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, November 19, 2011 to Friday, November 25, 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!
- There is a hot rumor beginning to make rounds within inner circles of WWE. Vince McMahon promised a major announcement regarding the forthcoming WWE Network in the company's investor conference call to discuss quarter three earnings for 2011 earlier this month. The rumor making rounds is that the company will kickoff the WWE Network by broadcasting Wrestlemania XXVIII for free on the network. According to those with knowledge of the rumor, the idea is to launch the network on April 1, 2012. As I reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium back in September, the topic of giving up the tremendous Wrestlemania pay-per-view revenue to use it as a bargaining chip to gain clearance for the WWE Network on cable and satellite systems has been discussed. While this looks more likely now than it did a month ago, I haven't heard if the company plans to air Wrestlemania XXVIII exclusively on the WWE Network or on the network as well as making it available on pay-per-view. Things are changing with the WWE Network as about as frequently as things in WWE creative but this is certainly something to keep an eye on.
- 16,749 was the announced attendance for tonight's WWE Survivor Series pay-per-view from Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. The show is a legitimate sellout.
- It was announced that Sin Cara suffered a ruptured patellar tendon in tonight's Traditional 5-on-5 Survivor Series Elimination Tag Team Match after diving outside of the ring, causing his elimination. I can't confirm the diagnosis of the injury was legitimate but the spill was nasty.
- CM Punk beat Alberto Del Rio via submission using the Anaconda Vice to win the WWE Championship at tonight's Survivor Series pay-per-view.
- Following initial reports of Sin Cara's injury at Survivor Series, it has been confirmed that he will be sidelined for over 6 months. The official WWE Insider Twitter account posted the following update: Injury Update: Sin Cara suffered a ruptured patellar tendon, and will be out for 6-9 months, following surgery.
- While Big Show is advertised to be with the Raw brand on their tour of Japan on November 30th and December 1st, he's advertised for the November 29th Smackdown taping from Charlotte, North Carolina. Due to the 14-hour time difference, it will be logistically impossible for him to work both.
- Plans for the finish to The Rock & John Cena vs. The Miz & R-Truth at last night's Survivor Series pay-per-view continued to change throughout the day. At one point there was actually talk of Mick Foley getting involved to cost Cena and Rock the match. Foley, who had a prior commitment and wasn't expected to be there, was backstage at Madison Square Garden and ready to go. My source is unaware how Foley got out of his commitment but he was available if plans changed again but ended up not being used.
- It was announced on tonight's episode of Raw that CM Punk will defend his WWE Championship against Alberto Del Rio next week on Raw in Columbia, South Carolina.
On tonight's Raw, a link to a YouTube channel appeared during Jack Swagger's entrance. The channel, named "itbegins2012", features only one cryptic video. The video, which is embedded below, mentions January 2, 2012 as a date when a "familiar force" will return:
- Mick Foley has announced that he will be appearing in an upcoming episode of hit NBC sitcom 30 Rock. Foley, who will be appearing as Mankind, posted the following tweets on his Twitter account: On the set of 30 ROCK now, as MANKIND, rehearsing my big kissing scene multiple times. HAVING A NICE DAY! Worn out from all that kissing on 30 Rock - 23 passionate takes New episodes of the show will begin airing on January 12, and more information on Foley's appearance should become available soon.
- Wrestling News World reader Peter Ferreri conducted an interview with Randy Orton. In it, they discuss the release of WWE '12, being "over the bitterness" of The Rock being back and more. Click here to listen.
- WWE CFO George Barrios is scheduled to participate in the UBS Investor Conference on December 5th. Click here for more.
- USA Today's Game Hunters has a "First impressions: 'WWE 12'" article online. You can read it at this link.
- WWE announced the following today:
In accordance with the Talent Wellness Program, WWE (NYSE:WWE) has suspended Ron Killings (R-Truth) for 30 days effective immediately for his first violation of the company’s policy.
I have been working on a story regarding R-Truth as he was seen smoking Spice (a synthetic cannabinoid) with Evan Bourne at a party. Conspiracy theorists and critics began to hammer WWE and their Wellness Policy for "picking and choosing" who is suspended when Bourne was suspended on November 1st for smoking synthetic cannabis. I cannot confirm what delayed Truth's suspension but obviously the fact that he was announced as part of the Survivor Series main event with The Miz against The Rock and John Cena on the October 24th edition of Raw Supershow will be pointed too. It should be noted WWE does not stipulate time frames when a suspension should be mandated, however, it certainly looks like WWE creative plans won out in favor of following the policy in due time.
- Wrestling News World reader Logan Walker went back and counted there were approximately 47 Twitter references during Sunday's Survivor Series pay-per-view. As I have reported, Vince McMahon is on a social networking kick to help grow the WWE brand. The references were also made to help promote the launch of the new WWE InterAction feature on the official company website.
- G4 has posted its official review of WWE '12, and gave the game a perfect 5/5 score. Citing the revamped philosophy of the game mechanics, improved customization, and the improved Road to Wrestlemania mode as the reasons for the high praise, the review ended with this: "Is WWE '12 perfect? No, it's far from it. But, when you uproot a game and make as many positive changes as they've made with this one, you must stand up and recognize. There might be tweaks to make WWE '13 a better product, but WWE '12 is, quite simply, the very best wrestling game ever made. If you've left the SmackDown vs RAW franchise over the last couple of years, now is the time to come back. This game will change your mind." Click here to view the full review.
- The official WWE website recently interviewed Trish Stratus, who discussed her inclusion in WWE '12, her opinions on Divas such as Kharma, The Bella Twins, Natalya, and more. When asked if being included in her first video game was a big deal, she responded, "Huge. Like the craziest moment ever. I think I was more excited watching me in the game than I was watching the Raw playback when I made my debut." When asked about possibly being interested in stepping into the ring with Kharma, Stratus replied: "Oh, completely. When she debuted, I think it was one of the first times since I retired where I would have dropped it all to go back and step into the ring with her. That would have been an epic rivalry. I would have loved to have wrestled her. Hopefully, she'll come back so the WWE Universe can see more of her." Click here to read the full interview.
- Actor Jonah Hill, the advertised guest host for last night's Raw Supershow, was not at the venue. To answer the influx of Ask WNW questions, I have not heard the reason for him no-showing the appearance.
- Brodus Clay also did not appear despite being advertised repeatedly for the show.
- Embedded in the video below is the second official return trailer for Kane:
- Wrestling News World reader Carl Dantes sent this in... Shawn Michaels' Total Gym Endorsement will be coming out with a new Total Gym DVD featuring him. Shawn Michaels has signed a new agreement deal w/ Total Gym for a workout DVD to come out very soon. All HBK fans be sure to follow Shawn on Twitter @ShawnMichaels_ & Total Gym @TotalGymDirect for updates on the upcoming workout DVD of him coming soon.
- Sin Cara actually tore his ACL running the ropes and not on the suicide dive outside of the ring Sunday night at WWE Survivor Series. Superluchas.net has full coverage in Spanish with photos at this link. Cara is expected to be out 6-9 months.
- A rumor going around in many circles is that Rob Van Dam could be headed back to WWE. I spoke with someone close with RVD and was told he is "extremely frustrated" in TNA, however, they cautioned he is still under contract. My source was unaware of the expiration date of RVD's TNA contract and reiterated that would be the telling factor about how imminent a possible return to WWE would be.
- R-Truth and Evan Bourne are not the only two workers that have used synthetic cannabis, however, I'm told they turned a lot of people onto it when fines were increased $1000 for smoking marijuana. However, as I have reported, synthetic cannabis is now banned outright and carries a Wellness Violation with suspension.
- Wrestling News World reader David Green sent word that Stone Cold Steve Austin: The Bottom Line on the Most Popular Superstar of All Time DVD set is already on sale in the Washington D.C. area. The title is not scheduled to be released until November 29, 2011.
- TMZ has a "Who'd You Rather?" poll online with John Cena and The Rock. Vote now at this link. (Thanks to WNW reader Logan Walker for sending this in.)
- Wrestling News World reader Corey sent word that Carlito recently expressed interest in either returning to WWE or going to TNA Wrestling on his Twitter account.
- The preliminary plan for the cryptic "itbegins2012" video that aired on Monday's Raw Supershow is to re-debut Chris Jericho, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation. Jericho has not agreed to a new contract but he and his agent Barry Bloom have been working closely with WWE about a new deal. Jericho's recent Tweets and comments appear to be that of a smoke screen to throw fans off in attempt to make his return a surprise. January 2, 2012 will be Raw Supershow from the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee. It should be noted while this is the preliminary plan, Internet leaks have been known to change such plans. For example, the cryptic video used this year to bring back The Undertaker was almost used for Sting because of Internet speculation. WWE tried to get Sting to appear at Wrestlemania XXVII earlier this year but a deal could not be reached.
- WWE is set to rent 66,000 square feet of production space at 345 Ely Avenue in South Norwalk, Connecticut. While it's unclear how exactly WWE plans to use the space, it's believed to be part of their expansion plans for the forthcoming WWE Network. TheHour.com has more coverage online that you can read at this link.
- Wrestling News World reader Fernando sent word WWE is giving away a Mustang customized by John Cena. Click here to enter for your chance to win (limited to United States only).
- Complex.com has a new interview online with Natayla to promote the release of WWE '12. You can read it at this link.
- WWE has a feature on their official website looking at "Turkeys in the ring." The piece is not very flattering for Kizarny as it reads:
Something wretched this way comes. Looking to ruffle the feathers of the WWE Universe in 2009, the bizarre circus freak known as Kizarny strolled into town with his unorthodox look and "carny" way of speaking. Within two months, he was gone. Like the circus itself, this clown was fun for one night. After that, he was as nauseating as riding the tilt-a-whirl with a bellyful of corndogs.
Other turkeys listed included Michael Cole, Vito, Bart Gunn, Fake Razor, Mike Adamle and The Gobbledy Gooker.
Click here to check out the full feature.
- ComputerandVideogames.com has a new article online featuring a Q&A with WWE '12 creative director Cory Ledesma. In it, he discusses comparisons to the critically acclaimed WWF No Mercy video game. Below is an excerpt:
We understand the nostalgic appeal to No Mercy and we understand what they did very well. Sometimes those things get put on a pedestal and get raised to a level that isn't fair to compare with [us]. It's not an apples-to-apples comparison.
But the things they did really well was that the game was extremely well balanced as a fighting game product. [We] Loved the back-and-forth momentum, loved the controls, loved the depth of the combat... It was really well balanced in terms of not being able to pull off strong grapples right away - you had to wear down your opponent. Things like that they did excellently. And so those were the things we look at as inspiration. But the game is dated, obviously, so we look at it just from that inspiration standpoint.
The other thing is that we don't really want to make No Mercy. We want to make a different game. We know people want to play No Mercy again, but that's not what WWE 12 is. So we don't really like to look at ourselves and say let's be like 'this' - we want to make our own name for ourselves, and maybe push the envelope past No Mercy. I know maybe that's a lofty goal, but it's one we want to rise up to the challenge rather than just resort to past success.
Click here to read the full article.
TNA Impact Wrestling News
- As of late Sunday night/early Monday morning, Jesse Neal was still employed by TNA Impact Wrestling despite the feeling that he was ending his tenure with the company after last weekend's house shows. Neal did refuse to relocate to Ohio Valley Wrestling but he has not quit and has not been fired. I'm told Neal expects to be fired over taking a hard line stance but has actually long wanted out of TNA in hopes of getting an opportunity with WWE. One person close to Neal feels if/when he is released from TNA, it will be the opportunity he's been waiting for. The reason Neal is "playing it cool" on Twitter with mild public comments is because his girlfriend, Toxxin, just got hired and he wants to exit in a way that will not leave her buried over backstage heat.
- SLAM! Wrestling has a new interview online with Gail Kim. In it, she discusses how happy she is to be a TNA Knockout and how frustrating it was in WWE. She also speaks of her infamous roll-out of the company. Below is an excerpt:
"Nobody knows what I went through in terms of disrespect during my time there, but that move wasn't just about me it was a culmination of all the disrespect I felt that all the other women and the women's division as a whole had received too, I was taking a stand.
"While a lot of fans watching Raw noticed what I did, nobody from WWE noticed, that just shows how much they didn't care. I went up to Johnny [John Laurinaitis] after and spoke about the Battle Royal and his reaction towards the match was, 'Yeah, I heard it was pretty s---.' I was amazed and I then told him how I eliminated myself and he just laughed.
Click here to read article in its entirety.
- The folks at Diva-Dirt.com sent in the following:
Former WWE Women's Champion and TNA Knockouts Champion, Lisa Marie Varon, better known as Tara in TNA and Victoria in WWE, joins us for an exclusive interview about her career.
Lisa talks about many topics including her time in WWE, her current run in TNA, the reaction to her YouTube video with Brooke Tessmacher about the "Thanksgiving Thong Thunder" match, what it's like teaming with Brooke and writing for Chicago Athlete magazine. Plus, Lisa reminisces on the "good old days", the golden era of the Divas division, what it was like being part of the first ever Divas cage match (this week is the anniversary of that match) and much more.
Full interview here.
Talking about her longevity in wrestling and being on TV for nearly 10 years:
"I'm very lucky. Don't get me wrong, I've had injuries -- a torn ACL in 2002, my elbow in the cage match with Mickie -- but I don't know how nothing has taken me out. I do work out hard and listen to my body when I need rest. It was hard in WWE to travel four days a week and maintain the healthiness in your body. I was very lucky to get seriously put out."
"It's very unusual for a 40-year-old to be competing against 20-year-olds coming in the ring. It's tough. It's a bit intimidating for me. I'm looking for the fountain of youth as well. But I think I have accomplished a lot, because I'm still good out there in the ring. I don't feel like I've lost my flow."
"My age was 29 and a half when I started in this business. I get a lot of people on Twitter, they always ask me, "Am I too old to get in the business?" and I hate saying that you're never too old to get in the business, but when they look for the wrestlers, they do generally look for the 18-25 year olds that they can mould and create into their own. There's always that special 30-year-old. I was better in my 30s than in my 20s, like being physically in shape and at my peak. I like to be a positive role model for people my age, even though I don't act my age. [Laughs]"
Her future in wrestling & wanting to stay at her best:
"When I do sign my contract, I sign year-to-year with TNA. I had the option [to do that] which I was very lucky [to have]. I have to listen to my body. I want to be on TV as long as I'm at my best. I don't want to be where you see me limping down to the ring and feel sorry for me. That's kind of why I left WWE. I don't know if you remember the last couple of years of my career at WWE, what did you think of me? You kind of felt, "Oh my gosh, she's not a champ". I was helping the new talent look good in the ring, so that wasn't really my best. I was really flattered that I was able to do that and everybody had confidence in me to make people look good in the ring but that didn't make me feel like I was giving the fans the best Victoria. I wasn't happy doing that, so I moved on. But I had a terrific, terrific career there."
On Gail Kim's TNA return:
"You know what? That girl! I'm gonna kick her butt. I text her and I said, "I heard you're coming today". She goes, "Where'd you hear that from?" I didn't want to say who I'd heard it from so I said, "Oh, just a rumor on the internet" and she goes, "You can't believe everything you read". I know that was my favorite saying. You can't read every internet site. There are some things that are reported wrong. I saw her at the show and I go, "What the heck?!" and she goes, "Hahaha!" I said, "I knew you were coming! I don't know who you're trying to pull one over!"
"But I'm so excited to have her back. Her and I were travel partners. We get along so well and I'm so happy to have an old friend back in the ring. I wanted to win that number one contender's match, though. I'll be honest with you, because Gail Kim and I can really throw down in the ring. We never got the opportunity in WWE. We had a couple of matches but it was just a match thrown here and there, but I think we can really work up to something dangerous. I'd like to do another cage match, maybe, with her. That'd be awesome!"
- Sarita took a nasty bump in Mexico City Tuesday during a match for the CMLL promotion while working as Dark Angel. She fell off the top rope, outside of the ring. They put her on a stretcher and took her to the hospital. She appeared at a bodybuilding contest earlier this week and has recovered. You can view photos from the contest and more updates from her on her Facebook page at this link.
Did WWE miss a perfect opportunity to turn John Cena heel following last night's Survivor Series main event?
As I reported yesterday here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium, Vince McMahon has been adamant about not turning John Cena heel even though the writers understand he's the heel in the program with The Rock regardless of how he is booked. McMahon is scared to turn him but I will agree something has to be done. Not only is Cena generating more heat than ever, he looks secondary in the ring with The Rock. What I mean by that is The Rock looked like the major star last night, not Cena and certainly not The Miz and R-Truth.
How much longer will Dolph Ziggler hold the WWE US Championship and why doesn't WWE give John Morrison or Zack Ryder a reign with it?
John Morrison's WWE contract is expiring and it's believed he will not re-sign. I don't know why WWE did Morrison vs. Ziggler and not Ryder vs. Ziggler considering how over Ryder is, especially in New York City. I can't give you an answer as to how much longer Ziggler will hold the title but it looks like a match against Zack Ryder at next month's WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs pay-per-view makes sense, especially with the post-match run-in last night.
How will the WWE Network change WWE broadcasting and will it be available outside the United States?
The WWE Network is going to alter the business in that it's going to be the first network of its kind. The current WWE television deals for Raw Supershow and Smackdown will remain in place throughout their duration. Vince McMahon feels it's important these deals remain intact because they are great to create awareness for the forthcoming WWE Network. If Wrestlemania XXVIII is broadcast on the WWE Network, it's going to alter the pay-per-view model which I feel is outdated. A lot of readers want to know of the international plans for the WWE Network and so little has been confirmed about how the network will gain clearance in the US, it's anyone's guess as to what happens internationally. WWE is committed to international expansion and they aren't going to leave out these valuable markets.
Why is Big Show repeatedly pushed for the World Heavyweight Championship? Isn't he a Raw superstar?
Technically Big Show is a Raw superstar, however, WWE wanted his return program to be against Mark Henry (who wrote him off TV). The program has produced two terrible PPV match outcomes, deeming the extended program useless. I'll have more today in my Richard Reacts to Survivor Series.
Is CM Punk the biggest star in WWE besides The Rock?
CM Punk is finally established as a main event name but he's still viewed behind John Cena and Randy Orton. I realize a lot of people are sick and tired of the Cena character but that's still the way it is. The Rock is more popular than he's ever been; the problem is he's not back full-time.
Why did they split Awesome Truth up last night? Surely if the tag division is being rebuilt, it makes sense to have long lasting stables? No program can come from it either if they are both heels? I feel like this will only harm their chances of returning to individual, over heels. What are your thoughts?
The split was done because R-Truth's suspension. There were plans going into the weekend for the team of Awesome Truth to extend past Survivor Series so obviously they fell victim to a Raw re-write that happened either after Survivor Series or yesterday afternoon.
Why is Mark Henry still champion? Shouldn't Big Show have went over at Survivor Series?
I am 100% against the outcomes of the past two pay-per-view matches between Big Show and Mark Henry. Given the monster push Mark Henry has received and the people he has "injured" off television, it's too early to take the title off him. We can debate whether or not Mark Henry should have been given this type of push but that doesn't change the fact he got the push. WWE has to be very careful how they book Henry going forward or else they risk devaluing big names on the roster.
When is Rey Mysterio returning to the ring?
The last I heard Rey Mysterio is still targeting Wrestlemania XXVIII as his return from knee surgery.
With WWE breaking up Awesome Truth, what's next for The Miz?
The plan to break up Awesome Truth was last minute as I had heard prior to Monday's Raw Supershow there were plans to keep them together. It was pretty common knowledge that R-Truth was also seen smoking Spice, so apparently WWE decided to go into a different direction. The Miz is a main event talent on Raw and I look for him to be booked in another top feud.
Kane masked or unmasked - which do you prefer?
WWE hurt the Kane character when they took the mask off it. The company had an angle in place to bring him back under the mask a few years ago but when it leaked online, WWE blew it up. Given the new return trailer, it looks like there are once again plans to bring back masked Kane. The mystery of Kane without the mask is lost so hopefully he'll have another good run with it.
Am I the only one who thinks that if the WWE writers have any sense, they will have John Cena go over dirty on The Rock at Wrestlemania XXVIII, going for the full heel turn therefore passing the torch and giving Cena absolutely atomic heat from the fans for the foreseeable future? What are your thoughts?
You are absolutely not the only one and many people have suggested this same scenario. The problem is, it's not the call of the writers and it's going to come down to Vince McMahon. While McMahon has considered a Cena heel turn over the years, he's backed out at the last minute. Some type of character progression needs to take place with The Rock not returning full-time so hopefully we will see it. McMahon is not cluing the writers in on what he plans on doing at this time. As you can imagine this is making things increasingly frustrated for the creative team to book.
Do you think after the success of CM Punk as a babyface he'll ever go back to a heel?
CM Punk is like Randy Orton in that he can work as a loved babyface and a hated heel. His opinionated personality helps him get over as both. WWE is going to ride his latest babyface turn out but he could be successful as a heel again.