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Is CM Punk Returning?, Vince McMahon Makes A Surprising Admission, WWE Performance Center Delayed Again, New Talent That Triple H Wants To Sign, Disappointing TNA Attendance, Lowest Rated Match On Impact

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Powerslam Newsletter

Welcome to the Powerslam Newsletter

Issue #5, Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I hope everyone had a great holiday as we're back for another issue of the Powerslam Newsletter. I'm not a huge hot dog eater but I feel like that's all I've eaten over the past week. The only note I want to mention before I remind you we're now mailing this is to friend me on Facebook.

We're now mailing out the newsletter to those interested, as you can have each issue sent straight to your inbox by subscribing at this link. This is our newest feature to WNW Premium and is loaded with news and notes.

WWE News

- The big story coming out of this week's WWE Raw is the return of CM Punk. We can confirm WWE wants him back for WWE Payback next month but at this point it's unknown if it's actually going to happen. WWE even wonders if he's going to show up in the match preview against Chris Jericho - "As for Punk … who knows? Maybe he’ll show up at Payback. Maybe he’ll show up before then. And, of course, maybe he won’t." Obviously with WWE considering a Jericho/Curtis Axel program that's a possibility or perhaps Punk really will return.

- WWE honored Bret Hart following Raw. Pat Patterson, Chris Jericho, Shawn Michaels and Vince McMahon came out to honor him. The 30-minute ceremony was hosted by Jerry Lawler. Bret ribbed Patterson by saying he gets nervous when Pat gets on his knees and Jericho put him and Owen over his heroes. Shawn was brief but respectful and Vince McMahon surprised me. Vince admitted that Hart brought his own era to WWE and that he brought a certain level of legitimacy and in-ring skill to the promotion that it never had before. He said Hart brought an in-ring skill the promotion often overlooked and he became champion the old fashion way, by earning it.

- It's been quite a week for Curtis Axel. He's been booked as the "winner" against Triple H and John Cena with big names publicly putting him over. Here's what Cena wrote about him on Twitter - "Congrats to @RealCurtisAxel yer damn good young man…"

- Jerry Lawler was examined backstage at last Saturday's show in Ocala, Florida before he made his return to the ring. Lawler received care from Dr. Andrew Kontantinov, a physician from Russia who was assisted by Dory Funk’s personal nurse, Julie Kraynack, and assistant nurse Chika. He was declared in excellent physical condition before going out and started the match for his team.

- The new date for the WWE Performance Center opening is July 8, 2013. This is a week later than the date that's been going around for the last couple of weeks and is still being told to talent. We reported earlier this month there was growing frustration amongst talents due to uncertainty of when they needed to be moved from Tampa to Orlando.

- Triple H wants more focus on recruiting international talent. There have been preliminary discussions about whether the company would be better off striking a deal with overseas organizations or if instead they simply want to have a little more emphasis on scouting some of the bigger companies in Japan and Mexico. While WWE currently has people that evaluate video of some of the bigger US indies like ROH and DGUSA, very little attention is paid to companies in other countries. Hunter believes the company needs to cast a wider net if they want to find the best available talent.

- World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler is currently advertised for Saturday's WWE Live event from the Stabler Arena in Bethlehem, PA, Sunday's show in Poughkeepsie, NY and next week's TV tapings. At this point it's unknown if Ziggler will make the dates but he has to pass an iMPACT concussion test before being medically cleared to return to the ring. WWE is taking his injury serious and are being cautious with him.

- Chris Jericho's "blah, blah, blah" bit in his promo on Paul Heyman from WWE Raw was inspired by Alex Lifeson's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction speech that aired on HBO last week. When asked on Twitter if Jericho "pulled an Alex Lifeson" on Raw, he responded, "Yes I did!!"

- Bret Hart's brother Smith doesn't understand why he's not getting royalties from WWE. Smith wrote the following on Twitter after Bret Hart Appreciation Night on Monday Night Raw - "I always wonder when WWE uses my family photos or my likeness why I'm not getting any royalties"

- A brawl in the crowd distracted from WWE Champion John Cena vs. Curtis Axel on this week's Raw. Production ordered the cameramen to pull their shots in tight to prevent from showing any of it. The fight involved at least one woman and three men, some beer and a rowdy ending.

- Here is Dragon Gate USA's official statement on Sami Callihan signing with WWE - "We can announce now that Sami Callihan has already wrestled on his final DGUSA/EVOLVE event. We want to extend a heartfelt "thank you" to Sami for being an important part of DGUSA/EVOLVE history. Callihan started at the bottom of his card and through hard work and determination became a main player in the WWNLive Family. Sami first made waves by forming D.U.F. and entering an intense feud against AR Fox. Shortly after the feud vs. Fox started, Callihan reached another turning point when he battled Fit Finlay at EVOLVE 9 in a bout that was voted by the fans as the 2011 DGUSA/EVOLVE Match Of The Year. Callihan went on to give us many memorable moments including the infamous closing of the former ECW Arena at EVOLVE 10. His resume of great matches is at the top of DGUSA/EVOLVE history including the rematch vs. Finlay at EVOLVE 11, a classic vs. El Generico at EVOLVE 13 and an epic Open The Freedom Gate Title Match against Johnny Gargano at EVOLVE 18. Thanks for everything, Sami! We are sure you are headed for great success!"

TNA News

- You aren't going to believe this one but Hulk Hogan actually apologized for behavior on Twitter. Here's the apology - "I apologize for posting my burned hand photos,with all the feedback I now realize I really should take a moment before I make a decision. HH"

- There's been a lot of people within TNA trying to "save face" regarding the attendance at last week's Impact Wrestling tapings in Tampa. The crowd wasn't believed to be within 500 of 2000 and TNA had instructed ushers to fill the lower sections so it appeared to be fuller than it was on-camera.

- Following up on the King Mo/Stu Stone situation, it looks to be a complete work. Despite Mo removing his plug of the footage from Twitter, Stone Tweeted this earlier on Tuesday - "Well that was quick. I wanna thank @KingMoFH for doing the right thing and I'm happy to report that this incident is behind us..back to work"

- Célian Varini and Grégory Deas will be doing French commentary at TNA Slammiversary on Sunday.

- Mickie James' match against Velvet Sky to win the Knockouts Championship was the lowest rated quarter of last week's Impact Wrestling. The match took place in quarter seven which drew a 0.99. The highest rated quarter was the final segment with AJ Styles and Aces and Eights, which drew a 1.18.

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