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, September 17, 2011 to Friday, September 23, 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!
- WWE has confirmed The Rock and John Cena will be part of a Traditional 5-on-5 Survivor Series Tag Team Match at the pay-per-view in November. The news was spoiled yesterday with a new pay-per-view promotional poster advertising The Rock and John Cena to join forces. WWE Survivor Series 2011 will take place Sunday, November 20, 2011 from Madison Square Garden in New York City. We'll have full coverage here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- Wrestling News World reader Patrick Peralta sent word that Claudio Castagnoli's bio has been added to the official Florida Championship Wrestling website as Antonio Cesaro. You can view it at this link.
- Wrestling News World reader Fernando reporting: Florida Championship Wrestling has added four new talents to its website's roster:
* Antonio Cesaro (Claudio Castagnoli)
* Corey Graves (formerly Sterling James Keenan, real name Matt Polinsky)
* Jason Jordan
* Leah West
- WWE has removed WWE NXT and WWE Superstars from the "Shows" tab on their official website. They have also removed all mentions of the shows in the "Tune in" bar on the right side of the website. I have not heard if WWE plans to eliminate the shows or if they are just highlighting programs with TV clearances in the United States.
- WWE is reporting on their official website that the company has acquired the rights to the Toronto International Film Festival cult hit "The Day." WWE has announced they will use their assets to promote the film. You can read more at this link.
- The CM Punk/Steve Austin war of words continued last night during the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Victor Ortiz fight with a Tweet Punk sent to former WWE superstar MVP.
CM Punk on Twitter:
@The305MVP: Does this mean we get to see the record breaking $ fight now that EVERY 1 WANTS to see @CMPunk vs @steveaustinBSR ?!?!
@CMPunk never forget Punk...on my worst day, and your best day...SCSA would crumble the very foundation of the SES...with all due respect...
@steveaustinBSR HBO should fire you. You don't know s--- about boxing!
Thanks to Wrestling News World writer Kyle Policastro for his help with this information.
- Maryse is 100% following her operation to repair an abdominal hernia she underwent last month and is ready to return to the ring.
- Mark Henry beat Randy Orton to become the new World Heavyweight Champion at tonight's WWE Night of Champions pay-per-view from Buffalo, New York.
- John Cena beat Alberto Del Rio via submission at tonight's WWE Night of Champions pay-per-view to win the WWE Championship. Cena is now a 10-time WWE Champion.
- For those that didn't order WWE Night of Champions, Michael Cole legitimately lost his voice before the show's main event and remained silent throughout much of the match as it was called by Jerry Lawler and Booker T. Cole did not close the pay-per-view as usual as he was not heard from after attempting to call the main event very early on in the match.
- As expected, Kevin Nash returned to WWE at tonight's Night of Champions pay-per-view and beat up on Triple H during his match against CM Punk. Nash entered through the crowd and beat down Hunter before having to deal with CM Punk, who ended up getting the Jackknife powerbomb. Triple H ended up laying out Nash with a sledgehammer before finishing off Punk with a pedigree to get the three count and the win.
- WWE will run head-to-head with Ring of Honor in New York on Saturday, December 17, 2011. The company announced today they will hold a WWE Supershow house show from the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. ROH will run their "Final Battle 2011" show that night from the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City.
- Last year WWE trademarked the term "The Network" as a potential name for the faction that eventually became The Nexus. Now WWE is going through with the former trademark to "mess with TNA" and prevent them from using the term for their on again off again angle about the network. While "The Network" was considered for The Nexus, another reason WWE is still pursuing the trademark has to do with the forthcoming launch of the WWE Network. I'm told the company wants to lock down the term "The Network" in the pro wrestling field in general to prevent market confusion [not to mention the aforementioned shot at TNA]. There is another interesting side story about the term. Remember Michael Stanco that disputed WWE over the World's Largest Athlete nickname? Stanco also trademarked the term "The Network" for use in wrestling although it was later determined WWE had first use of the name. It's also worth noting that Paul Heyman owned the trademark to the term "wrestling network" back in 1995.
- It has been announced on the official WWE website that Jim Henson's famous puppets, The Muppets, will be guest stars on the Halloween edition of Raw SuperShow. This is being done to promote the upcoming movie, The Muppets, which will premiere this Thanksgiving.
- The official WWE website has announced the release of The Miz & R-Truth. This, of course, is just part of the storyline in which Triple H fired them last night on Raw. Click here to see the announcement.
- Linda McMahon officially launched her second run at a United States Senate Seat out of the state of Connecticut today. McMahon will of course have to win the Republican endorsement in the primary election before being able to compete against the winning Democrat in the general election. You can read coverage by the Huffington Post at this link.
- "Stone Cold" Steve Austin has posted the cover art of his upcoming 4-disc DVD set via his Twitter account. The set will be released on November 29. Click here to view the cover.
- Jerry Lawler suffered a legitimate lower back injury during last night's Raw Supershow from Cleveland, Ohio. The injury occurred when Mark Henry slammed him on the announce table. Lawler was taken to a local hospital where he was treated for the injury. He is not expected to be back for next week's Raw Supershow in Kansas City.
- The attendance at tonight's Smackdown taping from Wright State University's Nutter Center in Dayton, Ohio is way down. I contacted officials from the venue to get the paid number and received the following response:Hi Richard, I am sorry, we don't release the numbers for WWE. Thanks I'm not sure why they do not release the numbers as this usually isn't an issue. I asked the obvious question and am currently awaiting a response.
- I received a response from Nutter Center (the venue for last night's WWE TV tapings) officials this morning about why they refused to release the paid ticket number. I was told "the promoter" would not allow the venue to release the numbers. Attendance at last night's WWE TV tapings was believed to be very sparse.
- I heard there was some talk backstage at this week's TVs about how wise it was for Triple H and Kevin Nash to keep themselves off the WWE Hell in a Cell pay-per-view lineup. With only two weeks to build to the show, WWE usually rehashes feuds from the previous show with the Hell in a Cell stipulation. I'm told CM Punk vs. Triple H vs. Kevin Nash was originally slotted for the show with Alberto Del Rio challenging John Cena for the WWE Championship in a Hell in a Cell match. Hunter made the company switch things up because he felt he should not be wrestling again so soon or else the COO role would not mean as much if fans thought him wrestling was more than an occasional thing. The Raw main event for WWE Hell in a Cell is John Cena defending the WWE Championship against CM Punk and Alberto Del Rio in a Triple Threat Hell in a Cell match.
- Chavo Guerrero continues to let his bitterness towards WWE Champion John Cena flow on Twitter. Wrestling News World reader Jesse gathered the following Tweets from Chavo:
If Cena brakes the great Ric Flair's 16 time champ record, I will never watch wrestling again. I call a boycott of Cena matches if he does!"
Guerrero also asked his Twitter followers:
How many of u are tired of John Cena being champion? Don't get all excited, it's just a question."
Wow...it's an overwhelming "tired of Cena" response! It's not me, it's all the fans. I could literally retweet hundreds of tired responses!"
Guerrero later tweeted
Now, my opinion...Cena is better than me on the mike,but I could out wrestle Cena with my eyes closed and 1 hand tied behind my back! Truth!
Some are saying that Cena is a great athlete. Really? C'mon. Are u blind? I know Cena & I could beat him in any sport except weight lifting!
Golf, basketball, bowling, a race, tennis, horseshoes, hitting a baseball pitch, catching a football...anything!!!!
Lol...some1 just said Cena is a better athlete than Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior! Lol are u retarded? No offense to a challenge person.
- Although Dolph Ziggler claimed he suffered a broken jaw on Raw via his Twitter account, TMZ is reporting that the injury was completely fabricated, although the punch from Hugh Jackman left Ziggler in pain. Click here to view the full story.
- WWE sent out an email survey to select fans yesterday to gauge interest in a potential cooking show starring Big Show's wife. Below is the description:
"How do you handle a hungry man? Just ask Bess Wight. Her husband is Paul "The Big Show" Wight, WWE Superstar and the world's largest athlete! "Show" is seven feet tall and 425 pounds... Bess is bodacious, beautiful, and one big time cook! And if you think The Big Show is tough, you haven't met his wife! Bess and Show are about to give viewers an all-access pass into the controlled chaos that is their kitchen. You'll meet their friends, their families, and even some of Big Show's fellow WWE Superstars - you never know who will stop by their house to whip up something delicious! Once you see this larger than life couple in the kitchen, we know you'll be hungry for more!"
While I do not have confirmation, I assume this has to do with non-wrestling programming for the upcoming WWE Network. As I reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium, people close to the company have assured me that the non-wrestling programming is "going to be embarrassing."
- Wrestling News World reader Jesse sent word the bloody beat down of WWE Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes by Randy Orton was edited out of the international airing of this week's Smackdown in Finland. According to Jesse, Orton beating up Rhodes with the protective mask is shown where he follows with a DDT from the ropes. They then go to a backstage segment between Christian and Sheamus. I would expect the edit to hold up in the United States airing tonight on SyFy. You can read our results (from the international airing of Smackdown) now online at this link. Wrestling News World reader Orlando sent us graphic photos from the beat down at this link.
- WWE NXT has been re-added to the "Shows" tab on the official WWE website while WWE Superstars remains missing (mentions of both shows were removed earlier this week). As of this writing, this week's WWE Superstars has been nowhere to be found and appears to be done for the time being. The archive of shows is still online here on the company YouTube channel. Vince McMahon said on the August 4th conference call with investors they had new TV homes for WWE NXT and WWE Superstars in the United States. He said the company was "sitting" on the properties when discussing their online airings while the international commitments were fulfilled. One could speculate WWE Superstars will go to the WWE Network in 2012 but as I noted here, that poses a whole different set of problems.
- WWE reported today that Big Show will join other celebrities as part of Nickelodeon's 8th Annual Worldwide Day of Play tomorrow. For more information on the event, click here. Big Show is currently on hiatus from WWE on requested time off.
Impact Wrestling News
- Ric Flair suffered a broken bursa sac in his left elbow last Monday night in his main event match against Sting. Flair thought he broke his arm as he spoke to Mike Mooneyham about it at this link.
- Hulk Hogan originally signed a two-year contract with TNA Wrestling with a clause that either side could opt out of the deal after the first year. Obviously neither side opted out and Hogan has been working all year on the second (and final) year of the deal. For the last few months he's been trying to negotiate another two-year deal, again with the same opt out clause after the first year. While Hogan hasn't been looking for a raise, he has been trying to get a deal in the same range financially. As we have reported numerous times here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, all spending in TNA must be approved by Dixie Carter's mother, Janice, and Janice has been looking to cut all talent salaries whenever someone is up for re-negotiation. I am told Hogan's approach really hasn't been that different than last year when Janice was negotiating with Kevin Nash. Nash wasn't looking for a raise, but he wasn't willing to take a pay cut either. Hogan has taken the same stance and has also been leaving the proposed Bound For Glory match with Sting in limbo as he's made it clear that no new contract means no match with Sting. So far, neither side is budging, which has thrown creative for a loop as Hogan vs. Sting has been built to all year and suddenly they don't know if Hogan is staying or going and they don't know if he'll continue to refuse to do the match if it looks like he'll be leaving.
- Ric Flair was at Fenway Park today for the Boston Red Sox MLB game against the Baltimore Orioles. Flair presented the team with their own version of the TNA World Heavyweight Championship title. You can view photos of the appearance here on the official Impact Wrestling website.
- Impact Wrestling uploaded the following video today on their official YouTube channel:
- Mike Mooneyham is reporting that Ric Flair will undergo surgery next week for a torn left triceps. The injury occurred during his match with Sting at the recent Impact Wrestling TV tapings.
Where is The Big Show at the moment and when is he due to return?
Both Big Show and Kane are out with requested time off. I was told at the end of July that Big Show could be out a total of three months and Kane could be back sooner. I haven't heard any update on either worker but they have been off the road for two months now.
Why is WWE pushing John Cena so much when clearly he is losing the majority of his fans?
John Cena's fan base is clearly split; however, he still garners enough support to be one of WWE's top merchandise sellers. The reason WWE always "pushes Cena to the moon" is because of how much merchandise he moves and the reactions he draws. WWE officials recognize the heat but either way, cheers or heat, Cena draws a reaction from fans and that is something that keeps him in the limelight. I will be discussing his WWE Championship win from last night later this morning on Richard's Backstage Blog.
Next year's Wrestlemania XXVIII will be headlined by one of the most anticipated matches in WWE history in John Cena vs. The Rock. How good do you think the PPV buyrate would be if CM Punk took on "Stone Cold" Steve Austin in the same night?
I am all for Steve Austin vs. CM Punk, however, this is still a case of playing the "what if" game as Austin has not agreed to return to the ring. As for when the match should occur it would leave Wrestlemania XXVIII absolutely stacked, however, WWE may opt to hold it to another show with The Rock's involvement being enough to spark a significant amount of interest. I also want to reiterate Austin hasn't agreed to return to the ring and is having fun with fans by teasing a possible dream match.
Why was it announced so early that The Rock will take part in a Traditional Survivor Series Match with John Cena?
When The Rock agreed to appear at Wrestlemania XXVII this year he made it clear he would be appear but didn't want to wrestle. When he got back around the business he changed his mind and ultimately agreed to a dream match against John Cena. Fearing he might have a change of heart, Vince McMahon made the decision to announce it immediately to make it very hard for The Rock to renege. As for The Rock's involvement in Survivor Series, I think it's more of a case of "creating hype" for the show this November in Madison Square Garden. WWE has been putting up lackluster ratings lately and the company wants to fully capitalize on The Rock's involvement. I am against The Rock competing before Wrestlemania XXVIII and will be highlighting my thoughts this week on Richard's Backstage Blog.
Do you think with the recent "firings" and comments made about Triple H losing control will open the door for Vince McMahon's return or for someone else to take over?
I do not see the Triple H COO storyline ending before Survivor Series. The "firings" of Kevin Nash, R-Truth and The Miz are part of storyline progression, leading to something bigger. It wouldn't be too far off to speculate a Survivor Series match involving the "fired" talent but I haven't heard the full details of the storyline. It's also worth noting WWE's recent trademarking of the "future endeavored" terms.
Is it just me or is creative going too far with Mark Henry? I used to enjoy watching him and after he made his heel turn I felt like he's not as interesting as he used to be.
The work of Mark Henry has been the most entertaining work of his career. I am not going to rave about his in-ring work because obviously he is limited but Henry's work on the mic has made him the top heel on Smackdown. The decision to put him over Randy Orton at WWE Night of Champions was based on the fact it would be too early to put him under after the run he has been on. The World Heavyweight Championship has changed hands too many times in recent months but I would have probably booked Henry over Orton if I were booking as well. WWE has made a commitment to Mark Henry and it would have been too early to stop it on Sunday. Henry taking out Jim Ross and Lawler last night on Raw was done to continue his "out of control" angle but at least JR didn't get set on fire.
I thought the ending of the Triple H/CM Punk match at WWE Night of Champions was a complete farce. It seemed like they didn't know what to do so they just sent anybody out there to interfere.
There is no question the match finish was overbooked and I questioned what seemed to be the random involvement of The Miz and R-Truth in my Richard Reacts. After last night's WWE Raw it's clear both Miz and Truth are now going to be involved in the storyline that also involves a "fired" Kevin Nash, Triple H and of course CM Punk.
Do you think Alberto Del Rio's visa issues causing him to miss dates brought enough heat on him to lose the WWE Championship?
Alberto Del Rio's visa issues were brief and pretty much a non-issue. The decision to put John Cena over for the WWE Championship at Night of Champions was a clear sign WWE does not yet have confidence in Del Rio as a "top guy." Given the fact the Raw rating has struggled in recent weeks, it could have also been driven by the fact that WWE officials feel Del Rio as champion was not sparking public interest so they pressed their emergency button which initiates "Super Cena."
Do you see Mark Henry having a lengthy reign as World Heavyweight Champion and eventually dropping the belt to a returning Undertaker?
A lot of people have been speculating the dominance of Mark Henry could be a great way to bring back The Undertaker. However, there is a big flaw with this scenario. Let's assume for a moment WWE decides to bring back The Undertaker to stop Mark Henry. The Undertaker stops him. Then what? Unless it's at Wrestlemania, where Undertaker would go 20-0, there is zero rub in it for anyone and wastes months of building Mark Henry up. As for the length of Henry's title reign, I like extended reigns but that certainly hasn't been the case with either belt lately.
Why has John Laurinaitis been getting so much TV time? One would think he would be behind-the-scenes all the time.
One word many people use to describe John Laurinaitis is resilient. Laurinaitis does not have the best real-life relationship with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon yet not only has he been able to keep his job as Executive Vice President of Talent Relations but he's weaseled his way onto television. I can't give you an answer to how he's done it other than he is resilient.
Since the announcement of Matt Hardy getting help from WWE to make the choice to go to rehab, will he return to the ring full-time for WWE after the 3 months in rehab?
First of all Matt Hardy is entering mandated rehab and if he does not complete a treatment program, he will be jailed. Secondly, pro wrestling should be the last thing from Hardy's mind. Not only is he sitting on two Driving While Impaired charges but now faces serious drug charges along with reckless driving charges. Jeff Hardy escaped prison so now it will be Matt's turn to try and do the same. There is no way WWE is going near Hardy right now and the reason they are paying for rehab is because it's company policy to offer all contracted talent and former contracted talent financial support in a rehabilitation facility.
Did John Morrison lose so quickly to Alberto Del Rio on Monday Night because of backstage heat or because of a different reason?
John Morrison's job on Monday's Raw SuperShow clearly had another motivating factor but I do not know what the factor was as of this writing. I commented on Twitter about how WWE buries Morrison like a dog buries a bone then was embarrassed by my bad example.
Will Kurt Angle ever return to WWE?
We never like to say never in this business but Kurt Angle returning to WWE is not likely. Angle recently signed a new 3-year contract with Impact Wrestling.
Will WWE be protecting John Cena over the next few months in order to decrease the risk of an injury, before his match with The Rock at Wrestlemania XXVIII?
There is no way to protect John Cena from injury and usually when you start thinking "don't get hurt," an injury occurs. I would imagine Cena isn't going to take any unnecessary risks but this is something WWE tries to eliminate from all their workers all the time.
I am absolutely disgusted that John Cena won the WWE Championship yet again at Night of Champions. I barely even want to watch Raw anymore. What are your thoughts on the outcome of the WWE title match?
I felt Alberto Del Rio should have gone over John Cena, especially given the fact he was the Royal Rumble winner and Money in the Bank winner. Del Rio needed the win to establish his reign as WWE Champion. He didn't get it and it showed WWE does not have confidence in him as champion yet. If I had to speculate, I feel the decision was ratings-driven.
What is the latest on Batista?
Batista recently opened a gym in the Tampa area and is focused on trying to pursue a career in Mixed Martial Arts. He is also acting.
With yet another title victory to his name what are the chances of John Cena going over Ric Flair's record?
The chances are good and I actually thought about Ric Flair's 16 title reigns when John Cena was celebrating his 10th reign with the WWE Championship this past Sunday at Night of Champions. There are a couple of factors to consider when looking at the multiple title reigns of John Cena. It's obvious he is WWE's top guy despite many (me included) tired of his gimmick but it should also be noted the lack of new top names WWE has created. As I noted yesterday, I feel the main reason Cena went over Alberto Del Rio had to do with ratings and an obvious lack of confidence in Del Rio as champion.
Do you expect to see the return of The Undertaker at WWE Hell in a Cell?
I have not heard the return plans for The Undertaker. WWE teased his return for Vengeance (the pay-per-view that follows Hell in a Cell) but nothing was made official. The Undertaker is a semi-retired worker that WWE seems to be saving for big pay-per-views and of course Wrestlemania.
Why has the Smackdown taping attendance been down?
The attendance at the Smackdown tapings for the past two weeks has been down. While I have heard everything from readers including "it's Cena's fault" to "WWE's in trouble" I actually believe it had to do with the location. Both shows were in Ohio - Toledo and Dayton respectively. WWE runs a lot of shows in Ohio and I believe it's a situation where the market is oversaturated with shows. I've been to shows in Cleveland before where attendance was very sparse.
What is the backstage opinion of John Cena? Does he have a lot of haters?
John Cena, like everyone else, has his fair share of detractors. Chavo Guerrero continues to bury him while Michael Tarver lashed out against him in June. Any time you have success it's going to cause jealousy and often times unwarranted hate. Cena also has a lot of good friends backstage including Randy Orton.