Huge Update On The Launch Of The WWE Network, Backstage News On Triple H’s Vision For The Future Of WWE, Brian Gewirtz Replaced As Head Writer, CM Punk Assaults Fan At Raw, Major Attitude Era Stars Returning, Full Details On WWE Creative Shakeup & Who Offered Little To No Input, Sting Wants A Match With Undertaker, Hogan Sex Tape Overshadows BFG Coverage, Ask WNW Archive

WWE News

- Chris Jericho wrote the following on Twitter:

- Dolph Ziggler had a worked Twitter exchange with none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger. Check out the Tweets embedded below:

 

- Hornswoggle noted on Twitter he had a cholecystostomy. Below is the Tweet:

- Zack Ryder expressed frustration with his current position in WWE in an interview with Smacktalk Radio Live! Click here to listen to the interview.

- The Kingston Whig-Standard has a new article online featuring quotes from Edge that was used to promote Tommy Dreamer’s “House of Hardcore” show this weekend. While discussing his friendship with Dreamer, Edge claimed he wasn’t offered a new WWE contract.

“I wasn’t offered another contract. I don’t know where people get their news from,” he added, calling the appearance [on Smackdown] “another day at the office.”

Edge was believed to be looking for a deal similar to that of Shawn Michaels with a large six-figure downside once his WWE contract expired on May 1, 2012 but the two sides were unable to come to terms.

You can read the article in its entirety at this link.

- We have learned more details on WWE’s new multi-year agreement with Hulu. Basically, WWE had been “dragging their feet” and Hulu was about to walk away from the negotiating table if WWE didn’t commit to something. Ultimately, the two sides agreed to a scaled down arrangement for a much lower licensing fee that would still allow WWE to pursue the WWE Network. As previously reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium, WWE was trying to play YouTube and Hulu against each other as well as “play chicken” with the cable and satellite providers. One observer says they could have gotten burned bad but didn’t. Hulu wasn’t happy with the games and took a “now or never” position, which forced WWE’s hand. With that being stated, there is nothing new on clearances for the WWE Network as the company continues to struggle on that front. Vince McMahon has thought about trying to launch the network in Europe first as they’ve had more luck with television providers across the pond. If they go that route, there has been talk of launching an ad campaign to urge viewers in the United States to put pressure on their providers to launch the WWE Network domestically. In terms of a timetable, this plan would hopefully see the WWE Network launch in some form in Europe by Wrestlemania XXIX with hopes of launching in the United States by the end of 2013. They could still launch the network this year if they were willing to launch in a very select portion of the United States, which obviously would not be a good idea.

- Cody Rhodes suffered a black eye at Sunday’s WWE Smackdown live event in Reno, Nevada. Rhodes, in-character, posted the following on Twitter:

Rhodes tag team partner Damien Sandow Tweeted the following:

- Christian’s scheduled appearance at the inaugural TNA Hall of Fame Ceremony this Saturday night is reportedly in doubt. I haven’t heard why the appearance is in jeopardy of not happening but Christian was originally scheduled to appear as part of a deal WWE had with TNA in an exchange of talent for allowing Ric Flair to appear at the WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony this year and at Wrestlemania XXVIII the following night. Christian appeared at Slammiversary in June and was scheduled to make his second appearance on Saturday.

- I’m told Triple H is “thrilled” with the setup of NXT Wrestling taping at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida, however, he still prefers to shutdown Florida Championship Wrestling in the long-term. While FCW is currently operating under the NXT name, Hunter reportedly has “no faith” in Steve Keirn or their setup. One thing really working against FCW is it was a John Laurinaitis project and Triple H has his own vision for developmental he wants to build from scratch. The revamp of FCW is currently seen as more of a band-aid. There are still plans to “phase out” the company’s relationship with FCW in approximately six months although Hunter still likes the idea of developmental being in Florida. It’s an uneasy situation where Keirn knows “the writing is on the wall” but WWE doesn’t have anything setup in terms of a long-term permanent replacement. Because of this, plans to phase out FCW in favor of a new Triple H developmental system could still be a year out.

- John Cena was on “Live with Kelly and Michael” on Monday to discuss his recent surgery and WWE’s partnership with Susan G. Komen for the Cure. You can watch video of the appearance here on dot com.

- WWE will return to the Power Balance Pavilion in Sacramento, California, the venue of this week’s Raw for a Smackdown taping on Tuesday, January 22, 2013. A presale begins during this week’s Raw.

- Something went down on Monday with Vince McMahon and Senior Vice President of Creative Writing Brian Gewirtz. Reports surfaced earlier in the day Gewirtz had been removed as the head creative team writer for Raw but he wasn’t Raw’s head writer and was writing for Smackdown as well. Gewirtz held a senior position above the head writers for each brand. I can also confirm Gewirtz was not fired and remains on the company payroll. We heard things went “kaboom” and Brian is seen as Vince McMahon’s “fall guy” but we aren’t exactly sure what happened. Things were a mess backstage as I heard as of 7:45 PM EDT a large portion of this week’s Raw was still being written. While things have been extra chaotic lately, they took a serious turn for the worse when last week’s Raw and Smackdown put up abysmal ratings.

- In the latest update regarding WWE Creative, Brian Gewirtz was removed from his position as the Senior Vice President of Creative Writing but remains employed. He will be replaced by Eric Pankowski, who was hired in February, and previously worked as a senior executive at Reveille and Warner Bros. To make sure you are in the know, the head writer for Raw is David Kapoor (a/k/a Ranjin Singh). The head writer for Smackdown is Ed Koskey but something is reportedly going down with him, however, we are working to confirm. Gewirtz was working above both and anything they wrote had to be approved by him before going to Stephanie McMahon. Vince McMahon of course approves everything as he has the final say. Other members of the WWE creative team include Kevin Eck (formerly of The Baltimore Sun), Pat Patterson and Tom Cassielo. We should have much more following this week’s WWE Raw.

- Larry King and his wife Shawn Southwick appeared on this week’s WWE Raw in a segment with The Miz and Kofi Kingston.

- After this week’s WWE Raw went off the air, World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus beat WWE CM Punk via disqualification when Punk hit a low blow on Sheamus. After the match, Sheamus gave Punk the Brogue Kick. The dark match is actually good news as Sheamus was checked out for a concussion after hitting his head in a match with Wade Barrett.

- There was an incident in the crowd involving WWE Champion CM Punk at this week’s WWE Raw. Once Punk retreated to the crowd to avoid Ryback, Vince McMahon was on the mic. As Vince was speaking, Punk connected with a fan to the face and shoved him as the broadcast was going off the air. The entire incident was on-camera but Punk returned to the ring for the dark match main event.

- The tag team of Kofi Kingston & R-Truth is no more. The former WWE Tag Team Champions parted ways amicably on a video on the official WWE website. The reason cited was that the team’s mission to revitalize the tag team division has been accomplished.

- TMZ has a story online on Alberto Del Rio tearing a fan’s sign in half at a Smackdown live event in Anaheim last Saturday night. The mother of the fan, an 8-year-old child, is accusing Del Rio of being a bully and that her son immediately burst into tears and cried all the way home. The woman, identified as Shelly Ehler, sent a letter to WWE over the incident and says Sheamus, who the sign was about, offered to send her child a signed photo. Click here to read the story in its entirety.

- The fan that CM Punk hit at WWE Raw this week filed a report with Sacramento police. He claims his glasses were broke during the assault by the WWE Champion. Below a Tweet from Laura Cole, a reporter from CBS 13, who interviewed the fan:

- Randy Orton is scheduled for this week’s Smackdown, as announced on this week’s Raw. Orton wrote the following on Twitter:

- ESPN.com has a new Q&A online with Paul Heyman to promote WWE ’13. Below is an excerpt:

So when you think back, how much of WWE’s Attitude Era is owed to what you were already doing in ECW?

Everything! It’s funny, because when you interview writers from that era, they will blatantly tell you that they’d watch ECW television, get ideas, sit on those ideas for a couple of months, then pitch them to Vince and say “Hey, I got this great idea for The Undertaker and The Big Show where they go through a ring,” failing to mention that they saw Taz and Bam Bam Bigelow do it in Asbury Park.

Vince McMahon became a billionaire based on Attitude, and Attitude was spawned by the ECW experience. If I could give you one sound bite, one headline, it’s this: Vince McMahon might not proclaim himself to be a Paul Heyman guy, but he sure should.

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

- WWE issued the following statement in response to a mother’s complaint that Alberto Del Rio “bullied” her son at a weekend live event in Anaheim:

“While Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez were portraying their WWE characters, we sincerely apologize for any misunderstanding that may have occurred.”

- We reported earlier that the fan that was attacked by CM Punk last night on WWE Raw filed a police report. A WWE representative contacted TMZ about the incident as they picked up this story. Below is what the rep told them:

“WWE security was unfortunately not in the appropriate place at the time. Given CM Punk’s persona as a ‘bad guy’ fans were naturally heckling him, but unfortunately a few fans began shoving him and one struck him in the kidney and on the back.”

The rep adds, “WWE regrets that proper security measures were not in place, and CM Punk apologizes for reacting in the heat of the moment.”

- Tensai’s falling stock in WWE became evident this week when the company updated his bio on dot com. The following was written:

“Over the following months, Tensai quickly went from intimidating behemoth to overhyped disappointment. Despite impressive outings against John Cena and CM Punk, several frustrating losses to underdog Tyson Kidd led to Tensai assaulting his own associate Sakamoto on the July 30, 2012 edition of Raw. Is this beginning of a new, more focused Tensai? One can only assume that disaster will follow for his opponents until this star from multiple continents fulfills his destiny.”

They have since edited his bio to read the following:

Over the following months, Tensai had impressive outings against John Cena and CM Punk. However, after several frustrating losses to Tyson Kidd, Tensai assaulted his own associate Sakamoto on the July 30, 2012, edition of Raw.

In fall 2012, an even more aggressive side of Tensai surfaced, as he tangled with the likes of Ryback and Sheamus. Is this the beginning of a new, more focused Tensai? One can only assume that disaster will follow for his opponents as this star from multiple continents looks to fulfill his destiny.

Click here to read Tensai’s bio.

- WWE has their own coverage of CM Punk attacking a fan that includes their official statement. The statement is as follows:

“During Monday night’s Raw televised event, WWE Superstar CM Punk exited the ring and into the stands as part of the show. Unfortunately, WWE security was not in the appropriate place at the time. Given CM Punk’s persona as a ‘bad guy,’ fans were naturally heckling him, but unfortunately a few fans began shoving him, and one struck him in the kidney and on the back. WWE regrets that proper security measures were not in place, and CM Punk apologizes for reacting in the heat of the moment. Other than this isolated incident, WWE always provides proper security to ensure the safety of our fans and our performers.”

Dot com also has quotes from the WWE Champion himself:

“I think the whole situation sucks,” Punk told WWE.com. “It’s an unfortunate and isolated incident. I was up in the stands, surrounded.”

“Somebody said, ‘let’s push him down the stairs,’” Punk explained. “I got hit in the ribs three times. I was getting shoved and I was getting punched…Then I started getting tagged in the back of the head. Unfortunately, I lashed out in the heat of the moment and I apologize. I’m really just glad nobody was hurt.

Click here for coverage on WWE.com.

- The Miz will defend his Intercontinental Championship against Kofi Kingston on next week’s WWE Main Event. Click here for this week’s spoilers. Next week’s WWE Main Event will be taped on October 16 from the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee.

- The fan that CM Punk attacked on this week’s WWE Raw has been identified as Charles Schmidt. Schmidt doesn’t intend to press charges but is considering hiring an attorney for a potential lawsuit. Despite Schmidt claiming his glasses were broken in the attack, he was not injured.

- Look for Attitude Era stars to be making appearances on upcoming episodes of WWE Raw and possibly even Smackdown to help promote WWE ’13 which is due out at the end of the month.

- I’m told things are looking very good for sales of CM Punk: Best in the World. Some in the company are expecting it to break the record for first week sales. The only concern is that all of the diehard Punk fans have already purchased and it will need a solid weekend in sales to hit the mark.

- The closing segment of WWE Raw featuring the aftermath of Vince McMahon vs. CM Punk did a 3.6 rating and Vince was “very happy” viewers tuned back in.

- Vince McMahon will speak with John Cena again this weekend about his status for Hell in a Cell. As we reported first, Ryback wasn’t a decoy but was actually placed in the program to give the company a backup plan. Should they have to go with Punk vs. Ryback if Cena is unable to go, Brock Lesnar has been their talked “out plan” for a match that would be impossible to book a clean outcome.

- WWE cameras were at Shawn Michaels’ ranch Thursday in San Antonio to film footage for the upcoming Mick Foley DVD.

- Speaking of filming, WWE shot a commercial with Sheamus and David Otunga last week at the Coyle Law Firm in Oklahoma City. You can read more at this link.

- I spoke with one of my sources regarding the creative changes in WWE and was told the change was pretty “cut and dry” and nothing was “sneaky” or “outrageous.” Basically ratings were down and it was time to make a change; Stephanie McMahon trusts Eric Pankowski thus he was given the position of Senior Vice President of Creative Writing. My source says it’s amazing Brian Gewirtz lasted as long as he did and just about everyone said he was a marked man in terms of being in danger to be replaced. The ratings decline during his tenure was an obvious indicator change was needed and while it isn’t believe Pankowski will do much better, most don’t see how he can do worse. The most interesting aspect in the creative changes was how little input Triple H had. Those close to him say he realizes the ratings are going to continue to struggle with Raw’s 3 hour format and rather than champion a new writer who ultimately ends up failing as well, he figured it was smart to sit this one out. Vince McMahon and Stephanie were the ones deciding replacements and Hunter was largely mum on the subject. I’m told every move Hunter is making right now has to do with “planting seeds” for the future and he is in no rush. One observer says it really doesn’t matter who is head of creative right now because it’s believed Hunter will replace them when he takes over anyway. This is also why so much of his focus right now is on developmental because he is much more concerned with how he plans to shape the product in 3-5 years than what is going on now.

- With Michael Cole serving as the play-by-play man for WWE Main Event, he was replaced on this week’s Smackdown by John “Bradshaw” Layfield. No word on JBL’s status with the company but he was interested in returning and has obviously got his foot back in the door.

- Dot com has a new video interview online with referee Scott Armstrong, conducted at this week’s Smackdown taping, talking about working the CM Punk vs. Mr. McMahon match on this week’s WWE Raw. Armstrong says it was a “real rush” when he found out he had the match. You can watch it at this link.

- The Rock, Brock Lesnar and John Cena are featured on the Wrestlemania XXIX promotional poster to promote the fact tickets go on sale Saturday, November 10th at 10 AM. You can view the poster below:

- For those wondering what the “crisscross, spiderweb-looking” tape was that covered John Cena’s surgically repaired arm on WWE Raw on Monday night, it was SpiderTech, a type of athletic adhesive known as Kinesio Tape. The adhesive is used to speed recovery time. You can read more about the adhesive by an article on dot com at this link.

- Jerry Lawler is being advertised locally for next week’s Smackdown taping in his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

- John Cena is scheduled to serve as the honorary team captain of the New York Jets for their game against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. John is off this weekend’s live events as he continues to recover from elbow surgery.

- Big Show is the scheduled to appear at the next set of NXT tapings on Thursday, November 15, 2012.

- Zack Ryder didn’t exactly give this week’s episode of Z! True Long Island Story a ringing endorsement. Ryder wrote the following on Twitter:

- WWE is now calling the stable of Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre “The Band.” I’m not sure this will appease the many McIntyre fans but at least he has a storyline.

- Steve Austin posted a new blog entry on his official website Friday, giving an update from the filming of CMT’s Redneck Island. In the blog, Austin gave an update on his knee which you can read below:

I will continue to rehab my knee down at the ranch. Speaking of my knee, it is feeling great. I am slowly regaining size and strength in my left leg. I had a new ACL and PCL grafted in on July 2 and I am happy with how everything is progressing.

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

- After informing his followers on Twitter Thursday night that this week’s episode of Z! True Long Island Story would “suck” after the initial episode was rejected by WWE, Zack Ryder says there will be no new episode this week. The following is from Ryder’s Twitter:

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  • robert

    You can't say cm punk isn't a draw without a good opponent, Daniel Bryan was an excellent opponent, but they can't feud all the time. There's just no one, no big names. Mark Henry would be a good feud until Royal Rumble he and D-Bry carried smackdown last year and made it watchable so get sexual chocolate back.