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 24, 2011 to Friday, September 30, 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!
- Wrestling News World reader Heda sent word the local enhancement worker that Brodus Clay squashed on this week's WWE Superstars was Dragon Gate USA wrestler Johnny Gargano.
- Wrestling News World reader Shannon Sylvia sent word the official WWE website has a "Where Are They Now?" feature on Billy Kidman. You can check it out at this link.
- Actor Hugh Jackman was on "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno last night where he discussed his appearance on this Monday's WWE Raw Supershow. In the interview, he discussed "breaking" Dolph Ziggler's jaw and the atmosphere backstage at the taping. You can watch the appearance embedded in the video below:
- Last week's Smackdown featured two different edits to the ending of the Randy Orton vs. WWE Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes match. The first edit, seen in international airings of the show as well as the YouTube version of the show, shows Orton delivering a DDT to Rhodes through the ropes after the match and goes straight to a backstage segment with Christian and Sheamus. The second edit that aired in the United States shows the post-match beat down, however, alternate camera angles are used to shy away from the amount of blood pouring down from Rhodes' face after being busted open hardway from the ring bell. The bleeding was accidental and caused by a hardway shot.
- WWE is doing an angle with a "frustrated" Daniel Bryan on their official website over the Sin Cara double. You can watch a video interview they uploaded with him at this link.
- CM Punk paid tribute to the late Eddie Guerrero at a house show in his hometown of El Paso, Texas. A fan's video of Punk leading the crowd in Eddie chants has been posted on YouTube, and is embedded below:
- Wrestling News World reader Jaquan Johnson sent this in... Netflix has added OMG! The Top 50 Incidents in WWE History to its watch instantly list. Also this is all Top 50 Incidents in WWE History, if you buy the DVD you will get a 3 disc set the other 2 disc would be highlights and matches from the Top 50.
- Embedded in the video below is raw footage from inside the arena of the ending of Randy Orton vs. WWE Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes from last week's Smackdown.
- The preliminary buyrate for WWE SummerSlam is reported in at 301,000 buys which is down from previous years. Here's a look at the final buyrate numbers for the show in recent years:
* SummerSlam 2010 - 350,000 buys
* SummerSlam 2009 - 369,000 buys
* SummerSlam 2008 - 477,000 buys
* SummerSlam 2007 - 537,000 buys
The buyrate is clearly going in the opposite direction but the final number will be released with the company's quarter three earnings later this year.
- The UK Sun has a new article online featuring quotes from "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. In it, he continues to fuel speculation about one more match against CM Punk. Below is an excerpt:
"I think Punk is a great guy.
"I'd say he looks up to me for what I did in the ring back in the day - and I look up to him for what he is doing now. I'd say it's a case of mutual respect.
"I hear the stories and if the stars aligned and all things worked out to benefit us all - the WWE, myself and Punk - I'd say that he is the guy I'd pick to face.
"I'm sure I could get another match out of this carcass of mine."
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
- Much like creative plans have changed day-to-day (if not hour-to-hour) in WWE lately, the same could be said about many of the ideas and concepts for the forthcoming WWE Network. As I reported earlier this month, one plan WWE had was to shift some of their minor pay-per-views to the network and instead have them as television specials (exclusive to the network). One potential problem though was that the cable and satellite operators get a large cut of the pay-per-view money and weren't going to be eager to support the launch of a new channel that would be cannibalizing a lot of that pay-per-view revenue. Regardless, Vince McMahon had recently toyed with the idea of even more of the pay-per-view events being moved to the WWE Network, possibly all of them except for the "big four" shows (Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, SummerSlam and Survivor Series). It was around this time he also began to consider launching the network as a premium subscription service (such as HBO, Showtime, etc.) as opposed to it being a cable channel most likely carried on the digital tier of most providers. With pay-per-view struggling as much as it has for the less prestigious events, the idea was that perhaps the company would be better off if they had a few hundred thousand subscribers paying $10-$12 a month than the lower pay-per-view buyrates they've been doing in the United States. Some in the company thought it was a bad idea to go the subscription route because WWE "Classics On Demand" is considered to be a failure internally. However, Vince usually blames the failure of WWE "Classics On Demand" on the fact that so much of the programming is old and of other promotions. In his mind, the current WWE product is still in demand and while classic footage would still be a part of the network, WWE "Classics On Demand" failed in his eyes because classic footage was the focus and not enough people are interested in the old companies. Another hope was that a subscription model would garner some support from cable and satellite operators concerned about loss of revenue from there being less pay-per-view events as now the network would be generating subscription fees that the cable systems would be getting a cut of. A few providers were approached about some of the more current ideas for the network and they were receptive. But the idea of moving 9 of the 13 PPV's off of pay-per-view still wasn't something they were fond of and that's where the idea came from to move back to the original idea of only shifting a few of the PPVs to WWE Network, except now it would be four of the most important shows instead of four of the least important. A lot of this is still up in the air and there is a lot of scrambling going on because of Vince's determination to get this network launched next year even though it can be a very slow process dealing with the cable operators. A lot of surveys, market research and studies are going on right now to try to figure out what the WWE audience would be most receptive to while at the same time working within the parameters of what will please the cable companies and ultimately gain the network carriage. Another aspect of this is that even though the company would be giving up a tremendous amount of revenue if Wrestlemania wasn't on pay-per-view in the United States (and possibly other territories), Vince does feel like Wrestlemania is so important it would pretty much guarantee the majority of cable and satellite operators would have to carry the network due to the amount of complaints they would receive if they did not. A lot of "cat and mouse" games are played when it comes to networks dealing with the cable companies and very few networks are big enough to have any leverage. Vince may be willing to give up millions now if using Wrestlemania as a bargaining chip is what it's going to take to successfully launch this network. As always, there will be many twists and turns in this story and as one observer put it, it's going to be "fascinating" to watch unfold. As they told me, Vince is getting up there in age and sees the success or lack thereof of this network as being a major part of his enduring legacy. I'm told he's going to do anything he can to make it work.
- WWE sent out the following video today with Shawn Michaels confronting Triple H over the "firing" of Kevin Nash. This was filmed a few weeks ago in New York City:
- Jim Ross, Booker T and Michael Cole will call the action from ringside tonight at Raw Supershow from the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. Jerry Lawler suffered a legitimate back injury last week but was doubtful to sell the beat down from Mark Henry.
- Wrestling News World reader Carl Dantes reporting: This week's episode of Shawn Michaels' show the Shawn Michaels' MacMillan River Adventures will feature his wife Rebecca and son Cameron as special guests. Shawn and his wife Rebecca hunts whitetail while Shawn's son, Cameron, attempts to get his first buck. It will air this Tuesday September 27th, 2011 at 11:30pm eastern (8:30 pm pacific) / 3:00am (12:00am pacific) & Saturday October 1st, 2011 at 7:00pm eastern (4:00pm pacific) on the Outdoor Channel - Ch-406 on XFINITY TV, Ch-606 on DirectTV, Ch-396 on Dish Network. For more info about Shawn Michaels' MacMillan River Adventures, www.mrahunting.com
- The official WWE website has a new interview online with Vickie Guerrero where she discusses who she would like to manage. You can read it at this link.
- I'm told the word going around backstage in WWE is Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson actually approached Vince McMahon about wrestling at Survivor Series this November. One source close to the situation told me Rock didn't want to set into the ring at Wrestlemania XXVIII having not wrestled in over eight years. He wants the opportunity to work off any accumulated ring rust and the assurance of feeling a little more comfortable before taking center stage next year. The Rock has been working close with McMahon about the booking of his role at Survivor Series with things been kept quiet as far as how the angle will play out with John Cena on the show. There's a possibility of The Rock doing something at Royal Rumble but he wants to see how he feels after Survivor Series and decide if he feels he needs another match before Wrestlemania or if one was enough to brush up on his skills.
- Rey Mysterio had a doctor's appointment today in San Diego, California to discuss what's next for his knee. Mysterio noted yesterday he might need more surgery to repair his PCL injury.
- The Miz posted the following video on his YouTube channel:
- The official WWE website posted a video of CM Punk giving his thoughts on Hell in a Cell at this link.
- WWE also has interviews online with Superstars and Divas discussing Triple H being "in charge." You can view those interviews here.
- WWE sent out a survey today asking questions about their upcoming WWE '12 video game. You can answer the questions at this link.
- Tickets for Wrestlemania XXVIII will go on sale on Saturday, November 5, 2011 with a pre-sale earlier in the week. Wrestlemania XXVIII will take place Sunday, April 1, 2012 from the Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Florida. We'll have full coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- Below is a promotional poster WWE has released to advertise Wrestlemania XXVIII tickets going on sale:
As we reported last night, Wrestlemania XXVIII tickets will go on sale on November 5, 2011.
- The Chicago Tribune has an article on CM Punk getting a new tattoo yesterday. You can view the piece with a photo at this link.
- Wrestling News World reader Jesse sent in the following video that was taken Monday at Slackers CD and Games in Hazelwood, Missouri where Randy Orton said Royal Rumble would be in St. Louis. A security officer then told Orton it was "strong rumor." Watch in the video embedded below:
- Sports Business Journal Daily is reporting that Senior VP/Tournament Operations & Player Services of the LPGA Jane Geddes is leaving her position effective Friday and will begin as the new Vice President of Talent Relations with WWE on Monday. "It just felt like the right time in my life to really make a distinct change like that," Geddes said. You can read more at this link. 11:29 AM EDT Update: Just to clear up any confusion, Geddes will report to John Laurinaitis as he is the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations.
- Kevin Nash was scheduled to make an indy appearance this weekend with Northeast Wrestling on Saturday in Poughkeepsie, New York but had to cancel due to the shooting schedule for a film he is doing in Los Angeles. Northeast Wrestling noted on Facebook that Nash tried to change the shooting schedule but was unable to do so. They look forward to Kevin being on a future show with the promotion. For more on the show, click here.
- Rey Mysterio underwent a second knee surgery in San Diego yesterday to reinforce his PCL ligament. Mysterio posted the following update on Twitter:
Surgery went well! At home now relaxing & trying to control the pain! Thx 4 all the good thoughts & prayers..1 luv 619
You can keep up with Mysterio by following him on Twitter at this link.
- Wrestling News World readers Fernando and Spyder sent in the following: Jimmy Uso was arrested early this morning in Tampa, Florida for driving under the influence. According to a report by local police, an officer "observed the defendant traveling the wrong way on Howard Avenue in a silver Mustang." Uso's blood alcohol content was reported to be .180, far above the legal limit of .08.
- Wrestling News World reader Brian Perine saw Sin Cara signing autographs unmasked at a local St. Louis hotel this week and took pictures. You can view the pictures embedded in the video below:
- WWE has released referee James Maritato (formerly known as Little Guido & Nunzio). He is now accepting independent bookings as a wrestler through Bill Behrens at ShowBis@aol.com.
- Wrestling News World reader Aaron Cook sent word that tickets for the December 5th WWE Raw Supershow from the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida go on sale next Saturday (October 8th) at 10 AM.
- Wrestling News World reader Shayne sent this in... Ex-wrestling star saves man lost in Quebec woods
- Wrestling News World reader N Ryan sent this in... WWE's Heels -- the Jerks, Cowards and Miscreants -- vs. Corporate Hedonism
- WWE has released Wes Brisco from their developmental system. Wes is the real-life son of WWE Hall of Famer Gerald Brisco.
- The Daily Star has a new article online featuring quotes from "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. Below is an excerpt:
"When I look at that company right now, John Cena is the guy who anchors it all. Some people get mad because they feel like WWE shove it down your throat, but he's the main guy! Whether you love to hate him or you love to love him - you gotta respect him.
"I have a lot of respect for John - he's been carrying the company for several years and he comes into work every day with a smile on his face and does all the promotional work and never complains.
It's no surprise that Austin values the blue collar qualities in Cena's repertoire - he bring the same to his acting career, happy to be alive and working! He tells FT Cena is in a different class to the pretender, saying, "If you're going to have him chase you must have a heel worthy of chasing - no disrespect to Del Rio - but Cena is so far higher up on that ladder. Unless you give him a viable heel to chase he should have the belt.
"I tell you John Cena has had some great matches with some great guys - sometimes his body of work gets overlooked, the guy has proven himself over and over again. I call a spade a spade and John has done a tremendous job and he's got a few years left yet. He'll keep riding that lightening bolt.
"That's not his fault - he's the top guy. All those young guys do not have the experience, have not had the maturation process - if I was new guy in that company I'd be charging forward trying to take the bull by the horns."
You can read the full article at this link.
- Wrestling News World reader Stoney reporting: The upcoming WWE Hell in a Cell pay-per-view on Sunday came up in a spot on PTI: Pardon the Interruption today on ESPN. In the segment before the BIG FINISH, a guest host filling in for co-host Michael Wilbon mentioned he tried to squeeze in a spot for Hell in a Cell on the show but it didn't make. Tony Kornheiser, the show's host, replied with "What's Hell in a Cell?" The guest host replied, "the upcoming pay-per-view this Sunday with John Cena, Randy Orton and CM Punk." Later in the segment, Kornheiser referred back by mentioning "John Saynah or however you say it."
TNA Impact Wrestling News
- Wrestling News World writer Rick Craig sent word that Ric Flair is selling some of his ring robes for $20,000. Flair is definitely going after money as he was on a promotional loop in some small towns here in West Virginia last week where he was doing autograph signings at local Walmart stores. I assume he's doing them in other areas of the country as well.
- TNA Impact Wrestling announced the following house shows for November:
Greenwood, MS will host the TNA IMPACT WRESTLING World Tour on Friday, November 18 at the LeFlore Civic Center at 7:30pm. Tickets go on sale Friday, October 7 at http://protix.com and charge by phone at 1-866-977-6849 . All tickets to the event include all you can eat popcorn, fountain drinks, hot dogs, candy, pickles and cookies. Fans that purchase a $55 ticket will receive a special meet and greet with TNA IMPACT WRESTLING Superstars at 5:30pm (redeemable with ticket the night of the show). Appearing live and in person will be Jeff Hardy, Mr. Anderson, Mexican America, Mickie James, Brian Kendrick and more!
Vicksburg, MS will host the TNA IMPACT WRESTLING World Tour on Saturday, November 19 at the Vicksburg Convention Center at 7:30pm. Tickets go on sale Friday, October 7 at http://ticketmaster.com and charge by phone at 800-745-3000 . All tickets to the event include all you can eat popcorn, fountain soda, hot dogs and nachos with cheese. Fans that purchase a $55 ticket will receive a special meet and greet with TNA IMPACT WRESTLING Superstars at 5:30pm (redeemable with ticket the night of the show). Appearing live and in person will be Jeff Hardy, Mr. Anderson, Mexican America, Mickie James, Brian Kendrick and more!
- Embedded in the video below is the latest TNA Spin Cycle featuring The Jarretts, AJ Styles and Eric Young:
- TNA Impact Wrestling announced the following house shows today:
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18: SANTIAGO, CHILE: TNA Wrestling and Sports Marketing Monterrey present its first visit to South America with the "TNA Sudamerica Tour" live in Santiago. The Superstars of TNA are invading the Movistar Arena on Friday, November 18, starting at 8:30 p.m. for an unforgettable night of action. Tickets go on sale Friday, September 30th at http://www.feriaticket.cl/ or charge by phone at (2) 592.85 00. The "TNA Sudamerica Tour" is an interactive experience that sends its craziest fans BACKSTAGE to meet their favorite TNA Superstars. Santiago fans can GET CLOSER to the Superstars and the LOUDEST FANS will be invited backstage for a special IMPACT WRESTLING experience. Fans that purchase a $150 ticket will receive a special "Meet and Greet" with the IMPACT WRESTLING Superstars at 6:30 pm. (Redeemable with ticket the night of the show) TICKETS: On sale Friday, September 30th athttp://www.feriaticket.cl/ or charge by phone at (2) 592.85 00. Tickets will also be available for purchase at the Movistar Arena box office.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 21: BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA: TNA Wrestling and Sports Marketing Monterrey present its first visit to South America with the "TNA Sudamerica Tour" live in Buenos Aires. The Superstars of TNA are invading Luna Park on Monday, November 21, starting at 7:30 p.m. for an unforgettable night of action. Tickets go on sale Friday, September 30th at http://www.ticketportal.com.ar/ or charge by phone at 5353-0606. The "TNA Sudamerica Tour" is an interactive experience that sends its craziest fans BACKSTAGE to meet their favorite TNA Superstars. Buenos Aires fans can GET CLOSER to the Superstars and the LOUDEST FANS will be invited backstage for a special IMPACT WRESTLING experience. Fans that purchase a $130 ticket will receive a special "Meet and Greet" with the IMPACT WRESTLING Superstars at 6:30 pm. (Redeemable with ticket the night of the show) TICKETS: On sale Friday, September 30th at http://www.ticketportal.com.ar/ or charge by phone at 5353-0606. Tickets will also be available for purchase at Luna Park box office.
- TNA Impact Wrestling posted the following Bound for Glory preview on their official YouTube channel:
- Eric Young wrote the following on Twitter last night:
PREDS vs caps tonight with good buddy @MaestroScottyB gonna be great. Acting class tomorrow new chapter of my life is under way
- Embedded in the video below is Hulk Hogan on ABC's "Good Morning America." In the appearance, Hogan promotes Micro Championship Wrestling, discusses his divorce with Linda, his relationship with his kids and his current financial condition. He makes no mention of TNA Impact Wrestling:
- TNA Impact Wrestling uploaded the following exclusive interview with Matt Morgan on their official YouTube channel:
What's the deal with the gimmicks of R-Truth? First the "little Jimmy" gimmick and now the conspiracy gimmick?
I have been happy with the booking of R-Truth's character. The heel turn is something that Vince McMahon pushed for and now they've even remixed his music from "What's up" to "You suck." The conspiracy gimmick with The Miz clearly has him over so I have no complaints about it.
Why did WWE put Kelly Kelly over Beth Phoenix on consecutive pay-per-views?
I can't give you answer as to why WWE made the decision to put Kelly Kelly over Beth Phoenix at Night of Champions. I didn't mind the win at SummerSlam but the match finish this month was the exact same. To make matters worse, it was in Beth's hometown and the fans were more into the match then they have been into a Divas match in the last couple years. WWE may have been concerned that Beth going over with a babyface reaction would change her character but I questioned the booking and blamed it on WWE booking 101 where the company had her do a job in her hometown.
What was the reason Cody Rhodes was allowed to bleed on last week's Smackdown?
As I reported yesterday, the bleeding was accidental and caused by a hardway shot with the ring bell from Randy Orton. WWE sent a trainer out to clean him up and used tight camera angles on the United States airing of the show. In other airings, the entire post match beat down was cut from the show.
With the frequency of which the titles change hands in WWE do feel being a multi-time champion does not have the same importance it did in the 80's and 90's?
I prefer longer title reigns opposed to quick switches but it's still a tremendous accomplishment to be a multi-time champion. Title reigns are obviously scripted but it comes down to a real-life push of a worker's character and their ability to get over.
Would you have an entire pay-per-view dedicated to gimmick matches (Hell in a Cell, Money in the Bank, Elimination Chamber) or is the excitement of one of these matches at a random pay-per-view better?
Remember the WWE gimmick pay-per-views you mentioned only feature the gimmick matches in the main event. For example, there are two Hell in a Cell matches scheduled for Hell in a Cell this Sunday (the WWE Championship match and World Heavyweight Championship match). I am not as high up on gimmick matches as some people and feel that every match with the gimmick is overdoing it. However, I have no problem with B-level shows highlighting a gimmick and the gimmick being featured in the main event(s).
What is the current status of Santino Marella?
Santino is still recovering from a separated left shoulder he sustained in a car accident on September 1st. He Tweeted a couple of weeks ago he would be back soon and was feeling better.
Has WWE Raw officially been changed to WWE Raw Supershow?
The Supershows are expected to continue for the foreseeable future. I have full details on why the change in format was made at this link. If you are not yet a Premium Member you can sign-up now at this link.
What led to Mr. Kennedy/Anderson leaving WWE?
Ken Anderson returned to WWE in May 2009 after being out several months with a torn labrum he suffered in August 2008. After returning, there was an incident in the ring with Randy Orton that caused Orton and John Cena to approach WWE officials and tell them they did not feel safe working with Anderson.
Does it seem odd that Hell in a Cell is being held merely two week after Night of Champions? A two week build would seem to doom the PPV to be underwhelming to terms of gimmick production.
WWE has had a pay-per-view like this for years now and the point is to add gimmicks to feuds that were started for Night of Champions (or the pay-per-view prior). I feel it's too close together and basically "setup to fail" because of the limited window to build in addition to fans being reluctant to spend so much money on pay-per-views. Given the preliminary buyrate that this year's SummerSlam put up, I'm expecting changes to the pay-per-view model.
Zack Ryder has been getting a big push lately. Do you think he will win his first singles championship soon?
Zack Ryder is finally getting noticed on WWE television but I wouldn't classify his current push as "big." A lot of readers have asked if he will possibly be put over for a secondary title and while I haven't heard the future creative plans, it's certainly possible. Perhaps the best thing to happen to Ryder lately was getting the chance to work with Hugh Jackman which resulted in mainstream media attention.
With WWE now PG and toning down violence, blood etc. Does it not make the Hell in a Cell gimmick rather weak bearing in mind the clashes we used to enjoy?
It is very difficult to have any type of cage match without blood. While that sounds barbaric, a dry or colorless cage match is usually lacking. WWE chose to have a B-level pay-per-view based on the Hell in a Cell gimmick because of interest from fans they surveyed.
Chris Jericho recently went on rant about wrestlers stealing phrases, tone of voice, moves blah blah blah.. but WWE is scripted down to the vowel so what do you think about talent taking a lot of the slack for what they are told to say and the writers getting off scott free...
While it is true WWE is completely scripted, it is not 100% up to the creative team. Depending on a worker's position in the company, they are allowed more freedom in terms of what their character says and does. What you see on WWE TV is a collective effort between the creative team, the producers and the talent. The higher up on the card a worker is, the more input they have. A lot of what Chris Jericho says on Twitter could be kayfabe but I do agree with some of what he has to say in terms of talent needing to get more creative.
Are there any plans for The Undertaker at Wrestlemania XXVIII with John Cena vs. The Rock already announced as the main event?
I have not heard for 100% that The Undertaker will have a match at Wrestlemania XXVIII but I am under the assumption "the streak" will be defended for the twentieth time.
In yesterday's Ask WNW, you mentioned you were expecting changes to WWE's pay-per-view business in an attempt to increase buyrates. Do you think WWE would ever consider reducing PPV prices? I remember a poll they put out to fans a few months ago where there was a specific question about price levels.
The change I was implying in yesterday's Ask WNW was based on insider knowledge I have about the possibility of certain pay-per-views being moved to the forthcoming WWE Network. I also feel the current format is dated and in need of adjustment. With the success of UFC along with changes in the way people are watching TV, things are just are not like they used to be. As for WWE lowering the prices of their pay-per-views, anything is possible but it is very difficult to lower prices.
Sometime after Wrestlemania there was a report that Triple H and Undertaker were fined for chair shots to the head. Were they actual fines or storyline fines and what was the amount?
Triple H and The Undertaker were fined per WWE's Concussion policy. I do not know what the fines were and cannot recall a fine being issued since despite some other questionable spots. Did anyone see what Randy Orton did to Cody Rhodes last week on Smackdown? It's almost like WWE issued fines to Hunter and Undertaker to tout their new policy when all eyes were on the company during Wrestlemania time but it is not something that has been followed through with.
What are your opinions of the much hyped WWE Network? Is this another Vince XFL project doomed to fail, or the evolution of wrestling?
There are people I have spoken with that feel this could be the project that results in WWE getting into financial trouble. I try and remain optimistic but the fact of the matter is the WWE Network has been an uphill battle since it was first brought up. As I discussed in detail in yesterday's WNW Premium Mailbag, Vince McMahon is determined to launch the network as part of his enduring legacy. His determination stems from the fact he knows the future of the company would be in jeopardy should Raw and/or Smackdown get canceled. If the WWE Network works, they will be forever guaranteed TV clearance. Vince is willing to "bet the house" to make it happen but it's not going to be easy.
Will the WWE Network be available on regular cable or will it be a premium network like HBO?
A decision has not yet been reached. Several different ideas have been pitched and like creative plans, they change by the day (if not by the hour). I posted a very detailed article on plans for the WWE Network earlier this week at this link. If you are not yet a WNW Premium Member you can sign-up now by clicking here.
I see you posted what is advertised for the 'Super' Smackdown show on October 11th. You have John Cena facing Alberto Del Rio for the WWE championship. Does that mean that it has already been decided that CM Punk will not win the title on Sunday at Hell in a Cell?
I posted the advance advertising information available on the venue's website. This information is given to the venue by WWE several weeks (if not months) in advance so they have something to promote the show with locally. Local event information is good to give us an idea of what the plan is or was but it doesn't mean that pay-per-view outcomes have been decided. A lot of people read too much into advance ads but the most important piece of information given from the aforementioned material is the planned special appearance by DeGeneration X.
I read an article from a third party website that made the case that Randy Orton should be punished for the hardway shot he gave Cody Rhodes with the ring bell on last week's Smackdown that busted him open. Do you think Orton should indeed be punished?
Per WWE's ImPACT Concussion Management Program, John Laurinaitis has the authority to fine and/or suspend a worker for a shot to the head. While accidents happen, Randy Orton's shot to the head of Cody Rhodes was flat out dangerous. Not only did the shot put Rhodes at risk but I question the use of Cody Rhodes following the accident. Do you realize he pulled double-duty this week, touting the real-life injury in storyline? Knowing what is known today about concussions and head injuries; under no circumstances should heat shots be planned or utilized. Orton should be made an example of and punished for the spot but I have only heard of one incident where workers were fined for head shots in WWE (Triple H and The Undertaker at Wrestlemania XXVII).
Will Goldust ever get a main event level push?
Goldust was in the midst of the biggest push of his career and he got hurt. He's now working as a producer backstage as he awaits a possible return to the ring. I don't know if he'll ever get the push he was slated for before the injury but it's hard to count anything out in this business.