What has happened to David Otunga?
As I noted at the end of last week here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, David Otunga has been off the road with WWE to support Jennifer Hudson during the murder trail of William Balfour in Chicago, Illinois. Balfour was convicted of killing Hudson’s mother, brother and nephew. The trial is now over and while Otunga isn’t advertised for tonight’s Raw Supershow, he should be available to return.
Why does WWE keep airing WWE NXT online?
WWE has been “sitting on” WWE NXT for several months, however, major changes are underway. Beginning on Thursday, WWE will tape the show from the campus of Full Sail University. Triple H is leading up the changes which will feature a new feel as the company is still looking for a way to bring developmental talent to television via WWE NXT. While no TV deal has been announced, it’s expected the company has one for the series. You can read more here and here.
Is Brock Lesnar really gone from WWE?
No! Brock Lesnar is still under WWE contract and him “quitting” is a storyline. WWE hoped the backstage “outburst” at Extreme Rules would result in Internet reports that he had quit the company, however, they didn’t fool us and we uncovered exclusive details almost immediately at this link.
What’s going on with Ric Flair?
Ric Flair was advertised for TNA live events last Friday and Saturday in Louisiana but no-showed. You can read my report on his no-show on Friday at this link.
Why wasn’t Lord Tensai on Raw this past week and why was his role in the John Laurinaitis/John Cena feud seemingly scraped? Is this a sign that WWE is losing faith in the Tensai character after all of the “Albert” chants?
Lord Tensai worked the WWE Superstars taping prior to last night’s Raw Supershow and in the dark match main event. As I reported exclusively here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium, members of WWE management are growing weary of booking him against top workers due to his body of work since returning to WWE.
I don’t get it. The Miz went from losing weekly to winning at Wrestlemania and the day after to being buried again. Is there a lack of confidence in him backstage or is he still on punishment?
With The Miz going under to Brodus Clay last week and taking the pin to him again this week, it looks like he is being setup for a program with Clay. Given the way The Miz has been booked, it’s not secret he has regressed from the main event scene back to the mid card but I’m not aware of any immediate heat. I heard The Miz had heat earlier this year for a spot gone wrong with R-Truth but the jobs to Clay appear to be part of a program.
With the Big Show getting “fired” on last night’s Raw Supershow, do you think it is possible that John Laurinaitis will force the Big Show to interfere in the match (since he is technically is not a WWE Superstar), to help him win in order to get his job back?
Before answering this question, I want to make sure everyone understands the segment with John Laurinaitis and Big Show on last night’s Raw Supershow was a work as Show wasn’t legitimately fired. I’m always amazed at the amount of questions we get asking what is storyline and what isn’t. Back to your question, this is a likely scenario but also very predictable. WWE usually avoids the obvious scenario, however, they clearly inserted Show into the storyline.
With WWE NXT and FCW moving to Full Sail University, do you think the FCW talents will end up moving to Orlando (it’s 20 minutes away) or will they stay in Tampa for training and do a weekly two-hour drive to Winter Park?
From what I understand, there are still plans to use the facilities in Tampa but they will begin taping a couple times a month at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida. You can view the schedule at this link. Given the fact the home base of FCW is still in Tampa, I don’t see any of the workers moving.
What is a “road agent”?
Road agents are now known as producers in WWE. They are former wrestlers that act as liaisons between the creative team and wrestlers. Storyline plans will come down from creative and are given to the producers to go over with talent. It’s also the producers who are in charge of live events and make sure things run smoothly.
Why did WWE end John Cena’s program with Brock Lesnar so soon?
Vince McMahon wanted to do Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena immediately for several reasons, however, there are a couple worth mentioning. First, McMahon knew the longer they waited for Lesnar to return, the more his star would fade. Vince was determined that Brock’s first post-UFC appearance was in a WWE ring so when a contract was signed, he wanted Lesnar in the ring immediately. Cena agreed to work with Brock as a a way to provide a main event level feud. It’s also important to remember that Lesnar isn’t a full-time star so he is limited to the amount of dates he will work therefore WWE doesn’t want to overuse Lesnar in the beginning when they can spread out his dates to get full use of his drawing power. While Brock has seemingly moved on to a program with Hunter there was talk at one point of having him involved in Cena’s match on Sunday against John Laurinaitis although there has been a new path paved for Big Show should that be the direction WWE wants to go in.
What’s the logic behind labeling pro wrestling as sports entertainment and not a sport?
Vince McMahon likes to call the workers “entertainers” and “performers” and not “wrestlers” while referring to WWE as sports entertainment and not pro wrestling. It’s all part of shedding the stereotypes associated with pro wrestling in order to broaden and diverse the fan base. McMahon also likes to brand WWE as an entertainment company in which investors are likely to take more seriously than a pro wrasslin organization. A lot of the boys think it’s silly because everyone associates WWE with pro wrestling but there is a method to McMahon’s madness.
What’s the latest on the premiere of WWE Legends House?
There was talk that WWE Legends House could end up airing on SyFy with the delay of the WWE Network. The talk was it would have premiered last month but it didn’t happen. The show is finished and now it’s up to WWE as to where it will be distributed. While I don’t know what nixed the possible deal with SyFy, I’m sure WWE likes the fact the show provides them with more original programming they can use to pitch the prospective WWE Network.
Do you consider WrestlingNewsWorld.com a “dirt sheet”?
I was asked in this week’s Premium Mailbag if being labeled a “dirt sheet” offended me. I feel that this website exists to break kayfabe and explain to interested wrestling fans what is going on behind-the-scenes. It’s also our job to report about backstage happenings that relate to the product. If that makes us a “dirt sheet,” I take no offense to the term what-so-ever. However, we are not a slimy gossip rag that will post anything as long as it looks “juicy.” I make a judgment call on every story I run and when I do post something in relation to a worker’s personal life, I try to be as respectful as possible.
How do you see John Cena vs. John Laurinaitis being booked at WWE Over the Limit?
With the stipulation currently in place, it’s made to look like John Cena is going to destroy the over-the-hill Laurinaitis, however, I can think of two workers that in storyline are not considered “WWE Superstars.” Brock Lesnar and Big Show. Obviously the match will provide an opportunity for either one of them to interfere in order to “help” Laurinaitis “take out” Cena but I have not heard the creative plans for the match.
Has TNA really signed Brooke Hogan?
Scott Steiner insinuated on Twitter that Hulk Hogan is bringing Brooke into TNA but I cannot confirm his claims. I couldn’t imagine Brooke in TNA going over well with the roster as Garett Bischoff has drawn plenty of criticism for his push many feel is unwarranted although nothing involving Hogan or Bischoff surprises me. These guys are masters at manipulating the system for their own personal gain that is in front of TNA’s success as a company.
Why doesn’t TNA just release Ric Flair?
While people like Scott Steiner despise Flair drawing a big paycheck from TNA, he has a job because of who he is. TNA feels that Ric Flair gives them an opportunity to promote a major name and in a lot of cases, he’s the most well-known name on a live event. Remember when TNA ran in my hometown of Beckley, West Virginia this February? The entire town was buzzing about Ric Flair coming to down, not TNA. When I got to the show to interview talent, there was genuine concern Flair wasn’t going to show up. He didn’t show up at the show in Glenville, WV the following night and no-showed last weekend’s live events in Louisiana. He wasn’t at Sacrifice on Sunday and I honestly do not know of his status in the company.
With guys like The Rock and Brock Lesnar being part are they subjected to WWE Wellness Tests like that of full-time talent?
I have traditionally been a defender of the WWE Wellness Policy but following the recent suspension of Rey Mysterio, I have several questions about its validity. Mysterio was tested on February 13, 2012 yet his suspension wasn’t announced until April 26, 2012. If the company knew he had tested positive, why did they still push him to return at Wrestlemania XXVIII? Why was a spot left open for him on the card and when it was determined he couldn’t go, he was later suspended? The prescription loophole in WWE’s Wellness Program has been well-documented but when things like what happened to Mysterio happen, it makes me want to see more transparency. Back to your question, I’m sure WWE would claim stars like The Rock and Brock Lesnar are subject to their testing but do you see WWE suspending their $5 million guy? I don’t.
What is the reason for WWE putting the profiles of Stephanie and Shane McMahon in their Alumni section?
I don’t know if there was a specific reason why the profiles of Stephanie and Shane McMahon were added but one of the most over analyzed sections of dot com is their profile section. WWE is blowing up the addition of the two McMahon kids but I don’t find the additions particularly newsworthy. I have been reading Chris Jericho’s “Undisputed” book lately and it makes me miss Stephanie McMahon’s “billion dollar princess” gimmick.
What was the first breaking news story the website shared? What was the most important in your opinion?
My company purchased WrestlingNewsWorld.com in February 2003 and while I have ran the website since, my career as an insider didn’t begin until May 2007 when I graduated college and determined I wanted to pursue a career as a pro wrestling journalist on a full-time basis. The first story I had the unfortunate responsibility to cover as a full-timer was the Chris Benoit tragedy and I can tell you it was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. Our first big breaking story was in January 2008 when Bobby Lashley called our office to let us know he had quit WWE. Since then, we have had the privilege of breaking more stories than any other pro wrestling publication. From 2009-2010, we posted the outcomes of several WWE pay-per-views the afternoon of the show, including breaking the news of Edge’s return to WWE at Royal Rumble 2010 in that he would be the winner. It didn’t take long for WWE to catch us leaking PPV results and we had to stop posting match outcomes prior to the shows. In 2011, we were the first publication to break the biggest news of the year that The Rock had agreed to terms to return to WWE as the guest host of Wrestlemania XXVII. So far this year, we broke the top matches for Wrestlemania XXVIII in early January, including the news of The Undertaker vs. Triple H II with Shawn Michaels as special guest referee and CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho. We were also all over the Brock Lesnar to WWE story, breaking details about the negotiations as they happened. I credit all of our success to our loyal readers that have supported us since day one. Without you, none of this would be possible.
Quoting your story on Brooke Hogan’s new job with TNA, “Her duties will be to help up-and-coming talent develop their characters, assist with promos and even consult on entrance music.” What are Brook Hogan’s qualifications to do this job?
I still can’t believe the news that Brooke Hogan is coming to TNA as an executive. My initial thought was, are they trying to lose the locker room? A lot of people can share their opinions but I have spoken firsthand with wrestlers under contract in TNA and can confirm that many are not on the Hulk Hogan/Eric Bischoff bandwagon. The feeling is the company has changed to appease these individuals and it’s not what it used to be. We can sugarcoat it to death but the fact is Brooke Hogan is not qualified for this position. Brooke is being hired because she is Hulk’s daughter, much like Garett Bischoff is being pushed because he’s Eric’s son. It isn’t fair, it undermines the hard work of all those that have been with TNA since day one and is a very troubling sign in how Dixie Carter can be manipulated to think these are “good” moves.