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 3, 2011 to Friday, September 9, 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 moved their scheduled September 25th house show in Wichita Falls, Texas to February 5, 2012.
- The company has also announced the December 27th Smackdown taping will take place from the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.
- There were gun shots heard outside of last night's WWE Raw house show from the Sun National Bank Center in Trenton, New Jersey. John Cena, CM Punk, Alberto Del Rio, Ricardo Rodriguez and others were escorted back into the venue once the shots were heard. According to people that were at the show, the gun shots were believed to have been fired in the venue's parking lot.
- With WWE announcing multiple Raw Supershow tapings, speculation has begun to run rampant that the brand extension is on its way out of the company. I checked in with one of my WWE sources earlier this morning and was told that is not the case. As I reported a couple weeks ago, one thing Triple H is currently pushing for behind-the-scenes is that each show has a "flow" to it (from Raw to Smackdown, Smackdown to Raw). The thinking behind the philosophy is they want the "important guys" to show up on both shows. While unification ideas have been pitched since the inception of the brand extension, that is not the idea with the latest round of Supershow tapings. Obviously it is possible this is WWE's attempt to "muddy the waters" to see how combining the roster works, but right now they especially want top Smackdown talent on Raw so when Smackdown tours, fans are more familiar with the talent. I'm told WWE officials seem to be "determined" to keep two separate touring rosters. I am also assured the Raw Supershows are going to continue for the time being to accomplish this goal. One observer commented how they are interested to see how this will turn out because it might actually hurt Smackdown rather than help it. For example, if a fan watches to see Randy Orton but already saw him on WWE Raw on Monday, will they still tune in on Friday for Smackdown? This is how the philosophy that is being implemented to increase the viewership of Smackdown could actually backfire.
- WWE has announced that Hugh Jackman, who plays Wolverine in the X-Men film franchise, will guest star on the September 19th WWE Raw SuperShow. WWE Raw will take place that night from the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
- Celebrities For Charity is holding a raffle where Mick Foley will host a WWE Raw, Smackdown or pay-per-view viewing party in your home between September 15, 2011 and November 30, 2011. The proceeds of the raffle benefit Surgance and RAINN. Foley will provide food and beverages. Click here for more information. As for Foley in WWE, he is expected to return to the company in some role in the near future.
- John "Bradshaw" Layfield posted the following on his Facebook page:Will I return to WWE? I doubt it, but you never know. I am not looking for a job and they are not asking me to return so it has not come up. I had to retire due to injuries, and yes, the 23 second match with Rey at Wrestlemania was my idea-at that point in my career due to injuries I could not have had any type of real match. Click here to read more Q&A's from JBL.
- WWE began airing advertisements for their upcoming WWE TV Network during the broadcast of tonight's WWE Raw on the USA Network. The company announced the network as "Coming in 2012" and promoted it as "The Channel." The advertisement featured vintage WWE footage, pay-per-view snippets and all-wrestling related clips. No other details were announced.
- WWE created a new Facebook page for Survivor Series. They included the following promotional blurb:Don't miss THE ROCK's return to action after 8 years at WWE Survivor Series Nov. 20 at Madison Square Garden in New York City! Tickets go on sale Sept. 10 on Ticketmaster.com!
- WWE developmental worker Bo Rotunda is currently suffering from a lacerated kidney that will likely keep him sidelined for three to four months. The injury caused him to relinquish the FCW Championship at last week's FCW TV tapings from Tampa, Florida. John Cena recently put Bo Rotunda and his brother Husky Harris over as the top developmental prospects in WWE.
- WWE has "left the door cracked" on the Anonymous Raw General Manager gimmick. Some writers feel the company should explain the gimmick because of its lengthy duration while others feel it went on so long there is no way to pay it off without a letdown and they should just drop it. It's one of those situations where no one wants to politically risk putting their foot down and give the "go ahead" either way. The back and forth state of the gimmick amongst the writers is why the podium and computer continue to be brought to WWE Raw TVs even though it hasn't been used in weeks.
- WWE posted the following today on their official website:WWE has come to terms on the release of WWE Superstar Kevin Nash as of Monday, Sept. 5, 2011. We wish Kevin the best in all future endeavors. While most "future endeavored" posts are legitimate, this appears to be in connection with the storyline they did on Monday, however, I will update when/if I receive more information.
- Wrestling News World reader Fernando reporting: The IWF out of New Jersey reports one of their workers, Flex Freeman, has signed a WWE developmental contract and will report to Florida Championship Wrestling in November.
- One of the reasons WWE began airing advertisements for the upcoming WWE Network is because the television network is struggling to gain clearance on cable and satellite systems. I am told the company hopes the ads will result in fans contacting their providers and demanding they pick up the channel when it launches. WWE is hoping the pressure applied by their fans will give them a "leg up" in negotiations for clearance. I'm told if the network does not gain clearance by its proposed launch date, there is a plan to carry it online at a small fee per month. One observer commented about how much they have struggled to get WWE 24/7 on systems and they do not see why the WWE Network will not be a struggle as well. There have been multiple ideas pitched to help the network draw interest with even the suggestion of moving a couple of pay-per-views as network exclusives. The problem with moving pay-per-views to pitch the network as "more attractive" to cable and satellite providers is that providers get half the money from pay-per-view sales so why would they be receptive to the idea of carrying a network that has the potential to subtract from their pay-per-view revenue? Many observers see the WWE Network as a "long and painful fight" as there are problems every where they look. For example, if the company decides to move WWE NXT and WWE Superstars to the network or two pay-per-views and half their audience doesn't get the network, then what? As for ideas regarding content, there are definitely plans to air programming other than wrestling. There have been multiple ideas about possible sitcoms including a Hornswoggle cartoon where he is constantly pestering a cartoon Michael Cole and a show similar to "Baywatch" with the Divas as lifeguards. I'm told the original non-wrestling programming is "going to be embarrassing."
- Following WWE's announcement of his release, Kevin Nash posted this on his Twitter account: To set the record straight, I passed physical w/ flying colors. Cardiologist was amazed at my lipid profile. Couldn't reach financial terms.I will not be addressing this matter again. I am moving forward with my life. Cena, it was great having the chance to get to know you.
- The Los Angeles Times is reporting that WWE has promoted Michael Luisi to president of WWE Studios. Luisi succeeds Mike Pavone, who resigned from the position last month.
- The New York Times is reporting that Linda McMahon will announce in the coming week that she intends to run again for a United States Senate seat out of the state of Connecticut. McMahon will be running for the seat that will be vacated by Joseph I. Lieberman, who announced he would not be seeking re-election.
- For those who missed it, Mason Ryan, formerly of the New Nexus, and "Showtime" Percy Watson, formerly of NXT Season 2, made their returns to TV on WWE Superstars yesterday. In an interesting note, Titus O'Neil, who is currently competing for a spot on the next season on NXT and not on the main roster, tagged with Watson in their match. Click here to watch the full show.
- The official website of the Air Canada Centre, the venue for next week's Smackdown taping, is advertising next week's Smackdown as "Edge Appreciation Night." Edge confirmed in his interview with me last month he would be at the show but he would not be on-camera. It appears either Edge was unaware of the plans or working to cover the storyline. If you're attending next week's Smackdown taping and interested in working as a live correspondent, please contact us.
- WWE.com is officially promoting The Rock appearing at Survivor Series now that tickets will be available tomorrow. The event is being promoted as The Rock's first time at Madison Square Garden in almost 8 years. No further details are given on the specifics of what he'll do at the show.
- Wrestling News World reader Shannon Sylvia sent word that Edge will be back on Syfy, guest starring in the new episode of Haven airing immediately after Smackdown tonight. This comes just a few days before "Edge Appreciation Night" on Smackdown.
Impact Wrestling News
- Kurt Angle has apologized for his criticisms of WWE's Top 50 Superstars list. He posted the following last night on his Twitter account: I Want to Apologize to Everyone that I disrespected with My Comments about Wwe's Rankings. I truly Am Proud to Be in Top 50. Thank U 2 Wwe
- Wrestling News World reader Patrick Peralta sent in the following interview that Jeff Jarrett and Eric Young did with Chris Van Vliet out of Cleveland. Right off the bat he answers the million dollar question regarding the name of TNA/Impact Wrestling and if it was his decision to eliminate the 6-sided ring. You can watch it in the video embedded below:
- TNA Champion Kurt Angle has been arrested on charges of Driving Under the Influence, TMZ is reporting. Angle was reportedly spotted by another driver swerving between lanes on Interstate 66 early Sunday morning and was pulled over by Virginia State Troopers. He was taken to Warren County Jail and posted $2,000 bond at 3:31 AM EDT. TNA/Impact Wrestling ran a show in Woodstock, Virginia last night where Angle beat AJ Styles to retain the TNA Championship. We have full results available at this link.
- Kurt Angle consented to a breathalyzer after being pulled over early Sunday morning in Virginia on suspicion of Driving Under the Influence. According to Angle's attorney, he passed the test and plans on entering a plea of "not guilty."
- Impact Wrestling uploaded the following video on their official YouTube channel of Jeremy Borash interviewing the new "Vice President" of the Knockouts, Karen Angle. You can view it embedded in the video below:
- Impact Wrestling announced the following new house shows today:
* Thursday, October 27: San Francisco, CA
* Friday, October 28: Sacramento, CA
* Saturday, October 29: Reno, NV
Click here for more information.
- Kurt Angle was on the red carpet at the Hollywood premiere of "Warrior" tonight. Impact Wrestling posted a photo of their official Facebook page that you can view at this link.
- The Northern Virginia Daily has a new article online today on the weekend DUI arrest of Kurt Angle. According to the police report, Angle's initial test showed a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.091 percent (contrary to Angle's attorney claim that he passed the test).
Angle was stopped by state police after a third-party call reported a white Ford Taurus was swerving "all over the road." Trooper C.R. Scally observed the erratic driving after following the vehicle for about a half mile. After Scally stopped Angle, here's what went down according to The Northern Virginia Daily:
"I made contact with the driver and detected the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage," Scally wrote in the police report. "I asked Mr. Angle, whom I identified by his Pa. drivers license, how much he had to drink and he replied he had three beers."
The report stated that Scally then asked Angle to exit the vehicle and perform a series of six sobriety tests.
Scally also wrote, "Mr. Angle's eyes were bloodshot and glassy."
During one of the tests Angle was asked to recite the alphabet beginning with the letter "D" and ending with the letter "P."
"Mr. Angle mixed several of the letters, repeated the letter 'P' and continued to 'W,'" says Scally's report.
When he was asked to count from 53 to 48, "Mr. Angle started with 50, then went back to 52 and ended at 38 missing and mixing up several numbers."
Angle agreed to take a preliminary breath test at the scene and according to the report had a blood alcohol level of 0.091. He was then placed under arrest at 2:06 a.m. and taken to the Front Royal police headquarters for the second test.
Angle, who was released from Warren County Jail on $2,000 bound, is due in court on October 4th to respond to the class 1 misdemeanor.
Click here for coverage by The Northern Virginia Daily.
- Eric Bischoff was on Monday Night Mayhem this week and had the following to say about Kurt Angle's weekend DUI arrest:
- Impact Wrestling posted the following video interview with Christopher Daniels on their official YouTube channel:
- Jeff Hardy has been sentenced to serve ten days in jail and 30 months of probation, in addition to paying a $100,000 fine stemming from his September 2009 arrest on drug charges. Hardy pled guilty as a part of his plea deal to keep him out of prison for a longer time, so the prosecution dropped most of the charges, though they insisted that he stay in a drug abuse treatment program. Hardy was granted the ability to travel out of North Carolina to continue working with Impact Wrestling. Click here to read the full story.
- With the one-year contract that Kurt Angle signed with Impact Wrestling set to expire later this month, Angle revealed in an interview with Movieline that he just signed a new three-year deal with the company today. Angle also expressed his desire to obtain "smaller parts in bigger movies" in order to get noticed. Angle has a small cameo in the new feature film "Warrior" that opens nationwide tomorrow. You can read the interview at this link.
- The Fayetteville Observer has given much more information concerning
After a match in Florida, a fan, Thomas Ray Cruz, met Hardy and offered to supply him with prescription pain pills, Van Camp said.
On Sept. 10, 2009, a shipment of those pills arrived at the FedEx distribution center in Fayetteville, packaged in a Maxwell House coffee can and addressed to Hardy. The distribution center's employees found the package suspicious and called police and the can was found to be filled with 262 prescription hydrocodone painkillers.
Police resealed the package and had it delivered, with the pills, to Hardy at his home in the 200 block of Boy's Camp Road outside of Cameron. When Hardy accepted the package, Moore County sheriff's deputies raided the house, where they also found other drugs.
Cruz, now 31 and living in Kissimmee, Fla., was arrested in Moore County in November 2010 on charges of conspiracy to traffic in opium and two counts of trafficking in opium. He is free on $50,000 bond. His next court date is in November.
Click here to view the full article.
Does Michelle McCool have any intentions of going to Impact Wrestling?
From what I was told Michelle McCool retired from the ring to spend more time at home with her husband - The Undertaker. I personally believe if she wanted to return to the ring she would do so in WWE because the support of her husband gives her an immediate elevation to the top. Anything is possible and I am sure Impact Wrestling would sign her but the former sounds like a more realistic scenario.
Do you think that Ring of Honor will ever replace TNA as a more entertaining and more popular company? Realistically no one will take out WWE but do you see the other two battling each other in the future?
Sinclair Broadcasting Group, the new owner of ROH Wrestling, gives the company some much-needed financial leverage and television outlets. If you would have asked this question before they purchased ROH, I would have said no way, no how. However, there is more of chance for them to become competitive in the mainstream now that they have their own backer. With that being said they are still a long way off as of now.
Is Husky Harris ever going to return?
Husky Harris is currently working in Florida Championship Wrestling where he is being seasoned for a future run on WWE television. John Cena recently said that Harris is one of the top developmental prospects in the company and that is a huge sign of support from someone that has the ear of company officials.
I am wondering if WWE has any plans to use the Anonymous Raw General Manager or have they completely scrapped it with the Triple H storyline?
The Anonymous Raw General Manager has not been mentioned since Triple H "took over" control on WWE Raw; however, the computer and podium continue to be brought to TVs. I have to think the fact they still setup the podium indicates they plan on bringing it up for closure at some point.
My question is regarding the new tag team of The Miz and R-Truth or as I like to call them "The Awesome Truth"; I think it's a good pairing. What's your thoughts on the pairing and does this mean The Miz is being de-pushed?
WWE is once again building up the tag team division with Evan Bourne & Kofi Kingston as WWE Tag Team Champions and now programmed to feud with R-Truth & The Miz. The Miz has been de-pushed to an upper mid-card role but I wouldn't read much into it other than not everyone can work in the top of the card all the time.
With the WWE Network starting in 2012, do you think WWE will finally televise FCW? Also do you think they will bring back WWE NXT and WWE Superstars back to TV?
WWE televises Florida Championship Wrestling every Sunday on Brighthouse channel 47 from 6-7 p.m. in Florida. I don't see it going national, however, anything is possible. As for WWE NXT and WWE Superstars, Vince McMahon said in last month's conference call with investors the company had been "sitting" on the properties and had new TV homes for them. He did not clarify if those new homes were the WWE Network but based on his words, I expect both to return to TV.
Will The Rock appear at Survivor Series?
I've been tiptoeing around the issue of The Rock at Survivor Series, mentioning the comments Vince McMahon made that The Rock would appear on pay-per-views other than Wrestlemania XXVIII. This morning we got a glimpse of future plans for The Rock in WWE as the company is advertising him for Survivor Series on the event's official Facebook page. What is even more interesting is they imply he will be wrestling in their promotional blurb.
Does WWE see TNA as a threat?
Vince McMahon and WWE have made it pretty obvious they do not see TNA as much of a threat. McMahon's philosophy is if major names such as Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair can't make them competitors, why should he worry about other mid-card names jumping ship? Most workers are humbled if they go from WWE to TNA and return to WWE but, as we've all seen, that isn't the case with Kevin Nash.
With so many alliances in the WWE Divas division do you think there should be a Divas tag team division?
WWE needs to fix the singles competition with their Divas before they look to expand the division. When the WWE Divas Championship was first created as a secondary belt to the WWE Women's Championship in 2008, there was talk about introducing tag team belts instead of the singles title. I don't think I'm alone in saying the Divas division is frustrating at best to watch and one can only hope this recent elevation of Beth Phoenix will work towards fixing the problem.
Do you think if The Rock wrestles at Survivor Series the match between him and John Cena at Wrestlemania XXVIII will lose steam?
As entertaining as it would be to see The Rock back in a WWE ring I feel any match involving him before Wrestlemania XXVIII has the potential to take away from the match against John Cena. I understand arguments The Rock might need to work off ring rust, however, I feel this should be done in private and the only situation he should wrestle before Wrestlemania is if he agrees to return full-time to the company. Right now he is clearly being booked as a special attraction and it won't take long for the "newness" of his return to wear off. Take for example the return of Bret Hart. Fans waited over a decade for Bret Hart to make an improbable return to WWE and now when he appears on television, it no longer has a "big deal" feeling. While I understand Bret is limited by the fact he cannot compete, I am a firm believer in that the excitement of The Rock wrestling again will die down if he competes on pay-per-view prior to his Wrestlemania match against John Cena.
Why does Brodus Clay keep getting matches with local wrestlers on WWE Superstars?
WWE is currently building Brodus Clay up on WWE Superstars before giving him a green light push on Smackdown. The reason they are using "call-in" enhancement workers is because he is able to make light work of them without burying someone under contract.
What was the reason for Triple H "firing" Kevin Nash?
There is a bigger picture of the angle involving Triple H, Kevin Nash, CM Punk, John Laurinaitis, Stephanie McMahon and Vince himself. Hunter "firing" Nash was part of the build towards a story that will continue to play out on WWE television.
We all know that Randy Orton and John Cena are the biggest stars in WWE right now but do you think that CM Punk at some point in the future will become bigger then both Orton and Cena?
It's impossible for me to give you an accurate answer because there are so many things that could change, however, I can give you my own personal observation. There was not a wrestler in the business that was hotter than CM Punk this summer as his realistic promos took him to another level. Public interest was sparked and as a result WWE held one of their best pay-per-views in years in Money in the Bank. Punk was clearly WWE's top name during this program and while I didn't see a revenue report, it wouldn't be stretching to say his "best in the world" t-shirt outsold everyone else.
With Mick Foley teasing going to the WWE, shouldn't WWE try to get him back as a Psychopath like Mankind to make a more entertaining show and show the new fans who the demented Mankind really is?
While the feeling is Mick Foley will be back in some role in WWE soon, he won't return as a full-time wrestler. It wouldn't make sense to re-introduce the Mankind character when there are no plans for him to make a full-time return to the ring.
If Triple H loses at WWE Night of Champions (which I see as the only option to keep CM Punk hot) do you think it will cheapen his legacy and make him look weak? Two matches in a year and two losses?
I do not see Triple H putting CM Punk over clean at WWE Night of Champions. The most effective way to keep the program going would be to book a dirty finish. How it will be done remains to be seen but I would be surprised if either Hunter or Punk went over clean.
What's the latest update on Generation Me?
Generation Me worked a tryout with WWE to help their negotiations with Ring of Honor. ROH announced their return on the 9/17 "Death Before Dishonor IX" iPPV.
With Jeff Hardy finally pleading guilty are all of his charges dropped no more court?
The serious drug charges against Jeff Hardy were settled in court yesterday and the two-year wondering about his future has ended. Jeff avoided time in prison and was only sentenced to 10 days in jail along with 30 months of probation and a $100,000 fine. The fine probably hurts the most but he should be thankful he was not sentenced to time in a federal prison. It's up to Jeff where he goes from here but he sure has a heck of an opportunity with his employer sticking by him.
Is Kevin Nash's release a work or a shoot?
Kevin Nash's "release" is a work to continue the storyline with Triple H and CM Punk. Nash is working the Internet on Twitter to help further interest. He signed a five-year Legend's contract with WWE back in January and is good friends with Vince McMahon and Triple H in real-life. Something major would have to go wrong for Nash to actually get released from WWE.
It seems everyone hates John Cena. What are your thoughts on him?
John Cena is a talented guy and without question a top guy in WWE. Most of the Internet's hatred for Cena is his over-the-top and never-changing gimmick that "defies the odds" and insults the intelligence of the fan. I disagree with people that say Cena can't work and feel it's more of a case that people are tired of his gimmick than an accurate evaluation of his work. WWE refuses to touch Cena because he is a top draw and moves a lot of merchandise. I have pushed for a Cena heel turn for years but I stress it must be done properly to have success.
With Chris Jericho claiming to be the "best in the world" only for CM Punk to adopt the catch phrase, could this indicate a return feud for Jericho?
Legitimate or not, Chris Jericho Tweeted for CM Punk to stop "ripping him off" and sparked speculation about a return feud for Jericho when/if he returns to WWE. As things currently stand Jericho is pursuing his ventures outside of WWE but I expect him to return at some point. The ground work has been laid to do something with CM Punk but that plan is obviously subject to change.