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, August 20, 2011 to Friday, August 26, 2011 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!
- I am now able to confirm the real Sin Cara, Luis Ignascio, returned to WWE at last night’s Smackdown house show from Tacoma, Washington. Ignasico was suspended on July 18, 2011 for his first violation of the WWE Wellness Policy. The company brought the character back to TV with developmental worker Hunico under the hood. There was speculation the move would be permanent due to the “nuclear” backstage heat on Ignascio.
- Mark Keys, Vice President of Digital & Interactive Content Production & Social Media in WWE, has left the company. This comes just a couple of days after Brian Kalinowski left the company.
- The Daily Star out of the United Kingdom has a new article online featuring quotes from Steve Austin. In it, they ask Austin about the possibility of him returning to the ring to face CM Punk. Below is Austin’s response:“Obviously it would have to be good for WWE and work out for CM Punk too. I’m not starting up anything here, but could it happen? Yes. Will it happen? I don’t know.” You can read the full article at this link.
- Jody Kristofferson, AJ Kirsch, Dylan Drake and referee Goggles Goldstein from Vendetta Pro out of California were given opportunities with WWE last week. Kirsch worked against Brodus Clay in a match that aired on WWE Superstars while Kristofferson worked a dark match against him on Tuesday night. Drake and Goldstein were used as the “baggers” for Cody Rhodes on last week’s Smackdown.
- Recently released WWE superstar Chris Masters posted the following video of himself at SummerSlam on his official YouTube channel. You can watch it embedded below:
- Rey Mysterio wrote today on Twitter that he needs to have surgery again and WWE plugged the post on their official website. The surgery is scheduled for Friday. Mysterio suffered a knee injury at the 8/6 WWE Raw house show from the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California. The injury was thought to be serious so WWE did an injury angle on the 8/8 WWE Raw but Mysterio wanted to work SummerSlam and Raw last week (for his title shot). He underwent an MRI last week and it was discovered he has torn ligaments that will require surgery to repair.
- Evan Bourne & Kofi Kingston beat Michael McGillicutty & David Otunga to win the WWE Tag Team Championship on tonight’s edition of WWE Raw.
- John Cena will challenge Alberto Del Rio for the WWE Championship at WWE Night of Champions next month. WWE Night of Champions 2011 will take place Sunday, September 18, 2011 from the HSBC Arena in Buffalo, New York.
- There was a lot of uncertainty regarding the future of Sin Cara leading all the way up to his return at the Smackdown house show this past Saturday night. Triple H made the call to keep Luis Ignascio under the mask rather than give the character full-time to WWE developmental worker Hunico. I’m told the decision surprised quite a few people as they felt as soon as the company put someone else under the hood that Ignascio’s days in WWE were over. The options of what to do were weighed for weeks with plenty of reasons to make a case for keeping him and cutting him. However, Hunter made the decision based on talent alone and the fact there is no telling how much Rey MysterioDeadline.com is reporting that NBC has purchased a “put pilot” to a new drama about the 1980s professional wrestling boom, executive produced by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. A “put pilot” means NBC has agreed in contract to air the pilot and usually always means they will order at least one series.
- WWE has announced that Bret Hart will serve as the General Manager of Smackdown on this week’s show from his hometown of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Bret is currently backstage at the WWE TV tapings as they are taping this week’s Smackdown tonight.
- Wrestling News World reader Shannon Sylvia sent word the Air Canada Centre is advertising Edge for the 9/13 Smackdown taping from the venue in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. While Edge recently stated he would be there but wouldn’t appear on camera, WWE is also advertising him for the show. Edge also told me he wouldn’t be appearing at WWE SummerSlam when he appeared before Christian vs. Randy Orton for the World Heavyweight Championship a couple weeks ago.
- Todd Grisham finished up with WWE at last night’s television taping and is headed to ESPN. William Regal wrote the following about it on Twitter:
“I would like to thank @todd_grisham for all his help get me through NXT.Best wishes for your new career at ESPN.”
Thanks to Wrestling News World reader Fernando for his help with this story.
- Wrestling News World reader Fernando sent word that WWE has signed Sterling James Keenan (real name Matthew Polinsky from Pittsburgh, PA) to a developmental contract. He’s been working in FCW since last week.
- I neglected to mention in Monday’s Ask WNW that Maryse is currently out with an abdominal hernia. She is scheduled for surgery today to repair the injury.
- Until late into the afternoon on the day of WWE SummerSlam, Jim Ross thought he was going to be part of the announce team for the pay-per-view. He was informed hours before the show went live that he was being scrapped in favor of Booker T because it made logical sense for Booker to represent Smackdown and Jerry Lawler to represent Raw. While it’s not anything new for Vince McMahon to play mind games with JR, I’m told it’s beginning to take a toll on him. Normally when McMahon “bullies” Ross he “no sells” because he doesn’t want to give Vince the satisfaction and just “rolls with the punches.” However, I’m told lately he has had more trouble hiding his annoyance with the decisions of McMahon. One observer commented how they are sure it doesn’t help that Ross is finally back on WWE Raw only to take a backseat to Michael Cole (who McMahon loves). People in WWE do not feel like it’s a situation where there is concern JR will walk off the job but more along the lines that if Vince is determined to get JR to crack, he’s sure getting closer than usual.
- Maryse underwent a procedure yesterday to treat an abdominal hernia. She posted the following on her Facebook page:
She has also announced an upcoming appearance with The Miz as they will be attending the 5th Annual Boyle Heights Fund-raiser on September 8th at 7:00 PM.
-The official WWE website is asking fans to come up with a name for the new WWE Tag Team Champions, Kofi Kingston & Evan Bourne. A list of possible names has been posted at this link. Thanks to Wrestling News World reader Fernando for sending in this story.
-Wrestling News World reader Jeff sent in the cover art that Trish Stratus posted for her upcoming yoga DVD, titled “Stratusphere Yoga.” Click here to view it.
- WWE is continuing to build their international base as they just opened a new office today in Turkey. They also appointed a General Manager of the office. This is WWE’s second international office opening in 2011! To view the full article, click here.
- Rey Mysterio is undergoing surgery to repair his injured knee today. He posted the following on his Twitter account after attending a concert with his son last night:
We at Wrestling News World wish Rey an easy and speedy recovery.
Impact Wrestling News
- Matt Hardy crashed his 2009 Corvette into a tree in North Carolina today, TMZ has confirmed. He was not injured in the crash. North Carolina State Highway Patrol arrived on the scene and observed signs of impairment from Hardy and arrested him on charges of Driving While Intoxicated. Hardy submitted a blood test but the results are still pending. He was released from the Moore County Jail at 7:00 PM EST. Impact Wrestling terminated his contract as soon as they got word of the incident. Hardy has been under suspension from the company.
- TNA/Impact Wrestling wrote the following on their official website:TNA today released IMPACT WRESTLING star Matt Hardy from its roster. Hardy was already under suspension from the company. Click here to read the original post.
- Matt Hardy is scheduled for a September 28th court date in Moore County, North Carolina to respond to charges of Driving While Impaired and Exceeding Safe Speed while driving. The charges come after his car cash over the weekend that led to his release from Impact Wrestling. Hardy has also been commenting on his arrest on his YouTube channel, claiming there is more to the story.
- Impact Wrestling shot a comedy angle with Scott Baio and Eric Young at a Los Angeles golf course this weekend. The angle will be included on this week’s TV. TMZ posted photos at this link.
- The Fayetteville Observer is reporting that according to the North Carolina State Trooper that responded to Matt Hardy’s car crash on Saturday, the former WWE and Impact Wrestling superstar had not been drinking. The officer said Hardy appeared to have taken some other type of impairing substance. The officer also confirmed that speed played a factor in the crash, claiming Hardy was traveling more than 55 mph but less than 70 mph.
- Matt Hardy wrote the following comments on his YouTube channel:
@jar2h When the side windows glass smashed into my face, arms, & neck, some of the blood that did felt almost angelic. I went from being afraid to die to feeling like I was almost being reborn with some sort of an ABSOLUTE PURE LIFE-FORCE. It was the most amazing thing I’ve every experience, I felt like I’d just received the blood of an angel flowing inside me-I know this sounds crazy! Due to these, I only have urges to help people. And miraculously, all my vices are gone.
I took a breathalyzer immediately on the spot and it read clean, zero, nothing. Think about peeps! There’s more to this story than meets the eye. MATTHEW
While many (including me) had speculated Hardy was drinking and driving because of the DWI charge, police claim he was impaired by a substance other than alcohol. Hardy has since removed the breathalyzer comment.
- Impact Wrestling announced this morning that due to record ratings and requests from fans, their television will be moving to an earlier day and timeslot on Challenge TV in the United Kingdom. The new timeslot will be Sunday nights at 9 PM beginning next Sunday, August 28, 2011. A replay will be shown Tuesday at 10 PM, which is the show’s current timeslot. Wrestling News World reader Ray Mullan, who first notified us of the news, typed up a blog post about it at this link.
- Embedded in the video below is last week’s episode of “Made” on CMT featuring Matt Morgan:
- Jeff Hardy wrote the following on Twitter:
Ok it’s official…time to go back2work!I will be in Huntsville,AL this Thursday with ImpactWrestling!!!!
You can view the original post at this link.
- According to The North Carolina Court System website, Matt Hardy is also scheduled for a 10/11 court date to respond to charges of reckless driving. This is an entirely separate incident from the crash this weekend that brought charges of Driving While Impaired and Exceeding Safe Speed. Those charges will be answered at a September 28th court date.
- Matt Hardy’s real-life girlfriend Reby Sky did a Q&A session yesterday on Twitter. While the segment was fairly basic, here are two questions I found particularly interesting:
Fan: Why did you get Matt drunk?? Now he’s arrested because of you!!
Reby Sky: The only reason he’s still alive is because of me. A–hole.
Fan: How are you feeling about this whole thing going on ? I really hope you are well. Only you know whats right to do.
Reby Sky: Hurt / exasperated / exhausted / furious / tired of being lied to / tired of enablers. Just tired.
You can read the questions for yourself at this link.
- Matt Hardy posted the following video on his YouTube channel early this morning:
Matt also Tweeted a local Carthage, North Carolina phone number (that doesn’t belong to him) to his real-life girlfriend Reby Sky and told her to call him because his cell phone was shot after dropping it in the hot tub. She Tweeted him back to remove it but it remains online as of this writing.
- Matt Hardy was rushed to the emergency room of a North Carolina hospital earlier today after suffering a fall in his home, according to TMZ. The cause of the fall and the extent of Hardy’s injuries are currently not known, but it is being reported that Hardy will be released from the hospital tomorrow. Click here to read the full story.
-Wrestling News World reader Brett Connerley sent word that this month’s issue of Muscle & Fitness magazine features an article about Kurt Angle‘s quest to compete in the 2012 Olympics.
-Wrestling News World reader Carl Frederick sent in an article on Grantland.com which chronicles Ric Flair‘s legal, financial, and personal problems. Click here to read the article.
- It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to report anything good out of TNA/Impact Wrestling but that changes today. The sponsorship deal the company has landed with Direct Auto Insurance is being called a “serious game changer.” Others are considering it to be a “guardian angel.” While I cannot confirm the length of the deal, I’m told it’s not a short-term thing but rather a multimillion dollar sponsorship. Not only is it a money maker for the company, but the deal allows talent under TNA contract to get car insurance at a “steep” discount. I was told one worker who was having a hard time getting car insurance is basically “doing backflips” now. Cheap auto insurance is a big deal for anyone but it’s especially significant for many of the workers in TNA that are not making a lot of money. As bad as morale has been for a long time, the sponsorship deal with Direct Auto Insurance has created a rare case of something for people across the board to be happy about.
- Cookie is finished with TNA Wrestling as of today. She wrote the following on her Twitter account (which has been changed to Becky_Bayless)
She also announced an upcoming appearance with WSU Wrestling on November 19.
- TMZ is reporting that Ric Flair is threatening to sue over an article affiliated by ESPN. The article stated that Ric suffers from a serious medical condition caused by years of drinking. Flair is furious as he claims it is not true, so he is threatening to sue. To read the article, click here for the link.
- Wrestling News World reader Corey sent in the following: Former TNA knockout Shannon Claire Spruill, known as Daffney) was arrested for Driving Under the Influence in Florida last month. She was arrested on Tuesday, July 19 at 8:51 p.m. in Hillsborough County, Florida and charged with DUI with property damage. She was released later that night on bond at 1:00 a.m. Spruill’s TNA contract expired on March 15, and she subsequently filed a claim against TNA for her injuries while working with them.
If John Cena is the number one contender then who would be good for CM Punk to face at Night of Champions?
CM Punk is feuding with Kevin Nash, Triple H, etc. I haven’t heard what they plan on doing and whether or not he will get an opponent at WWE Night of Champions but the way last night’s Raw main event was booked was way too obvious.
What’s the latest update on Jeff Hardy?
Despite the current turmoil with Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy says he’s returning to Impact Wrestling on Thursday at the TV taping in Huntsville, Alabama. He’s still due back in court on September 8, 2011 in Moore County, North Carolina to stand trial on drug charges.
How do you think Smackdown’s viewership will be affected when the newly revamped “The Ultimate Fighter” will start showing on FOX on Friday nights in 2012?
Vince McMahon maintains UFC is not a competitor to WWE and while many people think he’s crazy for saying that, this should be telling. I personally believe WWE pay-per-view buys are affected by UFC when UFC has a pay-per-view the night before WWE.
With John Morrison’s latest comment on John Cena/CM Punk/Melina, showing up at Raw with Melina two days after she was fired and stiffing a WWE Legend, Trish, at Wrestlemania, is it safe to say that “Million $$ Talent, 10 cent brain” applies?
John Morrison is very talented. He has the look, the in-ring skills and the charisma to be a star in this business but he needs to control what he says. Sometimes I think I should start my own Public Relations firm and start offering help to these guys when it comes to dealing with the public. You cannot just say and do whatever you want when the entire world is watching. If Morrison never makes it as a main eventer it will be because of rubbing people the wrong way and accumulating backstage heat.
Am I the only one that feels two is company but three is a crowd on the announce desk? It seems they’re climbing over each other to talk? Give me Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler any day. Michael Cole should be on Smackdown with Booker T.
Vince McMahon is as stubborn as a bull and the fact he’s in love with the work of Michael Cole is why we get him on both Raw and Smackdown. I’ll go one further as I think the trio on Raw is horrible. They are constantly climbing over one another and have no chemistry what-so-ever. JR acknowledged this early on and reminded that it takes time to gel but McMahon needs to put JR and Lawler back on Raw and move Cole over to Smackdown. However, it’s hard to tell if this will happen because of McMahon being so high up on Cole.
Is it possible to see Kevin Nash vs. CM Punk at WWE Night of Champions and if not, at any other pay-per-views?
Anything is possible but I hope not. Kevin Nash is 52-years-old and has no business in a main event singles match on pay-per-view. I enjoy the work of Nash as an enforcer or even in a tag match or Survivor Series match; however, I doubt he could hold his own in a one-on-one singles match. We all give TNA a hard time for using talent past their prime so it’s only fair we hammer WWE when they do the same thing.
Do you think this new TV show that The Rock is working on could be the hour of WWE television that Vince McMahon was talking about adding before Raw?
Vince McMahon said the one-hour show scheduled to air before WWE Raw is going to be a live show so that should rule that out. However, McMahon never said it would air on the USA Network and didn’t give any other details.
I think The Rock vs. John Cena feud needs one of them to turn heel. Thoughts?
A properly executed John Cena heel turn has the potential to be one of the most compelling storylines in WWE history; however, it doesn’t appear to be likely. The Cena character is untouchable because of how much merchandise it sales and how over he is with their audience. Cena is the pseudo-heel in his feud with The Rock but I’ve begun to think an all out Cena heel turn is wishful thinking at this current juncture of time.