Edge & The Bella Twins Let WWE Contracts Expire, Identity Of Kevin Nash's "Dear Friend" That WWE Released, Backstage News On Brock Lesnar Freaking Out At Extreme Rules, YouTube Makes Big Money Offer For The WWE Network, Hulk Hogan Hightailing It Out Of TN

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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, April 28, 2012 to Friday, May 4, 2012 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!

Table Of Contents
WWE News
TNA Impact Wrestling News

WWE News

- WWE has added Abraham Washington to their official talent roster. He is listed as A.W. (Thanks to WNW reader Fernando for sending this in.)

- The corporate WWE website has highlights of Vince McMahon at WWE's Global Business Partners Summit the day before Wreslemania XXVIII. You can check it out at this link. (Thanks to WNW reader Dustyn for sending this in.)

- Adding more to the "is it real?" or "is it fake?" Beth Phoenix posted the following on Twitter:

- WWE held their annual shareholders meeting yesterday in Stamford, Connecticut. While meetings such as this can produce several newsworthy tidbits, they can also be very boring. I have recapped the points that are of interest and saved you from the monotony.

  • Vince McMahon said he believed WWE's stock price has dropped below $8, making new all-time lows because of unfavorable 2011 business results.
  • There are still distribution deals for WWE NXT and WWE Superstars but have been strategically held back. Announcements are coming "very shortly" according to McMahon.
  • McMahon said he doesn't think the company should lower pay-per-view prices and believes more people are congregating to watch pay-per-views in a tough economy. He blamed the lack of PPV buys on the economy rather than a lack of interest.
  • Triple H said the company's developmental expansion plans are still in the works and stressed that developmental is the lifeblood of their company.
  • McMahon said there hasn't been any thought about a physical WWE Hall of Fame but it's something they would consider in the future.
  • One shareholder wanted to know if the company had considered putting Wrestlemania on free TV and charge advertising like the Super Bowl. Vince McMahon said if the NFL could put the Super Bowl on PPV they would make more money. He said he didn't know of a network that would pay them the rights fees they could make in terms of pay-per-view profits.
  • There were very vague answers to questions regarding the WWE Network with no timetable for launch available. Much of the same rhetoric that has been recapped for the past several months was used.
  • Vince McMahon said the company was considering airing pay-per-views on the WWE Network but no decision has been made.
  • McMahon said WWE "Classics On Demand" will likely go away when the network launches.

You can watch the entire shareholders meeting at this link.

- Prior to his 60-day suspension, Rey Mysterio was scheduled to head to Japan next month on a promotional tour for WWE. Mysterio was suspended on Thursday for his second violation of the WWE Wellness Policy.

- Add Sheamus and Daniel Bryan to the list of WWE stars the company is doing a single disc "Superstar Collection" DVD on, joining the already announced John Cena and Zack Ryder. Each disc is slated to contain five matches and bonus material. Click here for more information.

- Edge will be letting his WWE contract expire and will decline to sign an extension. As we have been reporting, the company had been working to re-sign him but an agreement couldn't be reached. While there is definitely a feeling that WWE "low-balled" his offer, apparently Edge wants to explore his options outside of WWE. Edge is scheduled for Resistance Pro's show on May 11, 2012. Click here for more information.

- PadsandPanels.com has a new interview online with Cody Rhodes. In it, Rhodes discusses his thoughts on the return of Brock Lesnar. Below is an excerpt:

Obviously, The Rock recently came back. There’s the character Lord Tensai, and now Brock Lesnar is back. As someone who likely grew up watching the Attitude Era, what is it like to be a part of what’s going on right now?

Well, I mean, I walked into The Rock’s dressing room at WrestleMania and thanked him for the number of people who were there that night and the number of people who ordered it on pay per view. I have such respect for The Rock. And now with the return of Brock … it’s completely different than The Rock. But for me, it kind of just made me angry and not in a way like, ‘Oh, blast. They get to be on another pay per view.’ More in a way that – I’m out there working. I never take a day off. I never plan on taking a day off. I’m so in love with the wrestling business I couldn’t see myself going away. And these guys have that ability to come back in because they have that presence, they have that following and are just automatically accepted as superstars again. So there’s something to learn and something to be kind of irritated from that whole Attitude Era generation, but I get it from both the good and the bad.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- 14,817 was the announced attendance at tonight's WWE Extreme Rules pay-per-view from the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. The show was sold out.

- Cody Rhodes beat Big Show in a Tables Match at tonight's WWE Extreme Rules pay-per-view to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship. The finish saw Show break a table when he stepped on it.

- Layla returned to WWE at tonight's Extreme Rules pay-per-view, winning the WWE Divas Championship. Layla actually pinned Brie Bella when "twin magic" failed. Layla was been off WWE TV since suffering a torn ACL and MCL in her right knee at the same pay-per-view last year that required surgery to repair.

- WWE Champion CM Punk posted the following on Twitter after last night's Extreme Rules pay-per-view:

- Speaking of CM Punk, dot com has a new video with Chris Jericho following his match against Punk at this link. Jericho, who is working in the video, says he will always be the best in the world at what he does.

- The Miz will replace Randy Orton in the upcoming WWE Studios production "The Marine: Homefront." Orton was originally cast for the film but was removed from the lead role after outrage due to his dishonorable discharge from the United States Marines Corps. The film is about a Marine trying to rescue his kidnapped from a terrorist. The film is WWE's third installment of The Marine franchise and will begin filming in Vancouver this June.

- WWE posted the following storyline "injury" update on John Cena:

Update: Following an MRI and a battery of tests on his left arm Monday, doctors confirmed that Cena has sustained multiple muscle strains but suffered no permanent structural damage.

Cena will appear on tonight's Raw Supershow in Dayton, Ohio.

For the original story on dot com, go here. For the legitimate details behind Cena's promo following last night's pay-per-view, click here.

- Mike Buda of SportstownChicago conducted new interviews with World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus and Beth Phoenix on Saturday. You can check them out at this link.

- WWE has announced the July 2nd edition of Raw Supershow will take place from the Laredo Energy Arena in Laredo, Texas.

WWE issued the following press release about The Mizstarring in The Marine: Homefront:

STAMFORD, Conn., April 30, 2012 – WWE Studios (NYSE:WWE) and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment (TCFHE) today announced WWE® Superstar Mike “The Miz” Mizanin will star in The Marine: Homefront, the third installment in The Marine franchise. This marks Mizanin’s first starring role in a film.

The action thriller will be directed by Scott Wiper, who directed The Condemned and wrote the screenplay with John Petro for the Cold Light of Day starring Henry Cavill, Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver. Principal photography will begin June 11 in Vancouver.

Mizanin portrays a Marine who is forced to put his skills to the test when a radical militia group kidnaps his rebellious niece. The unrelenting soldier does whatever is necessary to save his niece and stop a terrorist attack masterminded by the militia leader.

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will handle worldwide distribution on Blu-ray, DVD, VOD and digital download. WWE will utilize its extensive global reach through its television, digital/social media and print assets to market the release of the film.

- Wrestling News World readers CJ Blaze and Fernando sent word that Damien Sandow has been added as an official WWE roster member over on dot com. Fernando also noted that "Ravishing" Rick Rude is available in the Alumni section.

- The official WWE website just posted the following announcement:

WWE.com has learned that The Bella Twins have been fired from WWE.

As previously reported on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, The Bella Twins decided to let their contracts expire. Click here to view the full announcement.

- Kofi Kingston & R-Truth beat Primo & Epico to win the WWE Tag Team Championship on tonight's Raw Supershow from Dayton, Ohio.

- Chris Jericho and his band Fozzy are scheduled to play at Edgefest on August 18, 2012 in Little Rock, Arkansas. You can view more information at this link. While Jericho has already noted he will be touring with Fozzy before SummerSlam, this gig is actually the night before as SummerSlam 2012 is scheduled to take place on Sunday, August 19, 2012.

- Brock Lesnar was very upset backstage after Sunday's Extreme Rules pay-per-view from the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. According to sources with knowledge of the situation, Lesnar felt he had been "double crossed" with the promo by John Cena that closed the show. Lesnar was so upset he began throwing things before he could be consoled. In the tirade, Brock specifically berated Marc Carano, who is the real-life assist of John Laurinaitis. Brock complained to Marc that the booking in WWE was a disaster and allegedly accused Cena of trying to hurt him. The situation was so out of control some accused Lesnar of acting in an attempt to show up the locker room in order to send the message that he could quit at anytime. Apparently Brock was told that Cena would go over but would be stretchered out of the building, preventing Lesnar from looking weak. When Cena decided to address the audience after the match, Lesnar threw a fit. I was told yesterday that prior to the match Lesnar specifically asked one of the producers if they "were sure" about the match outcome. The angle on last night's Raw Supershow was done to write Lesnar off television. He is expected to return in a few weeks and isn't believed to have heat with Cena despite the promo and the accusations Lesnar made after the match. It's unknown what was said to Lesnar to calm him down and while some are speculating that his contract status with the company is "up in the air," many feel there is no way he is walking away from the big money and this is all part of Brock being Brock.

- It was announced during the Spanish broadcast of last night's WWE Raw Supershow that Sin Cara is scheduled for the Smackdown tour of Mexico later this month. The company will be touring the country on May 24-26. Cara was in Mexico City this weekend, doing promotional work for WWE. He has been off television since Survivor Series where he suffered a knee injury. There is a possibility Cara could return to television prior to the tour but he is being officially advertised.

- The following is from the official Twitter account of The Bella Twins:

Variety is reporting that WWE Studios has partnered with Kare Prods. on the French dramedy "Les Reines du ring" (Queen of the Ring), which Warner Bros. Entertainment France will distribute.

- The episode of "Dream Machines" featuring John Cena will air on SyFy next Tuesday, May 8th at 10 PM ET. The episode will also follow next week's Smackdown on the network.

- The storyline injury update on Triple H is that Brock Lesnar "broke his arm" during his outburst in the opening segment of last night's Raw Supershow. There are plans to do a Hunter vs. Lesnar program possibly leading into SummerSlam.

- Below is the official "injury update" on Triple H following the opening segment of last night's WWE Raw Supershow as posted on dot com:

According to WWE doctor Dr. Chris Amann, Triple H’s arm was placed in a hold that created a tremendous amount of torque on his upper arm and elbow. “He has a non-displaced fracture of distal humorous,” said Amann. “Fortunately, this is not something that needs surgery with pins and screws. We’ll be treating him with a sling for comfort and following with him in the next few days.”

- I have been able to obtain more details regarding Brock Lesnar'stirade backstage at Extreme Rules this past Sunday. Brock was informed on April 16th (while the majority of WWE the roster was overseas) that he would be going under to John Cena in their main event match at Extreme Rules. The way it was explained to Lesnar is that while he would be going under, Cena's victory would be a "fluke" and he'd come out looking like the stronger of the two workers. The aftermath would have been Cena being stretchered out of the building and taking some time off with Lesnar getting "suspended" the following night on Raw Supershow. Prior to Cena going out for the match on Sunday, he was told to work the "smarks" after the match to make it look like a shoot. Once Lesnar got backstage after the match, he went to the monitor to watch Cena's promo (which is out of the ordinary for Lesnar as he hasn't been "engaged" in current WWE programs). However, as Cena was cutting the promo, Lesnar started to throw a tantrum backstage and went right for Marc Carano (one of John Laurinaitis' assistants). I'm told this in itself was funny because up until this point Lesnar had gone right over Carano's head for everything. One of my sources with knowledge of the tantrum told me under the condition of anonymity that many feel it was a work on the boys and the Internet fans. This particular observer commented on the fact that had Lesnar not known about Cena's post-match promo he wouldn't have been watching the monitor backstage and certainly wouldn't have gone directly to Marc Carano. The feeling is the entire thing was done to appear the company had gone behind Lesnar's back to make them appear in control when in reality, everyone feels WWE needs Brock more than he needs them. Brock was isolated from most of the workers backstage at Raw Supershow yesterday and if he was truly upset and the tirade wasn't a work, the opening segment of last night's show wouldn't have been as safe as it was.

- The Bella Twins are scheduled to make their first post-WWE appearance at an autograph signing on Saturday, May 19th at the Frank & Son Collectible Show in Industry, California. Autographs and photos will be available for $30.

- Despite being announced as part of the "Uproar Festival" lineup with his band Fozzy and a confirmed gig the day before SummerSlam in Arkansas, Chris Jericho is still being officially advertised for the pay-per-view in Los Angeles, California as of this writing. WWE SummerSlam 2012 will take place on Sunday, August 19, 2012 from the Staples Center in Los Angles, California. We'll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.

- I was told moments ago the "dear friend" Kevin Nash was talking about that was let go from WWE was Goldust. As of this writing Goldust's profile remains on the official WWE roster page. Goldust had been working backstage as a producer after suffering a shoulder injury in December 2010 that halted his in-ring career. He wasn't at TVs this week and is reportedly interested in working independent dates.

- The Toldeo Free Press has a new article online featuring quotes from WWE Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes. Below are the highlights:

“When we weren’t at [training], we were at somebody’s apartment, watching WWE 24/7. And when we weren’t there, we were eating, and I was learning about diet and training — that was something I never had any access to. My dad was not a body guy. And in this day and age, when a company has evolved to where a lot of the specimens you see on TV are carved from stone, that was all new to me.”

“I spent a year driving Cena around when I was on the Raw brand,” Rhodes said. “The goal was to learn a lot about him, what he does in the ring, how he has gotten where he has gotten, but also to learn a lot about merchandising and marketing, pretty much all the things he does. And I’d say I learned a great deal on what it takes outside of the ring. He’s noted as being one of the most hard-working people in entertainment, and he is. If you want his job, you have to work as hard as he does. And it is much easier said than done.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- The Miz posted the following on Twitter:

- WWE has posted a "Farewell to The Bella Twins" photo gallery over on dot com. You can view the gallery at this link.

- Speaking of The Bella Twins, they are now free to work wherever they please as is Edge who had his WWE contract also expire. All three already have upcoming dates outside of WWE.

- WWE has announced the July 3rd Smackdown taping will take place from the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas. - Wrestling News World reader Patrick Peralta sent word that The Bella Twins are booked for the June 1st Northeast Wrestling show in Poughkeepsie, New York. They are being billed as Nicole and Bri Bella.

- Dean Ambrose worked a dark match prior to last night's Smackdown taping, beating Ezekiel Jackson.

- Wade Barrett has a small role in the new film WWE Studios is co-financing. The flick stars Colin Farrell, Noomi Rapace, Terrence Howard and Dominic Cooper. Barrett is currently out rehabbing a dislocated elbow that required surgery to repair.

- The following is from the official Twitter account of Michelle McCool:

- Earlier this morning WWE reported their earnings for the first quarter of 2012. In the report, the official buyrates for Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber were announced. They were reported as follows:

  • Royal Rumble - 443,000 buys (compared to 446,000 in 2011)
  • Elimination Chamber - 178,000 buys (compared to 199,000 in 2011)

Click here to read the full earnings report.

- The Bella Twins posted a new blog on their official website regarding their WWE departure. You can read it below:

What a whirlwind few days. As you all know by now, TwinMagic has decided to take some time away from wrestling. First and foremost, we want to thank each and every one of you for your support. We would not be where we are without the Bella Army. This beautiful chapter in our life was filled with many amazing memories, friendships and moments with you all that we will cherish. Being apart of WWE is like being apart of a family, we will always be in it

Just so you know, we need your continued support. We are on the cover of Maxim Espanol this month and later on this week check out the calendar to see where you can meet us.

Throughout the last five years, the Bella Army has helped us take home two Diva Championships and helped make us two of WWE’s most popular Diva’s, but most importantly the interaction we had with Bella Fans everywhere has allowed us to have so much fun. We want this fun to continue. Keep talking to us on Twitter and interacting on our blog posts. We will also do fan questions this week with the hash tag #BellaArmyForever.

Remember it’s not Good-Bye….the fun is just getting started BELLA style!

Today at 4pmEST/1pmPST we will be doing a twitter Q&A so join us @thebellatwins



Both Brie and Nikki Bella let their WWE contracts expire as they were out on Monday.

- WWE held a conference call with investors this morning to discuss the company's first quarter earnings for 2012 that were reported this morning. Vince McMahon and Chief Financial Officer George Barrios were on the call. Below are the highlights:

  • It was announced the company has spent $2.1 million this quarter for development of the WWE Network.
  • Vince McMahon said the success of Wrestlemania XXVIII this year compared to years past is due to better execution all the way around. He put over the year long build to John Cena vs. The Rock and said The Undertaker vs. Triple H was for the long-term fans. He said there was something for everyone.
  • Vince said any hold-ups for the WWE Network are on WWE's side and not on the distributors. He reiterated they have discussed traditional and new models.
  • McMahon said the company wants to own 100% of the WWE Network and have full control on programming. He emphasized they know their product better than anyone.
  • Vince estimated a 3-month timeline in terms of when an announcement would be made regarding WWE Network distribution.
  • George Barrios said the company has put aside $15-$25 million for WWE Studios and are working on how to develop and spend the money as they develop new projects.
  • Barrios said WWE did around 1 billion viewers on YouTube last year and they made advertisement revenue off those. Google, the parent company of YouTube, is going after original content and now pays WWE a licensing fee for their content.
  • WWE Superstars and WWE NXT are being monetized internationally and there is hope to play the shows on traditional networks very soon.

- Vince McMahon mentioned again today in the conference call with investors to discuss WWE's first quarter earnings of 2012 that both traditional and new models have been explored for the upcoming WWE Network. One of the new models involves YouTube and their initiative to launch 100 new channels this year. I'm told under the current agreement between WWE and YouTube, WWE receives approximately $1 million a year to supply the service with original programming. With all of the struggles WWE has had with launching the WWE Network (the launch date repeatedly delayed, failure to sign carriage agreements, etc.), YouTube reached out to the company to see if there would be any interest in moving the launch of the WWE Network as a YouTube exclusive channel that was streamed live 24 hours a day. Instead of the $1 million per year that WWE currently receives for original programming on their channel, YouTube offered them a lucrative offer somewhere in the range of $1 million per month. Thus far Vince is downplaying the offer and doesn't want to waver on his instance that WWE launch a cable television network by the end of the year, come "hell or high water." However, if the WWE Network continues to run into stumbling blocks, don't be surprised if that reported $12 million per year guaranteed starts to look a little more appealing. One source told me there are already those in the company that think the WWE Network is destined to be a "colossal disaster" and the offer from YouTube to run a more streamlined and scaled back "online" network for a guaranteed sum of money is almost like the company being thrown a life preserver before anymore money is sunk into a project that appears to be doomed. Nonetheless I was reassured that Vince wasn't biting yet and everyone has been told full speed ahead with the previous plan.

- Mark Henry has been pulled from weekend WWE live events. He was scheduled to compete on Raw brand shows against John Cena and WWE Champion CM Punk but is no longer listed on the official WWE show listing. As of this writing, Henry hasn't been added to Smackdown shows either.

- The Asheville Citizen-Times has a new article online featuring quotes from Christian. The publication reports that Christian is scheduled to face Daniel Bryan and World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus in a triple-threat match at tomorrow night's Smackdown live event in Asheville, North Carolina. However, as of this writing, Christian isn't on the list of official advertised talent.

Below is an excerpt from Christian from the piece:

“We just got back from a two-week tour of Europe where we wrestled every night,” Christian said. “It is what it is. It’s not for everybody. No matter how tired you get, when you get in that ring and hear that crowd road, everything will go away.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- Evan Bourne has had a PICC line in his arm for the past six weeks to kill the bone infection caused from his severe foot injury. Bourne noted on Twitter he had the PICC line removed on Tuesday. Below is the latest from Bourne's Twitter:

He also noted the pins in his foot will be removed in a couple weeks. Below is also from his official Twitter account:

- Sting has been added to the Alumni section of the official WWE website. Click here to view it.

TNA News

- Kurt Angle was given the weekend off TNA live events this weekend to shoot a role in the new Michael Bay film called "Pain and Gain" starring The Rock. Below is a synopsis of the film courtesy of Vulture:

A thriller about several boneheaded Miami bodybuilders whose plot to kidnap, rob and murder a wealthy businessman yields decidedly mixed results: The left-for-dead victim recuperates in secret, and then hires a private detective to track down his kidnappers and exact revenge.

Angle has a fight scene in the flick with The Rock and Tweeted about it. The following is from Angle's official Twitter account:

- The New York Post has a new article online featuring quotes from Hulk Hogan. In the piece, Hogan discusses the current state of TNA and how he plans on working backwards to get where they need to be. Below are two notable quotes:

New concept for TNA:

“We are going to give more power to the fans, make them more involved and more important,” Hogan said. “I can’t say much more, but I can say this, I’m either going to be really right on this one or really wrong. If I’m wrong, you probably won’t see me again because I’ll be hightailing it out of here.”

How Bobby Roode as TNA Champion is "working backwards":

“If you wanted a quick fix, right now, you would put the belt on Jeff Hardy,” Hogan said. “That would fix a bunch of stuff right now, but that is not working backwards from where we need to be. Right now, to work to that point, the belt needs to stay with Bobby Roode. He’s a guy who we are bringing up and is a constant. As we build him up it’s like a volcano that ready to explode.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- Wrestling News World reader Steven Muehlhausen of The Fight Club Chicago radio show conducted an interview with Randy Orton back in November. When asked about Brock Lesnar in WWE '12 Orton had the following to say about the former UFC heavyweight champion:

"I think its great. I'm a big Lesnar fan and I've always been. We came up together about 10 years ago now. Me and him were buds. We've lost touch over the years as you usually do with guys like that, but I wish him the best. I know he's had a few health issues as of late. But, he;ll conquer those just like he's conquered every other obstacle that has come his way. I truly feel he's one of the few human beings I've ever met that have been able too accomplish as much as he's accomplished. He puts his mind, body and soul into it and he's gonna get it done."

You can listen to the complete interview at this link.

- Jeff Jarrett is not backstage at the Impact Wrestling taping in Orlando, Florida as he's booked to wrestle tonight in Mexico. Jarrett will work tonight's AAA show in Leon.

- iN DEMAND has listed an additional TNA pay-per-view in June entitled "TNA Wrestling's Greatest Moments." The pay-per-view is set to premiere on systems on Saturday, June 2, 2012.

- Below is the official pay-per-view promotional poster for TNA Slammiversary:

- Anarquia has been officially released from TNA. There had been some confusion regarding his status after the company removed him from the official roster page but we can now confirm he has been released.

- [WWE] Dot com has a new article online looking at how the WCW Cruiserweight Championship "changed the game." However, the piece is grabbing headlines because of what it says about TNA executive Eric Bischoff. Below is an excerpt:

Through the crumbling of WCW and his own shameless self-promotion, Bischoff has become somewhat of a sports-entertainment punchline. It’s not a totally unfair assessment of the guy who once challenged Mr. McMahon to a karate fight live on pay-per-view, but the truth is the slick salesman had more than a few good ideas hiding beneath his Ken doll hair and, more importantly, had the nerve to pull them off. So, with Ted Turner’s blank checks in his pocket, Bischoff set out to amass the single greatest lightweight roster in sports-entertainment history.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.


Do you see Triple and Brock Lesnar feuding after what happened on last night's Raw Supershow or was it all part of the development of Lesnar's character?

There are preliminary plans to do Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar, possibly at SummerSlam with the storyline being that Lesnar "broke Triple H's arm." The angle was also done about Lesnar's contract status to write him off TV for a couple weeks as his contract is a part-time agreement. Following the backstage blowup Lesnar had at Extreme Rules, some have speculated this was WWE's way of protecting themselves in case Lesnar quits, but there were plans to write Lesnar off TV after Extreme Rules before he got upset.

Will Rey Mysterio's suspension speed up Sin Cara's return date and will it alter how the company plans to push him?

WWE has been functioning without Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara for several months now so I don't see Mysterio's suspension playing much of a factor in Cara's return. WWE learned real quick they couldn't just plug in another popular Mexican talent to take the reigns from Rey Mysterio as the company's top hispanic draw. As I reported earlier here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com, there are plans for Cara to return this month and while it is on the early side, the expected timetable for his injury all along has been 6-9 months. WWE has remained committed to Sin Cara despite a Wellness suspension and a severe injury but one has to think it is "make it or break it" time for Sin Cara.

What was the point of Big Show's one month run with the WWE Intercontinental Championship?

I was never in favor of Big Show taking the WWE Intercontinental Championship off Cody Rhodes at Wrestlemania so I can't begin to explain WWE's reasoning. Big Show is a tricky worker to book and the company wanted him to go over at Wrestlemania to prevent him from looking weak. However, I didn't see how holding the Intercontinental Championship would do him any good due to the fact that he's already an established veteran and former World Champion.

Are there any plans to push Dolph Ziggler?

Dolph Ziggler has been one of WWE's best workers over the past few months, however, it seems the company is almost scared to push him. Again, it's hard for me to explain the WWE mentality but remember, they do not push workers based on in-ring work. While I feel Ziggler has selling points in all three "core" areas (look, mic work & in-ring), not everyone can be pushed at once and Ziggler can at least be happy that he is getting on TV.

Yesterday you reported that Brock Lesnar "blew up" backstage at Extreme Rules. What happened and what was it all about?

Brock Lesnar went nuts backstage at Extreme Rules after his match with John Cena but as I reported exclusively here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium, many feel it was a work on the boys and Internet fans. In the aforementioned article, I highlight specifically what happened and why people feel it was a work. I highly recommend reading it if you want full details on a rather bizarre situation.

When does Rob Van Dam's contract with TNA expire and what are the chances he goes back to WWE?

Rob Van Dam's TNA contract is up in March 2013. There was talk late last year/early this year that he could be interested in a WWE return but ultimately he decided to stay with TNA and work another year.

Now that Daniel Bryan is the number one contender for the WWE Championship does this mean that brand exclusivity is pretty much a thing of the past, except when it comes to touring?

Ever since WWE changed Raw to the "Supershow" concept the brand extension has meant less because workers from both Raw and Smackdown appear on the flagship show. This was done in order to give the shows more of a flow (pushed for by Triple H) and to carry more of Raw's audience over to SyFy on Friday nights. There was talk of completely foregoing the Draft this year because the Raw Supershow concept and the brand extension means less now than it has since its inception. Plans are constantly changing so we'll see where it goes but I am a fan of Raw Supershow with Smackdown still being a separate brand. It gives the company the best of both worlds.

What does a wrestler's diet usually consist of?

This is an interesting question but a relevant one as you can look at a lot of the physiques in WWE and TNA and know that many of the workers are in great shape. Life on the road and eating healthy is a very difficult thing to do but it is possible. Workers try and eat as healthy as possible while also using different types of meal-replacement supplements. People like Daniel Bryan, who is a vegan, have an even harder time in trying to find good vegan food at an airport. It all comes down to discipline and being mindful of everything they put in their bodies. Cody Rhodes had an interesting comment about learning to diet in an interview I recapped earlier this morning here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.

How do the wrestlers come up with their finishing moves and what happens if another wrestler uses or has used that move in the past?

Workers come up with their own finisher and obviously if they are in WWE or TNA, the respective company has the right to modify anything they want to fit their character. Green workers, or rookies, are not supposed to use a popular worker's finisher as a sign of respect. This can still be done but the proper way to do it is to get that particular worker's blessing before just going out and using it. Failure to do so rubs people the wrong way and is certainly not how a newer worker would want to start out in the business. If someone showed up in developmental and just started using CM Punk's GTS, I'm sure they would be told not to use it.

Is there such thing as a wrestler's union? If no, what are medical benefits like?

There is no union in professional wrestling and workers function as independent contractors, not employees. For example, a WWE worker under a performer's contract agrees to the terms of the deal that stipulate while WWE has full control of them, they are not classified as an employee. Health insurance is to be bought by the individual and while WWE can offer referrals, it is up to the worker to maintain their own coverage. Obviously this is very controversial but my complaint is with workers that sign these contracts then try and go back and challenge their contents. You can't sign an agreement, waving all your rights then dispute it when you feel you should be treated differently.

What was the reason for WWE booking John Laurinaitis vs. John Cena at Over the Limit later this month?

As I reported exclusively here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium last week, John Cena was originally slated to take time off after his match against The Rock at Wrestlemania because he's battling hip problems. When Brock Lesnar re-signed with the company, John agreed to stay on to work a big money main event with him. There were some that thought he would take time off after Extreme Rules and now WWE has announced him for this month's pay-per-view against Johnny Laurinaitis. Perhaps it's a way of giving Cena time off without a real match, however, I do not know the specific reason why the match was booked. For the latest on Cena and time off, read my exclusive report posted at this link.

What is The Rock's status in WWE? Will he be returning anytime soon?

The Rock was written off of WWE television on Raw Supershow the night after Wrestlemania XXVIII for the immediate future. There has been talk about utilizing him for another pay-per-view before Wrestlemania XXIX next year but nothing has been confirmed.

Has Sting said anything publicly about being added to the Alumni section of the official WWE website?

I haven't seen any public comments from Sting regarding his profile being added to the Alumni section of the official WWE website. Some are surprised about the inclusion but remember, WWE owns a large portion of Sting's career in their tape library and it's probably a good idea to make newer fans aware of his presence. Vince McMahon made it pretty clear by highlighting Ric Flair at the WWE Hall of Fame this year that he doesn't see TNA Wrestling as a threat.

Does Brock Lesnar have any heat for working so loose? I thought rule number one in wrestling was to look after your opponent but now he's busted John Cena open hardway twice now?

Brock Lesnar has looked a little reckless with his work and while the first time he busted Cena open looked accidental, I have to believe what happened at Extreme Rules was a work. I haven't watched the tape back close enough to tell whether or not Cena used a blade but they clearly wanted to add color in the match. As for Lesnar having any backstage heat, he has more heat from the boys that are upset he gets big money for limited dates rather than his work.

How are official theme songs picked for WWE pay-per-views?

WWE selects songs they want based on relationships they have with the artist, record label, etc. When a song is selected obviously a deal has to be worked out where WWE pays the artist royalties to use their material, however, it also gives the artist good mainstream exposure.

What's the latest on Kharma?

WWE wants to eventually do Kharma vs. Beth Phoenix but they didn't want Kharma returning to immediately take the Divas Championship off Beth. They had Nikki Bella go over Beth as a fluke and ended up using it as a way to bring back Layla. I haven't heard the latest creative plan for Kharma's return but a possible storyline would obviously be for Kharma to return and go over Layla, building to Kharma vs. Beth for the title. With that being said Kharma is expected back any day now.

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