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Batista Knew He Wouldn't Work As Babyface, McMahon Not Giving Up On CM Punk, Brock Lesnar Ends The Streak, How Many WWE Network Subscribers, Undertaker Injured, Ultimate Warrior Dies, Undertaker vs. Sting Still Possible; Did Undertaker Want Streak To End?

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Welcome to the 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 5, 2014 to Friday, April 11, 2014 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 News
- Ask WNW

WWE News

- CM Punk isn't in NOLA and was photographed at Friday night's Against Me! show in Palatine, Illinois on Friday night. Below is photo proof:

We have a complete update on Punk status with WWE that we posted on Friday that you can read at this link.

- Rob Van Dam is in NOLA and is at WrestleCon on Saturday. If you're interested in seeing him, click here for more. RVD's return to WWE is considered imminent.

- Dolph Ziggler is featured on the latest Smackdown Fallout video. You can watch now at this link.

- Wrestling News World'sBrooks Oglesby is at Wrestlemania Axxess and just sent word that Corey Graves might have been injured. Graves was in a match against Troy McClain. The bout was called a no contest and Graves was helped to the back.

- Batista told The Washington Post he warned WWE management that he wouldn't be able to get over as a babyface. Below is an excerpt:

“They told me that I was going to come back and be this huge babyface,”

“I said, no, it’s not going to work,” he continues. “They said, no way, they’re dying for you to come back. I said, that’s going to last two minutes, just watch. And sure enough it did.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

Vince McMahon was "set" on Batista coming back a babyface, regardless of the success he had as a heel in the latter part of his WWE career in 2010. McMahon went to extraordinary efforts at Elimination Chamber to "right the ship" but when the fans didn't buy it, even after a cheap beating by Alberto Del Rio, Vince finally conceded and turned Batista heel.

- Steve Austin shows off his workout area in a new video blog. You can watch at this link.

- Hulkamania runs wild on JBL in the latest episode of The JBL & Cole Show that you can watch at this link.

- Variety is reporting that WWE Studios has joined PalmStar Media Capital to co-finance and co-produce the Vince Vaughn thriller “Term Life.” The film is due out in 2015.

Below is a synopsis courtesy of Variety:

The movie revolves around a man who plans and sells heists to the highest bidder, but when his latest job goes horribly wrong he finds himself hunted by everyone he knows — mob bosses, contract killers and dirty cops. With no way out, he takes out a life insurance policy on himself with his estranged daughter as the beneficiary, but must go on the run together to stay alive and become a father for the first time when it turns out the policy doesn’t take effect for 21 days.

Click here for more by Variety.

- Hulk Hogan and John Cena tag teamed a Q&A with Sports Illustrated's "Extra Mustard" to promote Wrestlemania XXX. Below is an excerpt where they talk about future WWE main eventers:

WrestleMania XXX is putting some of the younger stars like Bray Wyatt and Daniel Bryan in high profile matches. Do you see any of these guys as main event players in the next five to ten years?

Hulk Hogan: Well, John Cena is definitely not done, brother, and to me, he’s at the perfect time to pull a “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan on everybody. If he was to switch and take that hustle, loyalty and respect and tell everybody how he was running game on everybody the whole time, he’d have another ten years wide open without even looking back. So maybe in five years, it’s John Cena running the game on everybody. When I look around the roster, Daniel Bryan is on one hell of a roll right now, but he gets beat to death every night he goes out there. The big guys just go out and stomp on him. Can he handle that for five more years? I don’t know. It’s anybody’s game at this point.

John Cena: I think this is a very interesting time, and this is why I love WrestleMania XXX. If you look back at WrestleMania XX, all of the showcase matches had these up and coming talents like Randy Orton, Batista, Brock Lesnar and John Cena. These names became etched all these years later as the people who would be carrying WWE. This year, you have a flux of brand new superstars or superstars who are just waiting to make their impression once they get their opportunity. Bray Wyatt, The Shield, anyone involved in the Andre the Giant Battle Royal, and then, of course, you have Daniel Bryan. So if you ask me right now who is going to carry the WWE into the next decade, I don’t know, but I truly think that you will get your odds on favorite at WrestleMania XXX on April 6, and that’s one of the things that just makes this event so interesting. It will give you a little bit of insight into what’s to come for WWE.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- WWE intentionally left three spots open for the 30-man Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal so they would have some surprise entrants. One of those spots could be given to Rob Van Dam and as late Wednesday night, he was still under consideration. We can confirm Van Dam is in New Orleans, however, the preliminary plan is for him to return afterWrestlemania XXX. One of the reasons why WWE may choose not to utilize RVD at Wrestlemania is because Vince McMahon is concerned about Raw the night after being a letdown. Saving Van Dam for Raw in New Orleans could be a more desirable plan of action. While RVD's re-debut date has flip flopped, the company is still working on an end date for him as well. WWE really wants him to stay through SummerSlam, however, he's looking for a commitment in the 90-120 day range. With that being said, it is close enough to where one key observer believes RVD will end up working for WWE through SummerSlam this year.

- Seth Rollins told Brian Fritz of Between the Ropes the smartest thing WWE did was put Roman Reigns with him and Dean Ambrose. Below is an excerpt:

"You know what, I tell him [Roman Reigns] this and we joke about it, but the smartest thing the [WWE] company did was put him with me and [Dean] Ambrose. Because when we met him, he started from scratch. Granted he's got a whole family history in the wrestling business, but he's a football player. He's an athlete and he's coachable, but like he gets it. Like he got it quick and he understood right away what we were doing. I think putting him with myself and Ambrose, who had the wealth of experience and the all the knowledge and traveling the road. We're in a car all the time, we're on the planes together, we're having the matches together. He was just able to soak up that information we were giving out like a sponge and you can see the difference. He was great when we came in, but look at him now and he's a completely different performer. It was the smartest thing they ever did, putting him with us."

You can watch the interview in its entirety at this link.

- Batista's good friend Titus O'Neil told Brian Fritz of Between the Ropes that the response to Dave winning the Royal Rumble was more about Daniel Bryan. You can watch the interview at this link.

- Paul Heyman told Brian Fritz of Between the Ropes that he's not surprised CM Punk isn't at Wrestlemania this year.

"No, I'm not surprised he's not here at all. He's not happy and there was going to come a time that it was going to come to a head and it came to a head six or seven weeks before WrestleMania."

You can watch the interview at this link.

- posted a new video interview with The Ultimate Warrior. In the video he talks about giving a great speech, the legacy he leaves, why he's back now and more. You can watch the video on WWE.comhere at this link.

- The Rock is in New Orleans and in attendance at the 2014 WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony. He Tweeted the following photo earlier in the evening:

- Paul Bearer ended up being inducted into the 2014 WWE Hall of Fame by Kane and his was his real children, Daniel and Michael Moody that accepted the honor on his behalf. After Daniel and Michael accepted the award, The Undertaker came out and made a surprise tribute.

- Kevin Nash inducted Razor Ramon into the WWE Hall of Fame at the 2014 induction ceremony on Saturday night. After Scott Hall came out and gave his speech, Triple H, Shawn Michaels and Sean "X-Pac" Waltman came out and joined him on stage. They followed with a segment of Bad News Barrett.

- Carlito, Epico and Primo inducted Carlos Colon in the 2014 WWE Hall of Fame on Saturday night. Carlito drew a big pop when he came out and said that you'll have to excuse him, he's used to performing in high school gyms and bingo halls. He said they got to follow The Kliq and their time got cut, it's like he never left.

- The Ultimate Warrior stated in his WWE Hall of Fame induction speech that he's agreed to a new multi-year deal with the company to serve as an ambassador.

- For those that missed it, Mr T delivered a long and "different" speech that paid tribute to his mother. The speech was so long that WWE had Kane come out to remove him from the stage.

- Hulk Hogan's children, Brooke and Nick, sat with him front row at the ceremony. Jim Ross was also on the front row as was Steve Austin.

- Triple H and Stephanie McMahon had at least one of their daughters in the front row at the ceremony.

- Rob Van Dam was in attendance at the 2014 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

- Vince McMahon and Triple H presented the inductees with their Hall of Fame rings backstage at the event.

- Dot com featured a piece where they spoke with Jake Roberts following his WWE Hall of Fame

“I wrote some stuff down, and I did not follow any of it,” Roberts said with a grin. “I’ve always done that. It came from the heart.”

Click here to read the piece in its entirety.

- Carlito, who had some of the funnier lines of the night (See also -Carlito Heels WWE Management Before Inducting His Father In Hall Of Fame), was featured in a Q&A on dot com. Below is an excerpt:

WWE.COM: What’s it like being here tonight at the WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony?

CARLITO: It’s great seeing a lot of old friends that I haven’t seen in a long time, a lot of the boys and people backstage, seeing Mr. McMahon and everyone. It’s good to be back for a minute.

WWE.COM: When you put together your induction speech for your father, what was going through your mind?

CARLITO: He has had such a storied career, it writes itself. My main thing is that I don’t want to turn it into a stand-up comedy act and make things about myself. I want to focus on my dad, it’s all about him. The less I’m involved, the better.

Click here to read the piece in its entirety.

For those that missed Carlito's humor:

- Dot com featured a blurb on The Rock's arrival in New Orleans at this link (See also -The Rock At The 2014 WWE Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony). The piece mentions that Rock's Tweet about missing New Orleans proceeded Steve Austin's announcement that he will be at Wrestlemania XXX on Sunday.

See also -Steve Austin Arrives In New Orleans, Confirmed For Wrestlemania 30

As it stands, both Rock and Austin are set to be used in some capacity on the pay-per-view. Both were in attendance at the 2014 WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony, however, Rock was not shown on camera.

- As of late Wednesday/early Thursday we're told no one from WWE had contacted CM Punk. My source noted Vince McMahon was staying the course and giving Punk his space. The belief was they would wait a couple of months before giving it a last ditch effort to get him to re-sign before his contract comes up in July.

One thing I covered last week is the booking of Punk's fiancée WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee. While it would be typical Vince to punish her for Punk's actions by burying her, it's actually been the opposite. We're told Vince wants AJ booked as strong as possible because whatever influence she has over Punk, they want to make sure she is happy and has positive things to say about the company. In fact, multiple sources have stated the plan headed into the weekend was for AJ to retain the Divas Championship at Wrestlemania XXX.

The thinking is if Punk gets bored and gets the itch to come back, they want AJ Lee to encourage it and there's no way she'd do that if she was buried over backstage politics.

As for Wrestlemania itself, WWE feels like they ended up with a strong show without Punk, so there is no panic from Vince to get him back ASAP. We're told Vince is more focused on having Punk long term and doing what he thinks gives him the best shot to convince Punk to not retire so young.

Triple H and Stephanie on the other hand feel the company should just move on and cut their losses. However, there is something to be said for not risking letting a guy like Punk show up in TNA or in Jeff Jarrett's promotion, especially when on top and in their prime.

Sources close to Punk maintain he isn't interested in working in pro wrestling outside of WWE and considers himself finished. Nonetheless it's still considered a risk to let him hit the free agent market, especially when guys in the wrestling business change their mind about retirement 9 out of 10 times.

- John Pollock of The Fight Network interviewed Christian last week. in it, Pollock asked Christian for an update on his health.

Christian confirmed he suffered a slight concussion in the Fatal 4-Way match on the March 24, 2014 episode of Monday Night Raw. He said when he's in the ring, he feels he's as good as he's ever been. His goal is to continue putting on quality matches. Christian said he hopes to get his hands back on a title at some point.

He put over WWE's concussion management and said it was the right thing. Christian said it wasn't just them but all of the major sports are taking better precautions as more is learned about head injuries. He said he would basically be a game time decision for Wrestlemania 30.

Christian said he's enjoyed his program with Sheamus but it's been physical. He emphasized how physical their March 10th Street Fight was, which was a couple weeks before he suffered the concussion.

You can watch the interview at this link.

- Sting continued to tease his inclusion at Wrestlemania 31 next year as he stated at Wrestlecon in NOLA on Sunday that his new favorite number was 31.

You can watch Sting make the comment in the video embedded below:

Wrestlemania 31 will take place Sunday, March 29, 2015 from Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

- WWE has entered into an agreement with Under Armour to offer "alter ego" compressions shirts. Shirts featured include Randy Savage, CM Punk, Steve Austin, John Cena, Hulk Hogan and Daniel Bryan. Click here to buy your shirt now.

- Shane McMahon was featured in an interview with Buzz Feed Sports. The interview goes over Shane's beginnings trying to find his own job and then breaking into his father's business. Some of the memorable quotes were:

“My dad said, ‘What would be the last place on Earth that people would think a wrestling company would be?,’” McMahon says. “There were two spots he looked at: Beverly Hills, Calif. and Greenwich, Conn.”

On him bringing YOU On Demand in China:

The numbers are so big over there that it doesn’t take much once you hit a little groove. This is a labor of love to create something from nothing. I like it when they say, ‘Oh, you can’t do that. There’s no way you can build something like that.’ That’s what fuels me — to pull off the impossible.

On a possible return to WWE:

Rumors of Shane McMahon’s return to WWE spike every year around WrestleMania. But McMahon will not be involved with WrestleMania XXX on April 6 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans; a recent report stated he would attend. A potential homecoming is still a possibility. “Would I ever come back? I would never count it out because anything can happen in the WWE,” he says parroting one of the company’s slogans.

Shane McMahon gives a great interview that you can read in full at this link.

- There was a major audio issue during the Wrestlemania 30 Pre-Show but it was fixed before the Fatal 4-Way WWE Tag Team Championship Match started.

- The announced attendance for Wrestlemania 30 was 75,167 from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in NOLA.

- The Usos retain the WWE Tag Team Championship by going over in the Fatal 4-Way match that had elimination rules. Los Matadores were eliminated first followed by Ryback & Curtis Axel and finally The Real Americans. After the match, the Real Americans appeared to officially break up with Cesaro establishing himself as a clear babyface.

- Brooks Oglesby reported major problems entering the Superdome. Apparently he was only two sections from the door and it took him nearly two hours to get to his seats. THe halls were shoulder to shoulder motionless with security having toe make paths to let people in wheelchairs in. Apparently all four entrances were open buy everyone thought there was just one.

- Cesaro won the inaugural 30-man Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal after he body slammed Big Show over the top rope. The spot continued the enormous babyface reaction he garnered from turning on Jack Swagger after their loss earlier in the night. Overall, the bout was by in large forgettable with the only other notable spot being by Kofi Kingston. Kofi was thrown over the ropes but landed on the ring steps, thus not being eliminated.

- The French commentators were at ringside for Wrestlemania 30 as there were three announce tables, with the infamous Spanish table taking a bump in John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt. Speaking of Spanish announce, Ricardo Rodriguez assisted in that department.

- Triple H bled from his nose after a spot in his bout with Daniel Bryan.

- The Rock's mother and John Cena's father were both at ringside for Wrestlemania 30. I'm sure there were many other family members in attendance, those are just the ones I immediately recognized and thought I would note.

- Brock Lesnar beat The Undertaker at Wrestlemania 30 to end the streak at 21-1.

The bout was very slow and while it had some good false finishes, there wasn't enough in between to engage the audience. Lesnar got blown up early, profusely sweating and gasping for air.

Undertaker got all of his trademark moves in, hitting old school and his vintage leg drop on the ring apron. He locked in Hell's Gate and landed the Tombstone. To finish Undertaker, Lesnar gave him three F-5s before pinning him for the shocking three count.

The crowd seemed genuinely shocked this is how WWE chose to end it. They turned, shouting "bullshit" but paid respect to Undertaker when he got up. The announcers played up this was it for Undertaker and gave him a standing ovation as he left the ring.

- WWE is reporting that Billy Gunn sustained hemoptysis after the 6-Man Tag Team Match against The Shield. According to a report filed on dot com, the injury occurred on the triple powerbomb spot with Road Dogg.

"At the very end of the match, Billy sustained a powerbomb maneuver," reported WWE’s Dr. Chris Amann. "After that maneuver, he started to develop hemoptysis, which is the medical term for coughing up blood.

"We brought him back and evaluated him immediately, checked his oxygen, his blood pressure … everything was stable," Amann continued. "We got some X-rays of his chest, which did not show any evidence of a collapsed lung, so our diagnosis right now is that he most likely ruptured a small blood vessel that caused bleeding to the airways and, subsequently, coughing up blood."

WWE notes they'll continue to "monitor him closely for the rest of the night."

Click here for coverage by dot com.

- Daniel Bryan made Batista tap out to the Yes Lock to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. This match was full of controversy as WWE refs Mike Chioda and Scott Armstrong were both involved. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon came out at one point. Triple H pulled out a sledge hammer, and Bryan turned things around and hit him with it. Batista and Randy Orton teamed up for a huge spot where Batista put Bryan up for the Batista Bomb on the regular commentary booth, and Orton RKO'ed Bryan through Spanish Announce table. EMT's showed up to check on Bryan. Bryan got off the stretcher and started to fight again. Bryan hit Batista with the running knee and followed it up by locking in the Yes Lock to win the match. The fans exploded in a "YES!" chant. Pyro went off and confetti fell.

- Brie Bella wrote on Twitter that she wished she could have come out to celebrate Daniel Bryan's WWE World Heavyweight Championship win with him, however, she said she "wasn't allowed." The following is from Twitter:

You can read how Bryan got his well deserved payoff at this link.

We have complete Wrestlemania 30 results at this link.

- The Undertaker was legitimately injured in his match against Brock Lesnar and was taken from the Mercedes Benz Superdome to a local hospital via ambulance. Early reports suggest he suffered a concussion and was hospitalized as of 2:30 AM EDT.

- WWE announced on Monday the WWE Network has 667,287 subscribers. The company reassured they are well are on their way to 1 million, the number of subscribers they need in order for the service to be profitable.

- Brock Lesnar was scripted to go over The Undertaker at Wrestlemania 30. While Undertaker was indeed injured in the match, it did not alter the outcome. Undertaker was taken from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in NOLA to a local hospital via ambulance and kept overnight for observation. Messages left for WWE's Public Relations department regarding the injury were not immediately returned. The match outcome actually leaked to the public about an hour before it happened, causing international betting odds to move Lesnar as the favorite.

- Cameron suffered a wardrobe malfunction in the Vickie Guerrero Divas Championship Invitational at Wrestlemania 30. As a result, she rolled out of the ring and didn't return as her goal was to seek cover.

She Tweeted the following:

Below is a photo of the mishap:

- The woman and little girl that celebrated with Daniel Bryan after his WWE World Heavyweight Championship win at Wrestlemania XXX was his sister and niece. Brie Bella, Bryan's fiancee Tweet she wished she could have celebrated but "wasn't allowed."

- WWE NXT Divas Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss assisted during Triple H's spectacular "King of Kings" entrance. Below is a photo:

- Ezekiel Jackson is gone from WWE as his contract expired on Sunday. He wrote the following on social media:

In July 2008 I made my #smackdown television debut with "Thee Brian Kendrick"... much love to TBK for seeking me out and choosing me. I was fulfilling a dream I had as an 8 yr old kid who saw and fell in love with professional wrestling for the first time through my neighbors window in #Guyana South America... On April 6th 2014 my contract expired so #WrestleMania 30 was #bittersweet. I thank God for all the blessings he's bestowed upon me in the last 7 years. In my time in the #wwe I became the last #ECW Champion and a one time Intercontinental Champion... I've also traveled the world given the opportunity to do what I love. Encountering some of the most passionate and reliable fans in the world... I am deeply appreciative to Vincent McMahon and the #WWE for allowing a snotty nose lickle bai from Victory Valley Linden Guyana to live out my childhood dream on the highest level. #Godspeed to the company and all of my friends and colleagues. #beblessed Extremely excited for the next chapter in my life. I'm looking forward to this new season.... I'm still 290 pounds and #healthy. I can be reached for bookings, sponsorship and signings through my manager at: #Godbless

- Shares of WWE stock dipped more than 15% in the morning trading hours after the company's announcement the WWE Network has 667,287 subscribers.

Below is a screen capture of the stock tumbling:

Richard Reacts: Anything under 500,000 WWE Network subscribers would have been bad for WWE, anything over 1 million would have been excellent. WWE is simply in-between. They're more than halfway to their target but they haven't hit the mark where the service will be profitable. WWE CFO George Barrios has gone on record more times than I can count in saying that under 1 million subscribers, the company will view the Network as an investment. As long as they reach 1 million by the end of 2014, they will consider the WWE Network a success.

- Cesaro, David Otunga, Yoshi Tatsu and Tyson Kidd were unannounced entrants for the 30-man Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at Wrestlemania XXX. Cesaro is due a major babyface push following this year's show.

- The first commercial for Wrestlemania 31 from Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California is online at this link.

- WWE posted an iconic video of Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin and The Rock sharing a moment backstage at Wrestlemania 30.

- Wrestlemania 30 is available for playback on-demand on the WWE Network and was available as soon as the pay-per-view was over. I said I couldn't go back and watch it yet but I'm currently watching the finish to Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar again.

It should be noted I didn't experience any issues with the Wrestlemania stream on Sunday night. There was an audio issue during the Pre-Show but it was smooth sailing after that.

Vince McMahon reportedly left the Mercedes-Benz Superdome with The Undertaker as he went to a local hospital for evaluation. Vince left Triple H in charge and accompanied Undertaker's wife, Michelle McCool. McCool was ringside for the match.

I do not have a health update on Undertaker as of this writing and still haven't heard anything from the company after requesting comment earlier.

- The Undertaker was injured early on in the bout against Brock Lesnar, apparently on a single leg takedown. The injury was of his head/neck and I heard the word concussion mentioned. As previously noted, Vince McMahon accompanied Undertaker and Michelle McCool to the hospital. He was transported via ambulance.

- Rob Van Dam was backstage at Wrestlemania 30. He wasn't booked for the show but was under consideration at one point for the 30-man Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Van Dam's return to WWE is imminent and he could be back as soon as Monday night on Raw.

- Last week's episode of WWE Smackdown, the go-home to Wrestlemania 30, garnered an average viewing audience of 2,710,000 viewers on SyFy. You can see how the show fared against other programs on cable on Friday night at this link.

- The Undertaker suffered a severe concussion during his match with Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 30 on Sunday night. Undertaker was transported via ambulance from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to Ochsner Medical Center. He was accompanied by WWE boss Vince McMahon and his wife Michelle McCool.vvAfter arriving at the hospital, Undertaker underwent a CT scan and other medical testing where doctors were able to give the diagnosis of a "severe concussion." He was kept overnight for further evaluation and discharged on Monday afternoon.vvClick here for coverage by dot com.

- just announced that Ultimate Warrior will be appearing live on Raw tonight. Here is what was posted on dot com: can confirm that newly-minted WWE Hall of Famer The Ultimate Warrior will be at Raw tonight, but what else lies ahead? has five ideas for you to ponder while you wait for the action to unfold on USA tonight at 8/7 CT. (Not to mention the Raw Pre-Show on WWE Network at 7:30 ET.)

- WWE Main Event is finished on Ion Television. As we reported a couple weeks ago, the TV deal for the series expired and was not renewed. The network has taken down the official WWE Main Event sub-site. Moving forward WWE Network will air exclusively on WWE Network on Tuesday nights at 7 PM EDT.

- Paige made her Raw debut and defeated AJ Lee to become the WWE Divas Champion. Paige is the first and current NXT Women's Champion as well as Divas Champion.

- This week's episode of Raw from the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, LA was a legitimate sell out of 15,401 fans.

- Rob Van Dam made his return to WWE television after being off since Fall of 2013. Rob Van Dam defeated Damien Sandow in his return.

- Brooks Oglesby reporting after Monday Night Raw:

After the show, Renee Young got in the ring for an interview and The Shield said she should be asking if Triple H believes in The Shield. They all three agreed that he did after tonight. Then Daniel Bryan was asked how it feels to finally have the upper hand over The Authority. He says he owes part of it to hard work, but everyone in the back works hard and everyone in the crowd appreciates that.

He then takes the mic and says that he got to live his dream last night, in front of his sister, his mom and his fiancée. He owes it all to the people, so he says he has two words to say: thank you. He then went around to every ringside area, even up by the corners of the stage, to slap hands with fans. He led yes chants before Justin Roberts sent everyone home.

- Stephanie McMahon Tweeted a photo of Vince McMahon and The Ultimate Warrior "hugging it out." You can check it out below:

- WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella are getting married on Friday. The wedding will be taped for season two of Total Divas. You can read a Q&A Brie did with Hollywood Life at this link.

- The objective of this week's episode of Monday Night Raw was to "turn the page" following Wrestlemania XXX, which was why a heavy push was put behind new talent. For those that missed it, below is a quick recap:

* Cesaro aligned with Paul Heyman and is set to receive a singles push based on his Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. He'll face Big Show in a match that will be taped for Smackdown on Tuesday night.

* Paige got a tremendous rub by beating the longest reigning WWE Divas Champion in company history in AJ Lee. Lee held the title for 295 days and now Paige holds both the WWE Divas Championship and NXT Women's Championship.

* Alexander Rusev made his in-ring debut, squashing Zack Ryder.

* WWE began airing vignettes for Adam Rose and Bo Dallas as you can watch them at this link.

- Rob Van Dam was scheduled to return at this week's episode of Monday Night Raw for the past two months. There was talk of inserting him in the 30-man Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, as he was even backstage, but Vince McMahon decided to hold him off until Raw. This was because Vince was concerned about Raw the night after Wrestlemania 30 being a let down and he wanted to save the pop. The last I heard, WWE and RVD were still working on the length of his contract and WWE was hopeful he would be there through SummerSlam in August.

- Shawne Merriman's appearances on WWE Network could be part of something more. The company is high up on him and there's been talk of offering him a position. There were erroneous reports last November that suggested Merriman had an in-ring tryout but he said he was merely visiting the WWE Performance Center.

- There continues to be a lot of talk about Sting coming to WWE. He left NOLA after his appearance at Wrestlecon and isn't in immediate WWE plans. His travel was arranged and paid for by the Wrestlecon promoters. There are still rumors is he coming to WWE but there is no update on his status as of this writing.

Backstage news from Monday Night Raw in NOLA…

- While Stephanie McMahon is known to not be a Paul Heyman gal, Vince McMahon is very high up on him right now. Words going around backstage to describe his work on this week's show were words like "mastermind." They also want to use Heyman to help bring along Cesaro. While it didn't work for Curtis Axel, the feeling is it will work in the right situation.

- Cesaro vs. Jack Swagger isn't something expected to "drag on" and could be a "one and done" program.

- Rob Van Dam is slated for a "nice push" over the next few months and we're told Vince McMahon wants to keep him around for as long as he can. As we already mentioned, this latest deal is believed to be through SummerSlam.

- Zack Ryder was nursing his back at Raw but it did not appear to be anything major.

- Christian was still not cleared to return as of Monday night.

- This week's episode of Monday Night Raw did an average viewing audience of 5,146,333 viewers on the USA Network. The post-Wrestlemania 30 show did hours as follows:

Hour one - 5,313,000 viewers
Hour two - 5,094,000 viewers
Hour three - 5,032,000 viewers

The average was the largest post-Wrestlemania Raw audience since the April 4, 2011 audience that did 5.6 million viewers. What's even more impressive is the show was up against stiff competition in the same demographic, up against the finals of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. The game drew an average viewing audience of 21,000,000 viewers.

The one hour WWE Hall of Fame special that proceeded Raw did an average viewing audience of 2,400,000 viewers, also on the USA Network.

- Fandango has apparently split from his partner Summer Rae, according to a conversation between the two earlier today on Twitter:

WWE picked up the story, which comes one day after a quick loss to Santino Marella & Emma in mixed tag action on Raw. Click here for more information.

- Triple H posted the following to Twitter late Tuesday night:

This comes just a few days after Warrior was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, and only 24 hours after appearing on Monday Night Raw.

- The Ultimate Warrior has died. Triple H first Tweeted the news and it was shortly followed by an official statement on dot com. The statement reads as follows:

WWE is shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of the most iconic WWE Superstars ever, The Ultimate Warrior. Warrior began his WWE career in 1987 and quickly went on to become one of the biggest stars in WWE history. Warrior became WWE Champion at WrestleMania VI, defeating Hulk Hogan in an epic encounter. We are grateful that just days ago, Warrior had the opportunity to take his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame and was also able to appear at WrestleMania 30 and Monday Night Raw to address his legions of fans. WWE sends its sincere condolences to Warrior’s family, friends and fans. Warrior was 54 and is survived by his wife Dana and his two daughters.

1:05 PM EDT April 9, 2014 Update: According to TMZ, Warrior "clutched his chest" moments before he collapsed while walking down a hallway at the Gainey Suites Hotel in Scottsdale, AZ on Tuesday evening. All signs point to a massive heart attack being the cause of death. There is no evidence to show drugs or alcohol were a factor. An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday by the Maricopa County Medical Examiner, reports End update.

12:10 PM EDT April 9, 2014 Update: The Scottsdale Police Department and Sergeant Mark Clark made the following statement on Warrior’s death:

On April 8 at 5:50 pm 54-year-old “Warrior” James B Hellwig collapsed while walking with his wife to their car at the Gainy Suites Hotel in Scottsdale, Ariz. Scottsdale Fire transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead soon after arrival. At this point in the investigation, it appears as though a catastrophic medical condition caused his death.

End update.

1:29 AM EDT April 9, 2014 Update: Ultimate Warrior left New Orleans on Tuesday morning after appearing on this week's Monday Night Raw and flew home to Arizona. According to a report by TMZ, he collapsed outside of a hotel in Arizona on Tuesday evening while walking to his car with his wife Dana. He was taken to nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. End update.

12:51 AM EDT April 9, 2014 Update:TMZ is reporting the Ultimate Warrior died in Arizona. No other details are available at this time. End update.

Click here for WWE's official statement in its original format.

The news is beyond shocking as Warrior was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame last Saturday night and appeared at Wrestlemania 30 and this week's episode of Monday Night Raw in New Orleans, Louisiana. Warrior confirmed in his Hall of Fame induction speech that he had signed a new multi-year agreement with WWE to act as an ambassador.

You can watch the promo Ultimate Warrior cut on this week's episode of Raw at this link or embedded in the video below:

Stephanie McMahon just Tweeted this:

Earlier in the week, Stephanie Tweeted a photo of Warrior with her father Vince McMahon:

Below is Triple H's breaking news Tweet, as Brooks Oglesby reported here on

- Vince McMahon just Tweeted the following about the death of the Ultimate Warrior:

The following photo of Vince and Warrior was taken just a couple of days ago:

- TMZ is reporting the Ultimate Warrior collapsed outside an Arizona hotel at 5:50 PM on Tuesday evening while he was walking to his car with his wife Dana. According to the report, Warrior was transported to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.

- For those just hearing the news, the Ultimate Warrior died suddenly on Tuesday in the state of Arizona at age 54. I've compiled a timeline of events so you can get quickly caught up.

Ultimate Warrior Dead at 54: Timeline of Events:

11:41 PM EDT - 8 Apr 2014 Triple H Tweeted the following:

11:55 PM EDT - 8 Apr 2014 Stephanie McMahon Tweeted the following:

Just after Midnight EDT - 9 Apr 2014 WWE issued the following statement:

WWE is shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of the most iconic WWE Superstars ever, The Ultimate Warrior. Warrior began his WWE career in 1987 and quickly went on to become one of the biggest stars in WWE history. Warrior became WWE Champion at WrestleMania VI, defeating Hulk Hogan in an epic encounter. We are grateful that just days ago, Warrior had the opportunity to take his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame and was also able to appear at WrestleMania 30 and Monday Night Raw to address his legions of fans. WWE sends its sincere condolences to Warrior’s family, friends and fans. Warrior was 54 and is survived by his wife Dana and his two daughters.

12:52 AM EDT - 9 Apr 2014TMZ reported the Ultimate Warrior collapsed outside a hotel in Arizona at 5:50 PM on Tuesday evening while walking to his car with his wife Dana. He was transported to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.

- The wrestling business is in a state of shocking following the sudden passing of The Ultimate Warrior on Tuesday. News of his death began to make rounds shortly after this week's WWE Main Event/Smackdown taping concluded in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Obviously the timing of Warrior's passing makes it all the more tragic as he'd just spent the weekend as the headliner for the 2014 WWE Hall of Fame class with many members of the WWE roster meeting him for the first time. He was at this week's Raw taping, where he was very friendly with the workers backstage as several approached him to congratulate him on his Hall of Fame induction.

Fences were mended as well, with Warrior reconciling with Vince McMahon, Jake Roberts and others.

One thing I heard from several is how much Warrior's family meant to him, which was evident when he had his daughters introduce him for the WWE Hall of Fame. In addition to his daughters and his wife Dana, Warrior's mother was also in New Orleans for his induction.

Second to his family was all of the Ultimate Warrior fans, in which all reported positive experiences when encountering him over the weekend. We've heard from fans that met him on Tuesday morning at the airport in New Orleans as he took photos and signed autographs with anyone that asked.

Below are photos of Warrior and his family at Saturday's 2014 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony:

- Mr. T said he's disappointed and saddened that fans couldn't hear the rest of his WWE Hall of Fame induction speech. The following is from Twitter:

WWE sent Kane out to remove Mr. T from the stage after his went over allotted time at last Saturday's 2014 Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

My thoughts on Mr. T's WWE Hall of Fame speech were included in Tuesday's installment of Ask WNW.

- WWE Divas Champion Paige was on BBC Radio on Tuesday where she discussed her title win on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw. You can listen embedded in the player below:

- Hulk Hogan Tweeted the following on Wednesday:

- The Scottsdale Police Department and Sergeant Mark Clark made the following statement on Warrior's death yesterday:

On April 8 at 5:50 pm 54-year-old “Warrior” James B Hellwig collapsed while walking with his wife to their car at the Gainy Suites Hotel in Scottsdale, Ariz. Scottsdale Fire transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead soon after arrival. At this point in the investigation, it appears as though a catastrophic medical condition caused his death.

We are following all the news here at and will continue to bring all news as it comes our way.

- Steve Austin announced on his Steve Austin Show podcast on Tuesday that Undertaker has agreed to do an interview with him. No word on when it will be recorded but you can to his latest podcast with Lita at this link.

- The latest information regarding the death of Ultimate Warrior is that he "clutched his chest" moments before he collapsed while walking down a hallway at the Gainey Suites Hotel in Scottsdale, AZ on Tuesday evening, according to a new report by Warrior was with his wife Dana as they were headed towards his car. Warrior was pronounced dead on Tuesday. He was 54.

- All signs point to a massive heart attack being the cause of the Ultimate Warrior's tragic and sudden death on Tuesday. TMZ is reporting there is no evidence to show drugs or alcohol were a factor. An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday by the Maricopa County Medical Examiner. I also want to make clear we are unaware of any problems with Warrior's health leading up to his untimely demise. Warrior had agreed to a new contract with WWE, however, it was a multi-year deal where he was to act as an ambassador. Because of this, he was not subject to the stringent physical testing the company does for prospective in-ring talent.

- TMZ has a new report at this link where they detail Ultimate Warrior's condition over Wrestlemania 30 weekend in NOLA.

"According to sources who were with Warrior this past weekend, the WWE legend looked like he was in constant pain ... sweaty and looked very uncomfortable, like he was choking on his tie. It was apparent to everyone ... something was seriously off."

This is something numerous Wrestlemania attendees have told us and a question raised in Wednesday's Ask WNW. There seemed to be warning signs, although his passing is something no one could have ever predicted. Click here for more by

- The latest on former NFL linebacker Shawne Merriman is that he has signed a WWE contract. We reported earlier in the week the company was very pleased with his work on the WWE Network during Wrestlemania 30 weekend and the subsequent fallout.

- Michael Cole's latest sit down kayfabe interview is with Paul Heyman. You can watch it at this link.

- WWE posted video highlights of Scooby-Doo at Wrestlemania Axxess. You can watch at this link.

- My friend Mark Moses had me on The Mark Moses Show for nearly 18 minutes on Wednesday. We talked about Ultimate Warrior's sudden death, the streak, Wrestlemania 30 and more. You can listen at this link.

- Sting is booked to appear on Pro Championship Wrestling's Dream Night 13 event on Saturday, June 21, 2014 in Oak Lawn, Illinois. You can watch a promo Sting cut for the appearance at this link. Click here for more information.

- The Associated Press has an article on the death of the Ultimate Warrior featuring quotes from Triple H and Sean Waltman. Hunter shared an touching moment Warrior had with Vince McMahon over Wrestlemania weekend in NOLA:

"Vince said to him a couple of days ago, 'I've always loved you. Sometimes, I didn't like you, but I always loved you,'" Levesque said.

Waltman "got a sense" Warrior wasn't well:

"I got a sense he wasn't well," Waltman said. "It was sad to me. He was kind of hunched over. He used to have such great posture. You just had this sense that he wasn't well. But he was in great spirits. He came up to (other wrestlers) and gave them hugs."

Click here to read the piece in its entirety.

- Xavier Woods won the 2K14 Superstar Challenge at Wrestlemania Axxess over Wrestlemania XXX weekend in NOLA. Woods received a 2K14 title belt and a PS4 for his victory. You can watch a video highlight at this link.

- WWE released key attendance figures for Wrestlemania 30 weekend in NOLA. Here they are courtesy of The Times-Picayune:

29,215 people attended the WrestleMania Axxess fan fair at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

10,855 people attended the WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Smoothie King Center.

13,299 people attended the Monday Night Raw weekly wrestling show, which this week took place at the Smoothie King Center.

Click here for coverage by

As we reported Sunday on, the pay-per-view itself did an announced sellout of 75,167 from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

- Tamina Snuka is featured on this week's episode of WWE Inbox at this link.

- For those that missed it on Wednesday, an autopsy is scheduled on the body of the Ultimate Warrior on Thursday if it hasn't been done already. The results will take some time to get back.

The latest regarding his untimely passing is that all signs point to a massive heart attack. There was no evidence of drugs or alcohol being a factor and according to reports, he clutched at his chest before going down.

He was with his wife Dana at the Gainey Suites Hotel in Scottsdale, AZ on Tuesday evening, walking down a hallway when he collapsed. He was transported to a local hospital by Scottsdale firefighters.

Those that spent time around Warrior over Wrestlemania weekend noted something was off and there were signs he was not in good health. Everything from constant sweating, to having a red face, to being stooped over has been reported.

Warrior had agreed to a new multiyear deal with WWE to act as an ambassador, it was not a deal that included physical involvement.

- Diamond Dallas Page issued the following statement about his appearance on Nancy Grace on Wednesday:

I went on Nancy Grace last night expecting to discuss Warrior the man. Had I known the only topic discussed would be steroids I would not have participated. At the time I was also unaware of the list that was shown to the viewing audience. To imply that all of the wrestlers on that list died from steroids was wrong and for that they owe the families an apology. Again, my only intention was to discuss Warrior the man and share some stories about how dedicated he was to the wrestling business. I am saddened that was not what happened and my thoughts remain with his family.


As I stated on Twitter, did we not learn anything from Grace's deplorable coverage of the Chris Benoit tragedy? She doesn't know what she's talking about, she doesn't properly research her topics and she has no credibility to anyone that pays attention to what she features. She's an entertainer that is trying to garner a reaction and all of the controversy regarding her segment on Ultimate Warrior will probably drive her ratings up. She's been trending on Twitter all day. The most powerful message wrestling fans can send Nancy Grace is to ignore her.

- Sting posted the following on Facebook about the Ultimate Warrior:

Post by The Real Sting.

- Total Divas will return to E on Sunday. Below is a preview of next week's episode:

"Inhale, Exhale"
Nattie is told that she has to undergo correctional surgery. Nikki feels that John is lying. Trinity shoots a music video.

Below are some preview videos:

Natalya tells the Divas why her nose is bleeding:

Naomi's music video shoot for "Dance All Night" is a disaster:

- There's a new report making rounds that apparently originated from Dave Meltzer that claims Sting has signed a contract with WWE. I was told on Thursday a deal was done and it includes for Sting to work in the ring and make appearances, however, I was unable to confirm a start date. I checked with another source and was told the deal had "been done for awhile," it just hadn't been signed, therefore reports claiming it had been signed were not surprising. I am working on more details including why a possible Sting vs. Undertaker isn't completely history... at least not yet. I'll have those details early next week. As for the immediate future, Sting has independent commitments booked through June.

- Speaking of Undertaker, I've also been asked to address a report attributed to Dave Meltzer that Vince McMahon had to talk Undertaker in to giving the streak to Brock Lesnar. I can tell you Undertaker desired a match with Brock Lesnar as far back as late 2010 and stated prior to his match against CM Punk at Wrestlemania 29 that he said he "wanted one more against Lesnar." I can also tell you that Undertaker had control over his Wrestlemania match and had to sign off on every aspect before he would agree to work. There had been issues in the past regarding Undertaker's payout for the event, which had caused doubts regarding his status. So while it's entirely possible Undertaker wasn't "giddy" to hand over the streak, it wasn't a situation where he was forced either.

- This week's episode of Smackdown will open with an Ultimate Warrior tribute graphic that was inserted in post-production. The company also plans to pay tribute to him on next week's episode of Monday Night Raw. Next week's Raw will take place in Birmingham, AL.

- Wade Barrett Tweeted the following:

WWE has yet to include Hulk Hogan on their official listing for the show. The company will head overseas the middle of next month for their Wrestlemania Revenge tour.

- Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella are tying the knot on Friday in Sedona, Arizona. The ceremony will be filmed for inclusion on Season 2 of Total Divas and according to Brie, it was a decision they took their time on making. Only 150 people are expected with 10-20 being members of the WWE roster. Neither Brie nor Bryan are booked for this weekend's live events.

- As we reported earlier here on, Sting'sWWE contract has been "done for a while," so the fact it's actually signed, according to Dave Meltzer, is no surprise. We are told the contract is to work in the ring in addition to making appearances.

As for potential matches, we're told Sting was "caught off guard" by The Undertaker losing to Brock Lesnar and was under the impression he would be wrestling him next year at Wrestlemania 31. He even stated publicly he only wants one more match and it's a match against Undertaker. He furthered the tease in an appearance at Wrestlecon in NOLA last weekend, where he said 31 was his new favorite number.

We're told there is still a chance of Undertaker working next year and if he does, he would be interested in a bout against Sting. However, as beat up as he is, he didn't want to be committed to having to wrestle next year and it was really important to him that he not retire with the streak in tact. Therefore, him losing the streak would have "no impact whatsoever" on whether the Sting match happens.

Our source says either Undertaker feels up to it next year or he doesn't, but now he won't be under the same pressure. Undertaker confided to a couple people that had he lost the streak last year, as bad as he was feeling, he probably wouldn't have wrestled this year, but he was determined to pass the torch and make sure he didn't have people putting him over all of those years without making sure someone would get the rub from the streak.

Undertaker also felt a lot of pressure to deliver "match of the year" kind of bouts, which he simply can't do anywhere.

So while Undertaker vs. Sting might be "up in the air" and it would be quite some time until Undertaker would even start to think about if he could do it, it's still a possibility for next year's show.

TNA News

- This week's episode of Impact Wrestling garnered an average viewing audience of 1,119,000 viewers on Spike TV, which was down from last week. You can see how the show did compared to other cable television shows here on TV By the Numbers.

- Puroresu Spirit is reporting that Seiya Sanada will be "potentially" defending the TNA X Division Championship against Christopher Daniels at the next Korakuen Hall show on April 17. The reason it will be a "potential" defense is assuming Sanada doesn't drop it before then. Click here for coverage by Puroresu Spirit.

- Christy Hemme is now a member of the TNA Wrestling creative team. This is hardly a surprise as Hemme has taken on more responsibilities over the course of the last year and has been given the job of helping to rebuild the company's Knockout division. It was actually Hemme that pushed to sign Brittany last year. (See also -Santana Garrett To Debut With TNA This Week As Brittany)

- Christy Hemme commented on being a member of the TNA creative team on Twitter. The following is from Twitter:

- TNA will return to Universal Studios on Thursday, Friday and Saturday for a set of tapings. Thursday and Friday will be Impact tapings, while the company will tape a One Night Only pay-per-view on Sunday. More details are on online at this link.

- Dixie Carter is set to return to Impact on Thursday. The following is from Twitter:

- John Gaburick Tweeted that Rubix, Sonjay Dutt, Greg Marasculo, Rasahd Cameron and Low Ki are set to work Saturday's TNA One Night Only X-Stravaganza pay-per-view taping. You can check out his Tweet below:

- After winning a match on this week's episode of Impact Wrestling. Angelina Love won and will face Knockout's Champion Madison Rayne at the Sacrifice PPV. TNA Sacrifice will air on PPV Sunday April 27, 2014. We will have play-by-play coverage here at

- On this week's episode of Impact Wrestling, Eric Young won a Gauntlet Match to earn a number one contender's chance at Magnus' championship. Choosing to cash in his PPV spot to this week's episode, Young defeated Magnus and is the New TNA World Heavyweight Champion.

- TNA Wrestling will tape Impact from the Manhattan Center in New York City on June 25, June 26 and June 27. The video promo/commercial for the shows is online at this link or embedded in the video below:

Official show information is available at this link.

- Samoa Joe was pulled from the 10 Man Gauntlet Match on this week's Impact Wrestling because he's still not medically cleared to compete. Alex Barie had the news on Thursday afternoon here at

The company Tweeted the following to explain his absence:

Joe hasn't worked for TNA since the March 28, 2014 live event in Lincoln, Nebraska, where he suffered a concussion.

- TNA posted #Impact365 footage of Eric Young after he won the TNA Championship on this week's episode of Impact Wrestling. You can watch it at this link

- This week's episode of Impact Wrestling garnered an average viewing audience of 1,415,000 viewers on Spike TV. The audience was up 296,000 viewers from the week prior and the highest viewership for the show since February 13, 2014. Impact aired on a slight tape delay as it was taped Thursday night from Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. The show opened with a 10-Man Gauntlet Match to crown a number one contender and saw Eric Young capture the TNA Championship from Magnus.


In Richard Reacts you mentioned how it was a mistake for WWE to end the streak with Brock Lesnar but was it really WWE's decision? Ultimately wouldn't it have been Undertaker's final word as to whether or not he wanted Lesnar to end it?

I am certain that Undertaker signed off on the outcome before he agreed to do it, however, that doesn't excuse the failed plan or execution. It also doesn't make Brock Lesnar capturing the streak any more palatable. Sometimes Vince McMahon has to step in to save workers from themselves and if Undertaker wanted to give the streak to Lesnar, there were better ways to accomplish it. I am not bothered the streak has ended, I'm bothered no one got a payoff from it. I'm bothered by the bout's lackluster build and the fact the streak seemed like an afterthought. I'm bothered that Lesnar was blown up less than 10 minutes in and I'm bothered the bout was squeezed into the undercard and failed to engage the crowd.

How would you rate Wrestlemania 30 from top to bottom?

I plan on recording a podcast later on Monday to give my complete reactions to Wrestlemania 30 but I’ll give you some sweeping reactions. Daniel Bryan got his much-deserved payoff and WWE did the right thing by giving him his big Wrestlemania moment. I love the fact the Andre the Giant Battle Royal was used to elevate an up and comer and the opening segment of Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin and The Rock couldn't have been better. Plenty of people will complain about John Cena going over but it's what I expected and I'll break it out down later.

Has Undertaker worked his final match?

While I haven't heard for sure, I'm under the impression The Undertaker is finished. His run will never be duplicated, however, it's come to an end. The streak was the final major promotional element WWE had for him. Obviously the Undertaker is a big enough name where he would add to any show he was on but we was injured again on Sunday and didn't appear to have much left. I mean that with all due respect and feel he is a first ballot Hall of Famer and should headline next year's class.

After The Undertaker's match finished, Brock Lesnar's music didn't play and everything seemed like a mistake. What happened?

As I reported here on, Brock Lesnar was scripted over The Undertaker. We can speculate that Brock Lesnar's music didn't play immediately out of a sign of respect for Undertaker. The outcome leaked online about an hour before it happened as was evident by a massive swing in international betting odds. I think I speak for us all in that the streak ended in a disappointing match.

From the Ask WNW vault…

April 2013: When will WWE realize Undertaker should always go last at Wrestlemania? Every year the crowd dies down after his matches no matter what happens next. - I agree, The Undertaker is impossible to follow at Wrestlemania. We’ve seen him do what he did at Wrestlemania 29 before (saving the show with an outstanding match) yet we all wondered going in what CM Punk would be able to get out of him. Here’s a guy that works one match a year and consistently puts on “match of the year” candidates. Following his match against CM Punk, the conversation has shifted. We need to start having serious debate on whether or not Undertaker is the greatest of all-time. I almost feel bad for even doubting what we would get out of the bout this year. Undertaker not only showed he hasn’t “lost a step” in the ring but his physical conditioning was very good as well. He certainly looked the part and did not disappoint.

When did you know The Undertaker was going to lose?

Unlike last year, there was no talk of the streak ending at Wrestlemania XXX. Anyone that claims there were rumblings about the outcome being anything other than Undertaker going 22-0, isn't being honest. There was a swing in international betting odds during the pay-per-view, which implies the outcome leaked but we didn't hear about it until it happened. We have new information about the streak ending and the match itself that you can read at this link. I will give WWE a lot of credit, however, as they made sure this didn't get out because this wasn't talked about at all, even by people very close to the company.

What is Sting's status?

There was talk at one point of having Sting at Raw the night after Wrestlemania 30 in NOLA but we still haven't confirmed he has a WWE contract. As we noted here on, Sting's travel was handled by the promoters of Wrestlecon and he left after his appearance. Sting said he only wanted one more match, one against The Undertaker, but that looks as unlikely as ever.

What did you think of Mr. T's Hall of Fame speech?

Mr. T provided some unintended humor to the 2014 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony but his speech showed WWE officials they need to screen Hall of Fame speeches, especially from outsiders. As I stated in Richard Reacts to Wrestlemania 30, I felt Mr. T was rude for going so long with his speech. He is a worthy WWE "celebrity wing" inductee and I'm glad he loves his mother and is proud of his faith. However, to speak for that long at an event where he was a guest, was disrespectful to the legends that rightfully earned that time. Ultimate Warrior, Jake Roberts, Scott Hall or anyone else earned the right to go up there and talk for as long as they wanted. However, a guest should be more courteous. It was not the time or place to deliver a bizarre sermon/eulogy.

Do you feel that the Hall of Fame should be a closed event? Every time the camera would go to someone the crowd would cheer even if it was at the most inappropriate times (and sometimes confusing the person talking.) At some times it really ruined the mood of a speech when a chant would start and the presenter was trying to figure out what was going on. I think it would come off much better if it was at a theatre invite only broadcast on the network.

It's very much an honor to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, however, let's not forget it serves a dual purpose and is a commercialized event where WWE profits. The Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony always sells out and provides WWE a grand opportunity to give fans a reason to spend the entire weekend in the Wrestlemania host city. I thought the crowd at the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was great this year and they weren't disrespectful to any of the legends. So to answer your question, absolutely not. The WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony should remain exactly how it is and I enjoyed watching it on WWE Network.

From the Ask WNW vault…

July 2013: What was your opinion of the debut of The Wyatt Family on WWE Monday Night and who do you see them feuding with in the near future? - I was thrilled with the debut of Bray Wyatt and company on this week’s Monday Night Raw. Social media is a great tool but it’s full of humor. We had one reader dismissing the faction before they even debuted. After they debuted, I saw people calling the faction a failure because the crowd chanted “Husky Harris” and promising they’d be reduced to job roles within six months. Hey, they’d chant “Michael McGillicutty” at Curtis Axel but it’s impossible to chant the name McGillicutty. There is absolutely no way of knowing a gimmick’s future after one week. We have to see how things play out and give them a chance to settle in. Just as you cannot judge a sports team after one game, I feel some are wanting to put a stamp on The Wyatt Family after a couple minutes into it. You can’t do this in wrestling. There will be people that will do it, however, it’s not smart. Bray Wyatt received very high marks in developmental and has people, such as Chris Jericho, that know what they are talking about putting him over. I think there is a lot of potential in the faction but don’t take my word for it, take Jericho’s word. He’s a future WWE Hall of Famer and one of the most successful workers in the history of this business. However, I will also caution, just as we can’t promise The Wyatt Family will fail, we can’t promise they’ll succeed either. We need to give it some time and see where it goes. My initial reaction was a positive one.

Dean Ambrose looked to be in pain following his match on this week's WWE Main Event. Was he just selling or did a legitimate injury occur?

I agree that Dean Ambrose appeared to have suffered an injury, however, he went on to work later in the night. Everyone is a little banged up right now coming off Wrestlemania but as far as I know, a serious injury did not occur.

I just watched Ultimate Warrior's promo from Raw and he look extremely winded and out of it? My dad passed away from cardiac arrest, ironically at the age of 54, and he looked that bad not too long before his death. Thoughts?

First, I am sorry about your father. Several readers have gone back and watched The Ultimate Warrior's promo from Raw and have stated the same thing, that Warrior didn't look good. I don't really want to speculate because hindsight is 20/20 and Warrior was known for going out and getting "blown up" early, a fact he alluded to in his 2014 WWE Hall of Fame induction speech. What we know is that he flew home to Arizona on Tuesday and was fine. While walking to his car on Tuesday evening, he collapsed in front of a hotel and was transported to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. I haven't heard but it's my assumption that an autopsy will be performed before an official cause of death is released. Right now, my heart goes out to his family, especially his daughters, as it was clear they meant the world to him. For those that would like to watch Warrior's promo from Raw, it's online at this link and I have included it below:

Given the way Raw ended, will Evolution possibly reunite to face The Shield at Extreme Rules?

I could easily see WWE doing Kane & Evolution vs. Daniel Bryan & The Shield at Extreme Rules next month, however, creative plans have not been finalized. I was told on Tuesday that Vince McMahon has always been against using the old WarGames match concept that WCW used but if there were ever a situation where it was fitting, this would be it. Extreme Rules is usually a show where Wrestlemania programs are blown off and this would be a neat concept to keep the momentum going.

What's the latest on WWE raising the subscription price for WWE Network?

There's a report being pumped out that after WWE announced the WWE Network has 667,287 subscribers that they were thinking of raising the subscription price. Say that out loud and you'll easily understand that doesn't make sense. WWE is committed to getting 1 million people signed up for their Network by the end of the year. This is the benchmark they must reach in order for the service to become profitable. One of the reasons why the low $9.99/month price was launched was because the thinking was people would sign up without even thinking about it. WWE plans to raise the price of the WWE Network eventually but I do not see that taking place until they reach their goal of 1 million subscribers. It's also important to realize the 667,287 subscribers they had as of Monday will have the opportunity to opt out in August so they'll continue to want to give fans every reason to continue to be a part of the service.

From the Ask WNW vault…

October 2012: Is Randy Orton still seen as a top guy in WWE? How would you book him in his return from “injury”? - After a lot of back-and-forth and what turned out to be empty threats following his second documented WWE Wellness Policy violation, Randy Orton is once again a top guy in WWE. Not only that but he is away filming a starring role in another WWE Studios production. As for how I would book Randy in his return, he has to avenge the beat down from Del Rio so by default he is babyface. I prefer Orton as a heel but returning as a heel only makes sense unless they quietly forget about what wrote him off television.

When the Undertaker recovers from his concussion, will he make one final appearance to say goodbye?

To the best of my knowledge Undertaker is not in any WWE plans for the immediate future. If you missed it on Wednesday, Steve Austin stated that Undertaker has agreed to do an interview with him. This is when I would expect a lot of questions to be answered. I honestly do not see Undertaker competing again and feel he should be a "first ballot" WWE Hall of Famer and should headline the Class of 2015.

Do you think the whole CM Punk issue is a work? The fact that WWE haven't moved his profile to the alumni section of dot com makes me hopeful that he may return at any moment.

The situation with CM Punk is not a work. I know there are conspiracy theorists that are going to dispute that no matter what anyone says but I can tell you it's 100% a shoot. As for CM Punk's profile on dot com, he's still under a WWE Performer's Contract and will be until July. The plan with Punk since Vince McMahon was unable to get him back for Raw in Chicago in March was to leave him alone and hope he gets the itch to come back on his own.

Why did WWE let new Diva Paige from NXT take the title away from AJ Lee? Is Vince McMahon trying to stick it to her because of the CM Punk situation?

Vince McMahon has done the exact opposite. He's high up on AJ Lee and wants her as happy as possible because of her connection to CM Punk. This is why she was put over at Wrestlemania XXX after already securing the longest Divas Championship reign in company history. As for Paige coming in and going over, WWE "turned the page" on Monday night and gave a big rub to a top-level prospect. In my opinion it couldn't have been booked better and I expect big things from Paige.

Does WWE have any way of monitoring the ratings of live or even pre-recorded events that air on the WWE Network? Or are they in the dark on who's watching what when?

I am not familiar with the administrative capabilities of the WWE Network, however, I imagine the company can target everything from who is watching what when to when is the last time a subscriber logged in. The technology is so good they have complete control what works and what doesn't work.

Is this whole thing with Summer Rae and Fandango a work or a shoot?

The split between Summer Rae and Fandango is a work, playing out on Twitter like it's a shoot. It's good for the ratings of both Total Divas and WWE programming. Here's the latest:

From the Ask WNW vault…

October 2013: What is the worst injury you have ever seen in the wrestling business? - Unfortunately, this is a relatively long list. Jesse Sorensen’s injury against Zema Ion at TNA Against All Odds last year was absolutely terrifying. Droz’s injury against D-Lo Brown was horrible, Steve Austin’s neck injury against Owen Hart was unforgettable. I think everyone remembers Sid Vicious’ compound leg fracture in WCW against Scott Steiner. We could go on and on but I think you get my point. There are far too many to just pick one and I wish I didn’t have to pick any. I don’t want to see anyone get injured under any circumstance. When they do, it’s my hope they are able to recover and get back in the ring. Everyone that steps through the curtain knows the risks and accepts it but it doesn’t make it any easier. People that celebrate injuries, based on what they think of a worker, are deplorable and highlight the lowest part of humanity.

What is The Rock's status with WWE after his appearance at Wrestlemania on Sunday? One more match?

When The Rock first came back to WWE in 2011, it was to appear at Wrestlemania over the next three years. That deal was fulfilled with the hosting gig followed by the two matches against John Cena. He wasn't in the plans for this year's show but there is a chance he could return next year. I'm still gathering details but will have more on a potential main event involving The Rock at Wrestlemania 31 next week.

While covering the death of The Ultimate Warrior, Nancy Grace attributed Owen Hart's death to steroids and Colin Cowherd blasted CM Punk for what an unverified Twitter account Tweeted to him. What's wrong with the mainstream media when it comes to pro wrestling?

Television and radio personalities such as Nancy Grace, Colin Cowherd, Skip Bayless, Bill O'Reilly, Rachel Maddow, etc. are entertainers, not reporters. Their job is to say things that people will care about. It doesn't matter if the response they garner is positive or negative, it just matters they get a response. Not only do they not have to report the facts, they often spin things to the point where it's nothing more than subjective conjecture. In the recent cases of Nancy Grace and Colin Cowherd, they had a point of view and they were going to reenforce it, even though they didn't care enough to do a simple Google search. It's unfortunate that such erroneous material can get spread to the masses in such an irresponsible manner but it happens every day. The only difference in the Warrior coverage is this is something we know and care about. I'm sure there are plenty of other issues we aren't as invested in, where the wool is pulled over our eyes, like the millions of sports fans that now believe CM Punk weighed in on Ultimate Warrior's death. If there's one thing I learned in covering the Chris Benoit tragedy several years back, it's the mainstream media cares more about viewers and less about the facts. It's all about ratings and nothing about telling the actual story.

You spoke briefly about the WWE Network having 667,287 subscribers on Wednesday. Do you think this was expected and is it good or bad news? Any explanation for the downward trend of WWE's stock price since the announcement?

WWE's stock has taken a beating since the company announced on Monday they have 667,287 WWE Network subscribers. I look at it more as a market correction as the stock was likely overvalued in anticipation of the announcement and the forthcoming WWE domestic television deal. I truly believe the number of 667,287 WWE Network subscribers is neither good nor bad. It's middle of the road. On one hand they're more than halfway to their target of 1 million subscribers, a benchmark they've said they must reach before the end of the year for the WWE Network's launch to be successful. On the other hand, subscribers will have their first chance to opt out when their 6 month commitment expires in August, so it's not as simple to say they just need 332,713 more subscribers. They'll need that many before commitments come up in August and more to offset the loss of people that may not be interested until Wrestlemania 31 next year. As for the new WWE domestic TV deal, that's expected to be announced at the end of this month/early May.

What's the direction for Brock Lesnar after ending Undertaker's streak?

We can argue that Brock Lesnar's stock is higher than anyone in WWE after ending the streak on Sunday. The biggest question that will have to be answered is what's next? I'll admit I'm much more on board today with Lesnar ending the streak than I was after it happened on Sunday, however, I am not overly optimistic either. While Lesnar is more legitimate now than ever, WWE hasn't done a good job in booking him since his return. Remember his first match loss to John Cena at Extreme Rules 2012? WWE will have to be careful and we can only hope that ending the streak will do nothing but open creative doors that wouldn't have been open otherwise. I also have a good amount of news now online regarding the streak, Undertaker's wishes and more at this link.

From the Ask WNW vault…

October 2012: Does the WWE plan on testing out any 3D broadcasting in the near future? - WWE surveyed fans about 3D programming a couple years ago and were preparing to move forward, however, plans were halted with recent data that showed a slowdown in demand for 3D television. 3D is where HD was around 10 years ago in that it is available but not widely consumed. Should that change, and I expect it will, WWE will likely pursue plans to move forward. Right now, the majority of efforts are being spent on Vince McMahon’s dream of the WWE Network.

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