of my interviews lately have been about Nattie’s flatulence,” Stratus said. “I kept saying, ‘Well, she is getting two minutes of TV time now, where she maybe wasn’t getting any time to talk’. She texted me thanking her for the support.

“You can easily say that you are outraged and that she shouldn’t be disrespected because she is a Hart after all. Look at Santino’s gimmick. He was the joke, and they made fun of him. People used to say to me it was a shame because he was a good wrestler. Guess what? He is now a champion. You never know. When they asked me to do the worm with Too Cool, I was like, ‘Really? Ok, who cares? It’s fun.’ It’s a moment to show a little side of yourself, and who knows what can stick. It may people like you a little bit more.”

“There is always an ultimate plan,” Stratus said. “I still talk about that moment with people asking me how I felt about it. It was great. It was so key in my character development at that point. It led to this, ‘I’m a women, hear me roar kind of moment’ where I stood up to Vince McMahon at WrestleMania. To stand up to Vince McMahon at WrestleMania is a huge moment as a character on the show. It was definitely a turning point in my career. You never know what moments are good and bad or what they can be turned into.”

Will there be a second season of “Tough Enough”? Will you return as trainer?

“Absolutely zero word. I think there is a focus on the launch of the WWE Network, and that is a huge undertaking. I think once there is a clear idea on individual programming, I think that is when we will get a clear idea if or when there would be a season two. It’s a timing thing. I had a great time doing it. When they called me, I happened to be available. So if I’m available, and they have me back, of course I would entertain it.”

Will you be in Miami for WrestleMania?

“No plans at this point. I will kick back and watch it like every other fan out there. I’m actually really excited about this year’s WrestleMania.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- I’m told talks between WWE and UFC have been “heating up” in regards to negotiating a release for Brock Lesnar so he would be available to return to professional wrestling. Lesnar, who announced his retirement from UFC, after his flight against Alistair Overeem on December 30, 2011, continues to be stuck in his UFC contract. WWE still wants to do The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania XXIX next year in New Jersey. Obviously a lot of factors play into this with Undertaker’s health and desire to keep going being nearly as important as Lesnar’s availability.  I initially reported WWE’s desire to do this match on January 31, 2012 here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium. My source reports WWE is hoping it does not take much longer until they know they definitely have Brock. Once he’s released, there’s been talk about moving forward “as fast as possible,” as they did last year by announcing John Cena vs. The Rock one year in advance.

- WWE developmental standout Leo Kruger was on the road with the Raw brand this weekend. Kruger is from South Africa and is a former two-time FCW Florida Heavyweight Champion. He’s 6’1, 205 pounds.

- Arn Anderson appeared before the live crowd at the conclusion of yesterday’s WWE Raw live event from the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina. WWE Champion CM Punk cut a promo, saying someone from Charlotte that really deserved to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame was going to be inducted. Anderson cut a promo where he thanked the fans for their support. He works as a producer backstage for the Raw brand.

- The New York Post is reporting that “Extra” host Maria Menounos broke a rib during a “Dancing with the Stars” rehearsal with dance partner Derek Hough. Menounos has reportedly been working through “excuriating” pain the past few weeks. According to their report, Maria has being wearing a rib brace under her dancing attire and refuses to give up. Maria will team with Kelly Kelly to face WWE Divas Champion Beth Phoenix & Eve at Wrestlemania XXVIII on Sunday. We’ll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.

- For those that read websites out outside of WrestlingNewsWorld.com and have asked about a rumor going around, here’s Shawn Michaels’ response:

We do have details on a match being talked about for Wrestlemania XXIX next year and you can read about it here.

- Apparently there’s a commercial circulating that is advertising Sheamus vs. Randy Orton for the World Heavyweight Championship after Wrestlemania XXVIII. I wouldn’t read much into that other than the fact it’s a babyface vs. babyface bout. Other matches being advertised include Big Show vs. Kane and Beth Phoenix vs. Natalya.

- The New York Post has a new feature article online on The Bella Twins. Below is an excerpt from the piece as well a video included:

Do you dress alike?
Nikki: We do and we don’t. We both appreciate all fashion. Brie will dress more towards a hippie, free-spirit style, whereas I like to dress more fitted and showy. When you’ve got curves — you need to show them and I love showing mine!

Who is more boy crazy?
Brie: Nikki! Nikki is single and ready to mingle! I’ve always found myself the more relationship type, the hopeless romantic. Nikki’s a romantic, but loves all the different boys. She loves adventures.

Do guys hit on you a lot? What are the worst pickup lines guys have tried?
They do, but we are twins. To some, we are hot women, to others, circus freaks. There have been some bad pickup lines: “You must be hurting from falling from heaven.” Eww! We hate cheesy pickups.

Have you taken a guy down?
Oh yes! A few. And not all were playful. Men at times don’t believe we’re tough. Challenging a Bella can be a mistake. Nikki once let a man know exactly how the figure-four leg-lock feels. I believe he’s still hurting.

Do women wrestlers get along, or is it one big girl fight?
At WWE we are a big family. We travel so much that we see our co-workers more then our own families. You build a strong trust and respect. Now that doesn’t mean there aren’t catfights — there definitely are, but we always make up.

Click here here to check out the piece in its entirety.

- I’m told that Diamond Dallas Page is backstage at tonight’s WWE Raw Supershow from the Phillips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.

- Team Johnny for the 12-man tag team match at Wrestlemania XXVIII was officially filled on tonight’s WWE Raw Supershow with The Miz taking the sixth and final spot. Miz joins David Otunga, Mark Henry, Christian, Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger. They will face Team Teddy which consists of Santino Marella, R-Truth, Kofi Kingston, Zack Ryder, The Great Khali and a name to be announced. The winning team will gain their respective General Manager “control” over both brands.

- In addition to the surprising name we reported earlier here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com, Lita is also backstage at tonight’s Raw Supershow from the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.

Lita lives in the area and is backstage visiting with friends. She posted the following tonight on Twitter:

 

- WWE is doing an injury angle with Christian, ruling him out for Team Johnny in the 12-man tag team match at Wrestlemania XXVIII. As the storyline goes, Christian suffered a re-aggravation of a neck injury at the hands of CM Punk on tonight’s Raw Supershow and will not be medically-cleared to compete. If I had to speculate, it’s likely his ankle isn’t fully healed from the severe high ankle sprain he suffered in early November. If it’s something else, we’ll update as soon as the information is made available.

- WWE will highlight the Hall of Fame inductions of Edge, The Four Horsemen and Mike Tyson in the USA Network special set to precede next Monday’s Raw Supershow at 8 PM/7 CT.

-John Laurinaitis posted the following on his Twitter account following Christian‘s injury on Raw:

- Booker T joined Team Teddy as the sixth and final member for the 12-man tag team at Wrestlemania XXVIII on tonight’s WWE Raw Supershow. The match now looks like this:

Team Johnny: David Otunga, The Miz, Mark Henry, Drew McIntyre, Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger

Team Teddy: Santino Marella, R-Truth, Kofi Kingston, Zack Ryder, The Great Khali and Booker T

The winning team will gain their respective General Manager “control” of both brands.

- The official WWE website has revealed the full list of WWE Hall of Fame inductees & inductors for the Class of 2012, listed below:

* Edge will be inducted by Christian

* The Four Horsemen will be inducted by Dusty Rhodes

* Mil Mascaras will be inducted by Alberto Del Rio

* Mike Tyson will be inducted by Triple H & Shawn Michaels

* Ron Simmons will be inducted by JBL

* Yokozuna will be inducted by The Usos

Click here to view the announcement.

- The Chicago Tribune has a new article online featuring quotes from WWE Champion CM Punk. Below is an excerpt:

Triple H calling him a “skinny fat” kid:

“I think that’s (Triple H’s) perception of me,” says Punk, who will defend his title against Chris Jericho on Sunday at Wrestlemania XXVIII in Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens. “It shows the perception people have is completely archaic and outdated. I assume it’s a bodybuilding thing. I’m not skinny, and I’m not fat. I’ve never used a drug in my life.”

Controversial Tweets:

“I’ve tweeted a few things that I thought for sure would get me a call from (WWE’s) office,” Punk says as the train approaches his stop. “It never happened. … Maybe I need to be more rebellious.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- The Japanese worker that was featured in last night’s Lord Tensai vignette was WWE developmental worker Sakamoto. Sakamoto was trained by former WWE star TAKA Michinoku. You can read more about Sakamoto on his bio page at the official Florida Championship Wrestling website at this link. The Lord Tensai gimmick is being portrayed by Matt Bloom who is formerly known as Giant Bernard and A-Train.

- Randy Orton is slated to star in the upcoming WWE Studios production Marine: Homefront, the third installment of the series. Production will begin on June 11, 2012 in Vancouver and will be distributed by FOX straight-to-DVD. The film is expected to also eventually find air time on the forthcoming WWE Network. WWE is expected to have an exhibit up at Wrestlemania Fan Axxess this week where fans will be able to read part of the movie script. THe click will be directed by Scott Wiper who also directed The Condemned starring Steve Austin.

- WWE announced this afternoon on dot com that Ric Flair will be in attendance at the 2012 WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Saturday night from the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. Flair will join Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, Barry Windham and JJ Dillon as they are inducted by Dusty Rhodes into the WWE Hall of Fame as The Four Horseman. You can read coverage by WWE.com at this link.

- Justin Gabriel needed three stitches in his mouth after his match taped for this week’s WWE Superstars on Monday night, however, Gabriel wrote on Twitter he refused due to it being Wrestlemania XXVIII week. Gabriel’s match was against Tyson Kidd and airs tomorrow over on dot com. Below is his Tweet:

- “Extra” host Maria Menounos actually broke two ribs when she fell on “Dancing with the Stars” partner Derek Hough’s knee during rehearsal. US Weekly has a new article online where Menounos discusses how she is healing. The injury could take months to heal. Click here for their coverage. Menounos is scheduled to team with Kelly Kelly to face WWE Divas Champion Beth Phoenix & Eve at Wrestlemania XXVIII this Sunday at Wrestlemania XXVIII. We’ll have full coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.

- While some may consider her broken ribs have her down for the count, “Extra” host Maria Menounos made sure to reassure her fans she will work Wrestlemania XXVIII on Sunday. One of Maria’s Twitter followers asked if she would still be teaming with Kelly Kelly to face WWE Divas Champion Beth Phoenix & Eve at the pay-per-view on Sunday. She responded by saying “wouldn’t miss it!.” Click here for more on Maria’s injury.

- Linda McMahon is returning to her roots… her campaign announced today that she would be putting the Republican nominating race for US Senate against Christopher Shays on hold this weekend to attend Wrestlemania XXVIII from Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Florida.  This will also lead to media criticism as McMahon has tried to keep her WWE past at arm’s reach, highlighting her success as a female executive but having no part of the racier Attitude Era story lines. McMahon left WWE in 2009 to pursue a run for United States Senate in 2010.  She won the Republican nomination but was defeated by Democrat Richard Blumenthal in the general election.  McMahon is running this year for the nomination to fill the seat out of the state of Connecticut being vacated by the retiring Joseph Lieberman.

- Accidental Sexiness has a new Q&A online with Alicia Fox. Below is an excerpt:

“I did a couple of things for Venus Swimwear in Jacksonville,” Fox said.

“I think at the time Kelly Kelly and I were doing it [modeling] together at age 17, 18. I think it was just an experiment for the company [WWE] to see if it was even possible to teach models how to wrestle.

“It was a great learning experience for the both of us because we could step out of our backyard and kind of grow into the world. I think neither Kelly nor I ever imagined being here. This is our sixth year. We didn’t know what was going to happen, but I don’t think we would have thought we would be here for six years already.”

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

- Scott Fishman of The Miami Herald has a new article online featuring a Q&A with Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat. One of the first issues addressed is his health as Steamboat suffered a brain aneurism a year and a half ago. Below is an excerpt:

“I’m very happy with as far as I have come,” Steamboat said.

“Having a brain type aneurism, a brain bleed, really put things in perspective of what a good life and being a good person is really all about. I’ve always been a believer in God, but it sort of renewed and restored the faith that I have in him. So with that being said, physically I’m about 80 percent of what I was. The doctors have said that they don’t want me in the ring bouncing around or getting picked up and slammed down. They said the old head just can’t survive anymore trauma.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- IrishCentral.com has a new Q&A online with Sheamus. Below is an excerpt:

“My WWE career has been amazing,” he says. “It took a lot of time for me to get here, and you never stop paying your dues. I’m never satisfied with what I’ve achieved.

“I want to create a legacy for myself, like those who are going to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this weekend. The way you do that is by wining championships and staying hungry and focused.”

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

- Ricky Steamboat told Scott Fishman of The Miami Herald he feels that developmental workers Seth Rollins, Bo Rotundo, Husky Harris and Antonio Cesaro are ready for a “look-see” on the main WWE roster. Rollins is better known to wrestling fans as Tyler Black and Cesaro as Claudio Castagnoli in Ring of Honor.

- While he’s not on the card for Wrestlemania XXVIII, Rey Mysterio is in Miami, Florida. Mysterio, along with The Great Khali, R-Truth, Christian and The Bella Twins visited Holtz Children’s Hospital today in Miami. WWE posted photos on Facebook at this link. Mysterio, who has been out with a knee injury, had targeted Wrestlemania XXVIII as his return date.

- NewsTimes.com has a new article online featuring quotes from WWE Chief Marketing Officer Michelle Wilson. In it, she gives an update on the WWE Network and confirms the company has finished shooting Legends House. Below is an excerpt:

“There will be a WWE network in some shape or form. We are in late-stage negotiations with distributors,” said Michelle Wilson, chief marketing officer at WWE. “Getting a distribution agreement for a cable network is not easy.”

“They just got done shooting a reality show, `Legends House,’ where eight of our superstar legends live together in a house in Palm Springs, Calif.,” she said. “Another reality show will feature our WWE divas. We did a lot of research on what our fans want to see. We’re developing new shows taking advantage of our amazing library.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- Former heavyweight champion of the world… future WWE Hall of Famer…  Mike Tyson has a new title to add to his career. WWE announced today Tyson will be the official WWE.com Social Media Ambassador leading up to and during Wrestlemania XXVIII in Miami.  His role will consist of him Tweeting throughout the weekend on behalf of dot com. Vince McMahon is reportedly on a social media rampage as he stressed in Monday’s Twitter meeting about superstars Tweeting throughout Wrestlemania and the importance of using proper hashtags. This is also the reason the company put out a press release, calling Wrestlemania “the social media event of the year.”

- Wrestlemania XXVIII weekend is set to kickoff in Miami tonight with the Wrestlemania Premiere Party: A Celebration of Miami Art & Fashion on Star Island.

Proceeds for the event will go to the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center/Alex’s Place and the Second Chance Program hosted within the Center. Rapper Timbaland and Stuart Miller are hosting the festivities, featuring artwork created by WWE names.

This is the first time the event will feature a fashion show with WWE Divas modeling clothes designed by top South Florida designers.

The Miami Herald has an article online detailing tonight’s event with quotes from Alicia Fox, who will be modeling tonight. You can read their coverage at this link.

- The Los Angeles Times has a brief Q&A online with Santino Marella. Below is an excerpt:

Q: WrestleMania is the Super Bowl of pro wrestling. Do you feel more pressure to have a good match Sunday than any other time of the year?

Yes, there is definitely more pressure. Just the sheer size of the audience is intimidating. At the same time, I am ready. I have been preparing for this moment my whole life.

Q: Twenty years from now, when people are looking back at your career, what do you hope they say?

How entertaining I was and that I never failed to bring smiles to people’s faces.

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

- Matt Bloom, who is returning to WWE as Lord Tensai, wished all of his New Japan Pro Wrestling co-workers well today on Twitter. Below is from his official Twitter account:

@Machinegunka is his tag team partner Karl Anderson.

- Jim Varsallone of The Miami Herald has a new article online featuring quotes from Jerry Lawler. Below are some notable excerpts:

“Honestly, I’m not trying to blow my own horn, because I feel lucky moreso than anything,” Lawler said, “but [WWE CEO/Chairman] Vince McMahon once told me, ‘I think you’re the most all-around talented guy I’d ever met in this industry.’ Then he explained, ‘You’ve done everything and done everything well. You’ve owned a wrestling company. You started out as a referee. You’ve wrestled. You’ve booked. You’ve done payrolls. You’ve done commentary. You still wrestle.’

“My favorite moments for actually calling the action, there have been so many. One match that I really enjoyed calling was The Rock against Hulk Hogan [WrestleMania 18 in 2002 in Toronto]. That was a match you thought you’d never see. I’d put that like a match between Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson. It was just something you thought would never happen, and it was a great match. As far as I’m concerned, of the matches I’ve seen, it was probably Hulk Hogan’s best match ever, and The Rock was fabulous in it. So I thought that match was great.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- ESPN.com boxing writer Dan Rafael has a new article online featuring quotes from Mike Tyson. Tyson says he is “very ecstatic” about being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this weekend. Below are the highlights from the article:

“They all want to go to the WWE Hall of Fame event,” Tyson said. “We all love wrestling. It’s like a soap opera for men. … When I give my speech, you won’t have to worry about me breaking down and crying at that one like I did at the boxing Hall of Fame. You’ll hear every sentence loud and crackling and clear. This one goes straight to my ego. It’s like, ‘I’m so cool.’ This is going to be fun. I’m just very ecstatic about it. It’s a very big honor to me.”

“I just loved doing it and I really appreciated Vince McMahon,” Tyson said. “He knew how to get me when times were hard. Usually when times are hard, everyone knows how to run away from you, but he came to get me and I am extremely grateful. This is real and I am not just sucking up. I don’t want to kiss no a–, but I don’t know where I would have been without WWE at that particular time in my life.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- I’m told WWE continues to discuss names they are interested in for the proposed WWE Network show focusing on cruiserweight action. The reason the show is getting a lot of attention is because the company feels that any program featuring new first run matches as opposed to vintage footage is considered essential in generating demand for the network. Two names I can confirm that WWE is interested in are TNA X Division Champion Austin Aries and Ring of Honor’s Roderick Strong. Aries’ contract is coming up soon and it’s believed that Strong’s ROH deal is up at the end of the year. Remember Strong said earlier this week he’d love to make the change to WWE. My source says the proposed show sounds like one of the more palatable ideas for the WWE Network but cautioned the company’s resurrection of ECW seemed that way at first but quickly morphed into something else.

- WWE has announced that Hornswoggle will star in the upcoming joint movie venture by WWE Studios and Lionsgate called Leprechaun: Origins. The film is set for a 2013 release.

- WWE has announced they’ll return to the Verizon Arena in Little Rock, Arkansas on Saturday, July 21, 2012.

- The Rock told The Palm Beach Post that Wrestlemania XXVIII being held in Miami “sealed the deal” for him to return to take part in the event. WWE negotiated with The Rock for years in hopes of a return for a main event match against John Cena which of course will become a reality on Sunday.

- Sheamus was asked by ESPN about backstage jealousy of The Rock as well as him receiving heat for taking up a main event spot when he’s not a full time performer. Here’s what he said: “Rock’s been nothing but cool to me. I haven’t said too much to him, we’re all so busy backstage doing stuff for Wrestlemania, but I’ll be honest with you, Rock came over to me, shook my hand, and introduced himself to me from day one. When I see him on Mondays, I ask him how he’s doing, and he asks the same of me. I have no problem with him at all. He’s been nothing but cool to me. I have no problem with The Rock. He’s as cool as ice.”

- ESPN.com has a new Q&A online with Sheamus. In it, he discusses facing Daniel Bryan for the World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania XXVIII this year despite being bumped off the card last year. Below is an excerpt:

Jon Robinson: You were originally supposed to fight Daniel Bryan at last year’s Wrestlemania, but then you got bumped from the card. Are you excited to finally get out there and show what you guys can do?

Sheamus: Absolutely, it’s poetic justice. That was an incredible low for me last year. I went from Wrestlemania 26 against Triple H, to being a two-time WWE champion and King of the Ring, to not even being on the show. That was a hard pill to swallow. But in a way, when I look back, that was great because when I walked out of that building last year, I was more determined than ever to start fresh the next day and come back in the top spot. Things happen for a reason, and maybe at the time, that’s not the reason you want to hear, but you need to use it as motivation. If people are unhappy about The Rock stepping in, they need step up their game and use it as motivation to get back next year. If you show what you can do during the course of the year, you can grab one of the top spots at next year’s Wrestlemania.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

ESPN.com’s James Walker has a new Q&A online with WWE Champion CM Punk. Below is an excerpt:

CM Punk, a year ago at this time, considering your contract situation with WWE, did you think you would be in this spot, defending the world title at Wrestlemania 28?

CM Punk: No, because I was leaving. At Wrestlemania last year — and I always say I thrive in high-pressure situations — my job was to steal the show and prove to everybody how awesome I was and what an amazing talent they were losing. I went out there with Randy [Orton] and we put on, in my opinion, the best match on the show of pure wrestling. I wasn’t concerned about what I was doing next year. I was leaving in my mind. I didn’t think I would still be here or holding the title.

At what point did that mentality shift? Did the pen have to hit the paper for you to finally realize you were staying in WWE?

Punk: Yes, absolutely. I didn’t re-sign until middle of July, I think. It was actually the day of [the Money in the Bank Pay Per View], I believe. It was after the show even started. So it was down to the wire.

You mentioned Chris Jericho has never been “The Man” like you’ve been. Can you elaborate? Jericho has held world titles in the past.

Punk: Sure, but there’s always, I think, somebody that has overshadowed him. I guess an argument can be made that John Cena is still “The Man.” But the numbers don’t lie with merchandising, ratings and everything else. We’re not trying to hotshot the title around or play hot potato with it. We’re giving people a champion they can believe in. And Jericho was never really that guy. He was never really, I guess, the ambassador John Cena has been and that I’ve been lately. That’s what I meant by that.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- Former TNA executive Terry Taylor turned some heads a couple weeks ago when he was part of a group of former wrestlers who visited Florida Championship Wrestling. Taylor worked as the Direction of Talent Relations in TNA from 2003 until he was released in May 2011.

- The Los Angeles Times has a new article online featuring a Q&A with Triple H. Below is an excerpt:

Q: What is the biggest adjustment you have had to make in transitioning from full-time wrestler to full-time management?

Full-time wrestlers have fewer meetings than full-time managers do. I spend time in meetings a lot. And wearing a tie is kind of a downfall. I think it’s just learning to deal with situations in a business way as opposed to a locker room way. There is a large world of difference and you just have to learn that transition.

Q: What is your favorite WrestleMania moment not involving yourself?

The [Hulk] Hogan-Andre [the Giant] slam from WrestleMania III.  At that time I was just a fan like everyone else.  Andre was just this immovable mountain and Hogan was the man.  It was the first time I had seen a so-called passing of the torch in a really big way by two global stars. That was just a moment that you can never forget.

Q: Finally, now that you are in management, any chance you can sign Ultimate Warrior to a one-day contract for a future WrestleMania and then squash him in the ring?

It’s funny, a lot of people bring that up in a negative way like it was this terrible thing in my life. While working with him personally wasn’t the highlight of my life from a business standpoint, for me to go to me first WrestleMania and wrestle a legendary figure in the business — and that is what he was and is — like the Ultimate Warrior, a Hall of Fame superstar in the business in my first WrestleMania appearance, squash or not, was a mind blowing thing for me. I was thrilled to be in that position and to have that match with the Ultimate Warrior. I was thrilled with the fact that at that time Vince McMahon was willing to put me in that role. The Ultimate Warrior wasn’t there till the day of the show, so I had to do all the promotion for that match. I wanted Vince McMahon to look at me as a guy he could count on to handle the return of a guy that he was hoping would be a huge impact on the business. He had the trust in me and I would do a good job with it.  So to me, that was nothing but a good experience. Potentially, I could bring him back and get the win.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- I’m told WWE officials have been working “around the clock” trying to negotiate a deal for Brock Lesnar to appear at Wrestlemania XXVIII on Sunday. As I’ve reported since January, WWE is interested in utilizing Lesnar for Wrestlemania XXIX next year in New Jersey and while The Undertaker was initially thought to be a proposed opponent, there could also be a situation where the company wants to do Lesnar vs. The Rock. My source is unaware if Lesnar is 100% out of his contract with UFC, however, feels like he is because if he comes to terms with WWE, he would be available for Wrestlemania on Sunday. WWE will not, under any circumstances, allow Lesnar to appear at Wrestlemania on Sunday without a written agreement in place for him to work the show next year. WWE is very interested in Lesnar being part of the main event of Wrestlemania XXIX next year and the ultimate goal at this point seems to be announcing his program one year in advance, much like was done last year for John Cena vs. The Rock.

- Former WWE star Dave Batista is in Miami, Florida which is leading to widespread speculation that he could be involved with Wrestlemania XXVIII on Sunday. Batista is scheduled to run in the 2012 Nautica South Beach Triathlon on Sunday with Carter Lay. You can read more about the event with the proceeds benefiting the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at this link.

- WWE just announced that Primo & Epico will defend the WWE Tag Team Championship against The Usos and Justin Gabriel & Tyson Kidd in a triple-threat tag team match prior to Wrestlemania XXVIII on Sunday. The match will air live on dot com and the company’s official YouTube channel at 6 PM EDT.

TNA Impact Wrestling News

Jeremy Borash Tweeted the following photos of Rob Van Dam’s return to TNA Impact Wrestling from last night’s live event in Elmira, New York:

- The following is from the official Twitter account of David Otunga:

- Austin Aries shot back with the following Tweet:

- The following is from the official Twitter account of Dixie Carter:

 

- TMZ is reporting that Kurt Angle is hunting down international scammers that conned his mom out of $4,000. According to their report, Angle’s mother received a call from someone in the Dominican Republic who claimed her grandson was in a local jail and needed $4000 or the consequences would be severe. Angle’s mother wired them $4000 from Pittsburgh and thought everything would be fine until she received a call the next day, asking for another $4000. Kurt stepped in and discovered the family member was fine and contacted local authorities over the situation. According to the FBI, Angle’s mother is one of many victims being target by international scammers who prey on the elderly. “I’m gonna find the son of a b—- who did this to my mom,” Angle told TMZ.

- Kurt Angle told TMZ that he sustained a torn hamstring during an Olympic training session this morning. He is scheduled to undergo an MRI to fully access the damage tomorrow. Angle told the celebrity gossip publication, “I still plan on going [to the Olympics] … I’ve been training for a whole year now … so it all depends on how it heals … but if this tear is really bad, there’s a chance I may not go.” Click here to read TMZ’s coverage.

- WTAE ABC 4 out of Pittsburgh has more on Kurt Angle’s Olympic setback including an in-home video interview with him.

“I went in for a shot, and when I pulled out, my hamstring popped, and when that happened, I knew it wasn’t good,” Angle told the news station. “If this is a tear, my whole leg will turn black and blue, and then I have to rehab it for at least 3 to 4 weeks, and the trials are only 3 1/2 weeks away.”

Click here for WTAE’s coverage that includes video of Angle talking about the injury.

Ask WNW

How do WWE workers mainly get from city to city – do they drive or fly?

A lot of it depends on the distance from the worker’s home. Obviously, the closer the city is, the more likely they are to drive rather than fly. Some main event workers travel in their own tour buses as I recall Big Show bought a tour bus from country music singer Toby Keith a couple years ago. Not everyone can afford these arrangements, as WWE does not cover travel expenses.

When Lord Tensai debuts in WWE is he going to the main event or is he going to go down as a forgotten gimmick?

I can assure you WWE isn’t airing vignettes to put out a “forgotten gimmick.” I have heard two plans pitched for Lord Tensai. The original plan was to bring him in as “muscle” for John Laurinaitis while another plan had him booked against John Cena, both were slated to take place after Wrestlemania. Things change at a rapid pace but it looks like he could have a run at the top and at 39-years-old, that’s a good thing for Matt Bloom.

I may be attending the WWE Hall Of Fame 2012 induction ceremony, I and I’m sure many others are wondering what the dress code is for this event?

Last year, WWE sent out an email to ticket holders and said the dress code was “business casual” and reminded the event was “upscale.” If you have tickets, you should receive an email with this information. Last year, it was sent the night of the event. WWE will make sure all of their talent is dressed up in formal attire.

With Sunday’s Wrestlemania XXVIII being outdoors at Sun Life Stadium, what will WWE do when it rains? Especially given the fact the Miami weather is so unpredictable and as of right now there is a 60% chance of rain.

I just checked the weather for Miami, Florida and there is a 40% chance of precipitation with “PM T-Storms” as the forecast. WWE obviously hopes the weather holds up, however, there will be a protective covering over the ring like there was when Wrestlemania was in Orlando in 2008.

I thought Rey Mysterio was going to be on Team Teddy but instead Booker T took his place, why? And also why did they remove Christian from Team Johnny?

Rey Mysterio was targeting Wrestlemania XXVIII as his return date from his knee injury. With him not being added to Team Teddy in the 12-man tag team match, it appears he isn’t ready to go. Serious knee injuries cannot be rushed as he would run the risk of getting re-injured. As I speculated last night, if I had to guess, Christian’s ankle injury isn’t fully healed. If we hear anything else, we’ll be sure and pass it along.

With as much hype and promotion as the WWE has given Wrestlemania XXVIII this
year, specifically The Rock vs. John Cena, do you have an idea as to what kind of PPV buyrate WWE is looking to get with this year’s Wrestlemania?

The buyrate WWE is always seeking for Wrestlemania is to surpass the 1 million threshold. Given the strong promotion for The Rock vs. John Cena as well as the strong lineup, WWE will hope to meet this number. Pay-per-view buyrates continue to struggle with preliminary numbers for Elimination Chamber being down hard.

Will Chris Jericho vs CM Punk at Wrestlemania XXVIII be the last Jericho match we see in a while? I’ve heard rumors that he’s leaving or taking a break after Wrestlemania XXVIII.

You never read those rumors here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com. Chris Jericho is in the plans for WWE’s overseas tour after Wrestlemania and while he’ll miss some shows, he will be in WWE after Wresltemania.

Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels and Steve Austin all took years before they became superstars, nowadays talent with name recognition on the independent circuit that get moved up to the majors are almost expected to be automatic superstars. Do you think the independent fans put too much pressure on these talent and bash WWE when these talent’s aren’t used at every single TV or PPV?

Everyone has to pay his or her dues in some fashion. Even workers such as CM Punk and Daniel Bryan, that are currently main eventers, had to pay their dues in the independent circuit then again in WWE before their run at the top of the card. Many of the well-known independent names are currently paying their dues in WWE developmental where they are treated just like everyone else. Vince McMahon isn’t impressed by success outside of WWE and while it may get a worker on his radar, the worker has to prove they can be successful in WWE before they are pushed.

Where are the WWE stars staying in Miami for Wrestlemania?

WWE usually has a designated hotel for their workers but I haven’t confirmed where the stars are staying. I received a tip yesterday the workers were staying at the InterContinental but if I find out otherwise and get the OK to post it, I will do so.

Will the 2012 WWE Hall of Fame be shown on TV?

As we reported here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com, there will be a special airing on the USA Network before Raw Supershow next Monday at 8 PM/7 CT where highlights of the inductions of Edge, The Four Horsemen and Mike Tyson will be shown. The ceremony will likely be available in its entirety on the DVD when it is released.

With Ric Flair appearing at the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony on Saturday night, does this mean he’ll appear at Wrestlemania when they introduce the 2012 Hall of Fame inductees on the stage?

I do not have 100% confirmation but it is likely Ric Flair will appear with his fellow Four Horsemen when the 2012 WWE Hall of Fame inductees are announced at Wrestlemania. The issue with him appearing didn’t have to do with Flair appearing at the ceremony but WWE using the appearance for commercial purposes, such as the aforementioned Wrestlemania DVD. A deal is in place, which is why I don’t see why Flair wouldn’t be able to appear on the pay-per-view itself.

With The Miz securing a spot on Team Johnny do you still think he will get involved in the Wrestlemania main event between John Cena and The Rock?

I never said I thought The Miz would get involved in John Cena vs. The Rock… I said it was a popular scenario making rounds. Anything is possible but The Miz deserved a spot on the Wrestlemania card and if WWE has plans to use him in the main event they have to be very careful. I have been an advocate for a clean finish to Cena vs. The Rock and would only be for interference if it helped elevate an up and coming worker.

Why is WWE calling Matt Bloom, Lord Tensai? Why not just call him Albert or A-train again unless he is wearing an outfit?

WWE has big plans for the Lord Tensai gimmick, bigger than what Bloom accomplished as Albert or A-Train. His work has greatly improved during his time in Japan and the gimmick also carries more international appeal. What do you think makes people care more, a new gimmick with a cryptic video or a rehashed mid-card gimmick like Albert?

Who has The Rock been working out with to prepare for his Wrestlemania XXVIII match against John Cena?

The Rock has been working out with Curt Hawkins and Michael McGillicutty to prepare for his main event match against John Cena on Sunday. Rock recently put both over in a media interview with The Miami Herald.

Will you be making Wrestlemania XXVIII predictions?

I stopped posting predictions a couple years ago due to WWE attempting to find who was talking to me. Given the fact I get knowledge before a bout happens, it’s impossible for me to make predictions without a preconceived notion of what is in the plans to happen. The Blog Spot staff will be posting predictions and you will be able to comment on them after they are made.

Why do lower card workers such as Curt Hawkins stay in WWE. Wouldn’t they be better suited in TNA or Ring of Honor to get recognized?

WWE is by far the largest and most established professional wrestling company in the world. Why would a wrestler want to work anywhere else? While I can’t believe we’re talking about Curt Hawkins twice today, he and other lower card workers have the opportunity to get elevated. It’s an opportunity that few get and all it takes is a chance to change their career forever. Just take a look at what has happened to Hawkins’ former tag partner Zack Ryder. One thing everyone needs to realize is WWE can’t push everyone. There are going to be different levels of workers and it’s up to the lower card workers to take advantage of their opportunities when they get them.

Has WWE considered lowering the prices of their B-level pay-per-views. By giving up some money they could in turn boost a show’s butyrate?

I agree the price of WWE pay-per-views is too high, especially paying more for High Definition (which should have never been the case). The pay-per-view business is not what it once was and I’ve gone as far as saying it’s an outdated model with the multitude of ways people are now viewing content. There has been a lot of talk about WWE’s pay-per-view business taking a dramatic shift with the launch of the WWE Network but it has been delayed with the network’s delay. When the network finally premieres, I expect a change to take place in regards to the company’s pay-per-view model.

As far as I can remember, CM Punk has appeared a couple of times on both WWE TV and YouTube lately sporting Colt Cabana-themed t-shirts. Do you know if the company has any beef on that matter, or do they just let Punk do whatever he wants?

I haven’t heard specifically what WWE officials think of CM Punk sporting Colt Cabana merchandise but it’s a secret to no one that Punk has a lot of leeway in terms of gimmick freedom. Punk planned on leaving WWE last year but was talked into staying after the “leaving” storyline got over in a big way, clearly establishing him as a main event talent. Kevin Nash recently alluded to Punk’s creative freedom which you can read about at this link.

What do you think of John Cena losing to The Rock at Wrestlemania and then turning on the fans because they didn’t give him support and he has never left the business?

It would be very difficult to book The Rock over John Cena clean without Rock returning full-time. Regardless of any type of gimmick change or transition, I just don’t see how WWE could put Rock (a clear part timer) over Cena (the face of the company) and have it help business going forward. I do not envy Vince McMahon’s position as it’s certainly a complicated match to book and however the match finishes, it has to help the business after Wrestlemania. We’ll finally get the answer to all these questions on Sunday and I’ll be watching as closely as anyone else. Look for my Richard Reacts blog following the show on Sunday where I will break down the match (and its outcome) as detailed as possible.

What are your expectations for Wrestlemania XXVIII on Sunday?

This is the perfect question to wrap up Ask WNW going into one of the most high-anticipated WWE pay-per-views of all-time. I’m expecting great wrestling, storyline progression and to be entertained for four solid hours. The lineup is strong and I guarantee every worker is jacked up to perform at the absolute highest level possible. It’s going to be a busy weekend here at the website but be sure and checkout our Wrestlemania 28 Live Stream subsection for full Wrestlemania coverage.

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