Rey Mysterio's WWE Status Revealed, Another Big Former WWE Star Joins Batista & Bobby Lashley As Former Stars Interested In Returning, Two WWE Divas Leaving, Lesnar's Return To The Ring Official, New Focus In WWE With Roster Cuts Looming, Tito Ortiz To WW

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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 7, 2012 to Friday, April 13, 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

- Steve Austin's barn at his Texas ranch was badly damaged due to a recent storm. TMZ has a photo of it along with comments from Austin that you can view at this link.

- Vince McMahon set out to make Wrestlemania XXVIII last weekend the "social media event of the year." has a new article online looking at the show's social media statiscs. Below is an excerpt from their article:

  • A partnership with YouTube to deliver Wrestlemania content gained a total of more than 3.9 million views for the week surrounding the event.
  • Despite being a pay-per-view broadcast, Wrestlemania was TV’s most socially engaged program on April 1, according to Trendrr.
  • The hashtag #Wrestlemania was mentioned more than 610,000 times on April 1.
  • The high level of social engagement delivered record traffic to, and a 30% increase over traffic during Wrestlemania the year before.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

Wrestling News World reader Fernando sent in the following:

After debuting his new gimmick on Smackdown this week, Ryback, the former Skip Sheffield, is listed again as a superstar on

- There is another three-hour episode of WWE Raw Supershow on Monday, June 11, 2012 airing on the USA Network beginning at 8 PM/7 CT. The show will take place from the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut. Tickets go on sale Friday.

Wrestling News World reader Fernando sent in the following:

After debuting his new gimmick on Smackdown this week, Ryback, the former Skip Sheffield, is listed again as a superstar on

- There is another three-hour episode of WWE Raw Supershow on Monday, June 11, 2012 airing on the USA Network beginning at 8 PM/7 CT. The show will take place from the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut. Tickets go on sale Friday.

Randy Orton has commented on WWE's decision to pull him from the upcoming WWE Studios production, "The Marine 3" with the following Tweet on Twitter:

- Ted DiBiase, who is currently out rehabbing his shoulder after surgery, wrote the following today on Twitter:

- I am told that MVP is looking to return to WWE. With New Japan Pro Wrestling under new ownership, the promotion has cut back even further on some of the money they were using on foreign talent. This is also the reason Matt Bloom ended up leaving to return to WWE. At this point I do not know where negotiations stand but I can confirm there is interest from MVP on returning to his former employer. MVP, who left WWE at the end of 2010, signed a contract with NJPW at the beginning on last year. As I reported here on Premium, MVP left WWE on good terms and was careful not to "burn bridges." As I reported last week here on Richard's Backstage Blog, both Batista and Bobby Lashley are reported to have interest in returning to WWE as well.

- WWE Champion CM Punk posted the following on Twitter:

I take away a couple things from this. First of all the angle between Mick Foley and Dean Ambrose looks to result in Ambrose being called up to the main roster shortly. Secondly, this appears to be Punk Tweeting to enhance storylines, which is something WWE has encouraged workers to do.

- spoke to a promoter booking The Bella Twins for an autograph signing on May 19th who informed them that the Divas are leaving WWE. According to their report, both the contracts of Brie and Nikki Bella are set to expire on April 30, 2012 and they will not be re-signing with WWE.

- It was announced on tonight's WWE Raw Supershow that Brock Lesnar will face John Cena at Extreme Rules later this month. WWE Extreme Rules 2012 will take place Sunday, April 29, 2012 from the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. We'll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at

- John Cena's mouth was bloodied during the melee in the opening segment of tonight's WWE Raw Supershow. Jerry Lawler said on commentary that Cena lost a few teeth, however, I cannot confirm the legitimacy of his claims at this time. A close-up of Cena's bloody face was shown as the segment concluded.

- Triple H is being officially advertised for Wednesday's WWE live event in Moscow, Russia. I was asked in today's Ask WNW if Hunter would appear on next week's Raw Supershow in London and while he isn't advertised and I said it appeared he would be on a hiatus from TV, that doesn't appear to be the case for live events (or at least special international live events).

- With Brock Lesnar now under contract with WWE, I'm told Vince McMahon is focusing on other things. A lot of readers have wondered when/if we could see another big return to the company with McMahon currently on a kick of bringing back former talent (such as Lesnar and Matt Bloom). As I noted last week here on Richard's Backstage Blog, WWE officials are interested in Batista over Bobby Lashley, who has put the word out he is interested in returning. Many people expect a round of cuts to take place shortly after the roster returns from the Wrestlemania Revenge overseas tour that starts tomorrow. The norm in recent years is that any worker not booked on the tour is in jeopardy of falling victim. One source feels the company could be interested in bringing in another big name following the cuts. Remember, as I noted yesterday, MVP is another possibility. With that being said, nothing with Batista (the biggest of the current available/interested names) returning to WWE is considered imminent. He's in no rush to come back but the lines of communication between the two parties have been re-opened. The feeling is Batista wants to position himself for a major match at Wrestlemania XXIX next year and is interested in working with Triple H.

- Mick Foley posted the following on Twitter:

This is an in-character Tweet to continue Foley's feud with Dean Ambrose.

- The feud between Mick Foley and Dean Ambrose continues with Ambrose Tweeting about getting "sent home" from last night Smackdown. The following Tweets are from Ambrose's official account:

This program started with this video over Wrestlemania XXVIII weekend and has played out completely on Twitter. It is a work that will lead to Ambrose getting called up to the main WWE roster.

- Christian is on the booking sheets in a program against WWE Intercontinental Champion Big Show for upcoming Smackdwon live events in June. I don't know if there are plans for him to return prior to that but it's safe to say his severely sprained ankle he suffered last November has been a very nagging injury.

- Not only did "Extra" host Maria Menounos work Wrestlemania XXVIII with two broken ribs but she revealed today that she has stress fractures in both of her feet.

- WWE Champion CM Punk and Rey Mysterio are scheduled to appear at the 2012 WizardWorld Philadelphia Comic-Con over the weekend of May 31-June 3. Punk is scheduled to appear on June 2nd with Mysterio scheduled for June 3rd.

- This next tidbit isn't the most newsworthy thing I've ever posted but Tito Oritz has grabbed a little attention for the following Tweet:

- GQ has a very good Q&A online with Daniel Bryan. In it, he discusses his abbreviated Wrestlemania match and called this past Monday's Raw Supershow a "hectic show." Below is an excerpt:

GQ: Do you have any ideas as to why it's happening right now?
Daniel Bryan: Especially last week in Miami, I feel like part of it was a backlash against how short my match at Wrestlemania was. A lot of it is that people like to boo me, but they kind of like me. They don't want bad things to happen to me, like an 18-second loss at Wrestlemania, especially the hardcore fans, which is mostly who comes for Wrestlemania. People come from all over the world. They travel to Wrestlemania, and a lot of those people know my story, how long it took me to get a Wrestlemania match. And then for my first one to be an 18-second loss, it actually generated a lot of anger.

GQ: Do you share that anger?
Daniel Bryan: Of course I do. I was World Heavyweight Champion for four months. I wanted to go out there and steal the show. I was trained by Shawn Michaels, and that's what he's notorious for. I've always had the mindset that my wrestling is as good as or better than anybody out there. I was really looking forward to going out there and showing everybody what I can do on the biggest stage of them all, and then I just wasn't able to do it.

GQ: What was the conversation like when you were told that the match was going to go down like this?
Daniel Bryan: I mean, there wasn't much of a conversation. This is my job, you know? You have to do something, and even if you don't like it, that's what you do. But you go out there and do the best that you can. I went out and did the best entrance I could possibly do. You just do your best; that's all anybody can do.

GQ: There have been moments where WWE has been notorious for not doing what its audience wants. But with all the chants for you and how much you've been catching on since Wrestlemania, it seems like the company wouldn't be able to ignore that.
Daniel Bryan: Well, for example, [this week] I wasn't on Raw. There were loads of "Yes!" signs in the crowd, but I wasn't on Raw. There's always a lot of things that go into that; it was a hectic show. But yeah, there's some stuff like that that happens.

GQ: Moving forward, what would you like to be doing?
Daniel Bryan: I would like to have a more aggressive side to my character. Losing the World Heavyweight Championship in 18 seconds, storyline or not, is going to anger somebody. If you've been champion for four months and you lose it in 18 seconds on what's kind of a cheap shot, you're going to be a little bit angry. I'd like to amp up the more aggressive side of my character in that sense. But as far as what happens from here, who knows? I'm hoping that the fans keep getting behind me. Even if they do the "Yes!" chant in a mocking sense, I want them to see me in the same light that they've seen me before, as one of the main event guys on Smackdown.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- WWE will be developing a new DVD series entitled "Superstars Collection." The releases will be single-disc sets and will begin with John Cena and Zack Ryder in July. The retail price is only $10.

- WWE did an angle at the Revolver Awards last night in Los Angeles. CM Punk was awarded "Most Metal Athlete" but wasn't there to accept. Chris Jericho, who hosted the awards, smashed it.

WWE has announced the following dates in Ecuador:

  • May 25th from the Voltaire Paladines Polo Coliseum in Guayaquil
  • May 28th from the General Ruminahui Coliseum in Quito

- Tito Ortiz continues to ponder a WWE future out loud on his recent media blitz. "But I've got a lot of options. I've seen Brock Lesnar go back to the WWE, that's something I may entertain, do some 'theatrical entertainment' as they call it." Tito told ESPN while talking about his July 7th fight against Forest Griffin.

- Remember the "CrankyVince" Twitter account I reported drew concern from WWE officials back in December? While the company continues to try and get the account shutdown and has been conducting internal investigations to try and find out who is behind it, things had died down in recent months. However, that changed due some Tweets sent out over Wrestlemania XXVIII weekend. Tweets from "CrankyVince" were actually one of the first sources to break that some members of the WWE creative team had their feelings hurt when they were not invited to the company's post-Wrestlemania XXVIII party. Literally moments after the writers first started to complain about being snubbed, Tweets began to be sent out from "CrankyVince." I'm told the prankster talked about it so quickly after the drama started that finding out who is behind the account is once again considered a top priority.

- WWE has announced the June 26th Smackdown taping will take place from the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana.

- As noted in yesterday's house show results, WWE will return to Dublin, Ireland on November 8, 2012.

- The Rock is set to star in the sci-fi action film "Lore" which has just been picked up by Warner Bros.

- WWE No Way Out is set to return to pay-per-view on Sunday, June 17, 2012 from the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The show's main events will be in steel cage matches but they will also include stipulations to prevent participants from escaping the structure. Proposed stips include lumberjack, handcuff, strap and chain added to the steel cage main events. We'll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage of WWE No Way Out 2012 here at

TNA Impact Wrestling News

- Scott Steiner has come absolutly unglued on Twitter regarding TNA, Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff and has added Ric Flair into the fold. While many of his Tweets cannot be included here due to explicit language, below is what he had to say about Flair:

You can keep up with Steiner's madness at this link.

I have nothing to add to Steiner's verbal rampage, however, I can easily report to you that not everyone in TNA is on the Flair bandwagon. Flair is looked at as a guy that is there to collect the paycheck on limited dates. He's able to do what he whats, when he wants and doesn't face any repercussions, even if it means no-showing a scheduled date. Showing up late or in an altered state also falls under this category as all of his behavior is tolerated because of his name recognition.

- TNA has announced a Basebrawl live event from Coca-Cola Field on Buffalo, New York on Friday, June 22, 2012. Tickets go on-sale on Saturday.

- Jeff Hardy will through out the first pitch at Friday's Nashville Sounds baseball game at Greer Stadium. The appearance will be on behalf of TNA to promote Sunday's Lockdown pay-per-view.

- Kurt Angle's hope to return to the Olympics has ended. Angle posted the following on Twitter:

- Scott Steiner continues his rampage against Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff and Bruce Prichard on his official Twitter account. Steiner encouraged fans to turn the channel when Hogan, Bischoff or Garett Bischoff came on the screen in order to support workers like AJ Styles, Bobby Roode, Kurt Angle, Abyss, Sting, Matt Morgan, Magnus and Kazarian (all of who he mentioned by name). As I mentioned in yesterday's Ask WNW, while a lot of what Steiner says can go in one ear and out the other, his sentiment regarding the main event scene in TNA is shared amongst several working in the company undercard.

- Dixie Carter wrote the following on Twitter about Kurt Angleending his Olympic comeback attempt due to injury:


I have read the accounts of Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart in regards to the infamous Montreal Screwjob at Survivor Series 1997. Both place the blame on one another. Who do you think is telling the truth?

I've always heard there are two sides to every story and when you combine both sides, the truth is somewhere in between. The Montreal Screwjob was a bad situation because I can understand how it was no-win on both sides. On one hand if Vince McMahon put Bret Hart over Shawn only for his champion to go to WCW, how does that make WWE look? WCW was really putting the pressure on WWE and it would have been a disaster for their champion to leave for the competition. On the other hand, Vince had told Bret he was going over and Bret felt that his hard work and dedication had earned him the right to leave as champion. Bret was blindsided by the screwjob and he took it very personal. In the end I'm glad Bret and Shawn were able to reconcile their differences and while they'll probably never be best friends, it was awesome for the business when the beef was squashed a couple years ago.

With The Rock and John Cena's rivalry officially over, and with Rock stating he wants the WWE Championship one more time, do you think it would be possible for him to return at the Royal Rumble next year and go on to WrestleMania 29?

The Rock is rumored to have a contract similar to that of Brock Lesnar's that will include more dates than just the build to Wrestlemania 29 and the pay-per-view itself. The Rock is expected to be involved in a match for the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania although I do not have details on how the company plans on setting it up or who it will be against. Rock's rivalry with John Cena is over and tonight his program with Brock Lesnar continues.

Are there any part-time superstars such as Triple H or Brock Lesnar scheduled for the Raw Supershow set for London next week?

Neither Triple H nor Brock Lesnar are scheduled for next week's Raw Supershow from London. Given the way his match at Wrestlemania 28 ended, it looks like Hunter will be on an extended hiatus from TV. As for Lesnar, his next scheduled date after tonight is Raw Supershow on April 23rd.

Do WWE enhancement workers, or jobbers, get paid after a match. If so, how much?

All WWE workers under performer's contracts get $500 when they appear on show as it's called a "show bonus." A WWE performer's contract is structured so workers are paid downside guarantees (money they get no matter what), show bonuses, merchandise bonuses, pay-per-view bonuses and other structured payments throughout the year.

What does it say about the lack of main event talent that WWE has had to reach out Brock Lesnar & The Rock to feud with John Cena?

There is no question that WWE has struggled to find stars as big as Brock Lesnar and The Rock but what a lot of people don't understand is you just can't "create" a megastar. Workers like Lesnar, The Rock, John Cena, etc. are once in a decade talents with God-given talent that make them huge draws. WWE has created other main event stars, just look at the current titleholders in CM Punk and Sheamus. With that being said I think it's great WWE has been able to bring in megastars such as The Rock and Lensar to put on entertaining programs. They are expensive but have proven to be huge draws.

I think David Otunga is a top heel with a legit lawyer gimmick and in-ring work the harkens back to "Ravishing" Rick Rude. Di you think he could be a real threat for main event status?

WWE officials are high up on David Otunga which is why he has had an increased role on television as the legal council for John Laurinaitis. I agree Otunga has a great physique and is a hard enough worker to get elevated but he still needs to work on his in-ring. Otunga certainly fits the mold McMahon has been known to push to the moon.

How was WWE able to use the Hulk Hogan character and likeness on last night's Raw Supershow?

Everything WWE did with the Hulk Hogan character with the Three Stooges on last night's Raw Supershow was done with property owned by WWE. They own the rights to the original "Real American" theme, titantron video and merchandise that was worn. Hogan is still compensated for merchandise moved off his name but nothing illegal was done last night. What I took away from the segment was how little McMahon cares about TNA. If he saw them as any threat at all he wouldn't be featuring their talent but heck, look at what they did with Ric Flair. It's great TNA has a national TV deal but other than that they pose no threat to WWE.

Was Brock Lesnar's punch to John Cena's face an accident or is their legitimate heat between the two?

Brock Lesnar and John Cena had personal issues during Lesnar's first run with the company but I don't think Brock was trying to hurt John last night. I seriously doubt they planned for Cena to take a stiff shot to the face but it could have been a case where Brock was trying hard to sell the beating and landed a clean blow to his face. While I'm sure Cena is sore this morning, the opening segment to last night's Raw Supershow was epic.

Why didn't WWE use the old Smackdown set for last night's "blast from the past" episode?

Last night's "blast from the past" Smackdown live left a lot to be desired. Sure, it was neat seeing some of the Legends but other than that, the show was pretty mundane. WWE went all-out with their "old school" Raw a couple of years ago and it went over quite well but last night just seemed like a throwaway show with the Legends filling the gaps for the Raw performers unable to appear because of the upcoming overseas tour. I don't know why more effort wasn't put forth but it was a show you can afford to miss if you haven't seen it yet.

What is the latest on Brock Lesnar's gimmick? Do you see him re-signing with WWE after Wrestlemania XXIX next year?

Brock Lesnar was brought in to work as a main event heel, which explains the pairing with John Laurinaitis. Vince McMahon wanted to do a Lesnar/John Cena program out of the gate so he knew he'd have to put him with one of the most-hated characters on TV to get him over (especially given the heat on Cena). As for Brock re-signing, it all depends on how it goes. WWE dropped a lot of money to get Lesnar for limited dates (rumored to be in the $5 million range) so it will also depend on if he helps business.

Why does Randy Orton seem like he's getting bored with boring programming? Isn't his stock the same as John Cena?

Randy Orton is WWE's number two guy behind John Cena and remember Cena had a program with Kane prior to Orton's program with him. A lot of readers have gotten restless with the booking of Orton and it might be time for a change but losing to Kane at Wrestlemania XXVIII I felt was a bad move. I expect Orton to "snap" and take out Kane at Extreme Rules based on the booking from last night.

In light of veteran superstars coming into the WWE and working limited schedules such as with The Rock and Brock Lesnar, why wouldn't Sting now have the opportunity to finish his career with the WWE?

Sting is under contract with TNA until the end of the year and has remained loyal to Dixie Carter and company. He was very close to agreeing to a deal with WWE for Wrestlemania XXVII last year but ultimately decided to return to TNA. TNA provides him with a great opportunity to make money on limited dates but should his mind change, I'm sure WWE would be willing to listen, especially given Vince McMahon's current mindset.

Do you think Scott Hall will ever get better or will he just keep getting drunk until he eventually drinks himself to death?

My hope is that Scott Hall gets better and is able to overcome his very serious addiction to alcohol. I really agree with Kevin Nash when he said the only person that can help Scott is Scott. Hall has had some of the best treatment available, completely covered by WWE, but continues to relapse. At this point it's up to him and there is nothing anyone can really do.

What's the deal with the Twitter drama between Mick Foley and Dean Ambrose?

The stuff between Mick Foley and Dean Ambrose is an angle that started with this video over Wrestlemania XXVIII weekend. It's all a work that will result in the main roster call-up for Ambrose (formerly known as Jon Moxley). If you need to catch-up, check out the Dean Ambrose news page.

Why does Christy Hemme no longer wrestle?

Christy Hemme retired from the ring due to a neck injury sustained in 2009 while training with AJ Styles for a match against Awesome Kong at TNA Genesis. She tried to return after undergoing surgery and rehab but ultimately it ended her in-ring career.

Are Scott Steiner's Tweets just him whining or is there some truth to his words?

Scott Steiner can be very opinionated to the point where he comes off as arrogant and annoying, however, his frustration with things in TNA aren't limited to just him. There is a clear divide in TNA from the bottom to the top, with much of the undercard upset at the main event direction of the company. Not everyone in that company is riding the Hulk Hogan/Eric Bischoff bandwagon and I could name names… but I won't;).

How is the injury list looking in WWE? Is Sin Cara still out for a few months?

Sin Cara isn't due back until next month at the absolute earliest. Rey Mysterio is targeting next month for his return. Layla is said to be close to returning while Ted DiBiase began getting back in in-ring shape this week. Justin Gabriel is scheduled to be back towards the latter part of May while Wade Barrett isn't expected back until SummerSlam.

Do you think Vince McMahon has lost his magic touch?

We get this question from time-to-time with readers wanting to know if I think Vince McMahon has "lost it." Is Vince older and crazier? Yes, however, I still think he's the best pro wrestling promoter of all-time. McMahon is a risk-taker but he knows what he is doing. There was a lot of criticism about the plans for this year's Wrestlemania (such as announcing The Rock vs. John Cena one year in advance) but by all indications the company exceeded buy expectations over 1.1 million buys. McMahon's next big test is the WWE Network which many feel could be a disaster but we'll see what happens.

How does WWE accommodate their lower card workers in terms of hotels, transportation, weight lighting, etc?

WWE doesn't accommodate any of their workers domestically as it's up to them to get from show to show, pay for a hotel, find a gym, etc. Things are a little different when the company is overseas (as the roster travels together) but here in the States, it's up to the workers. The company will assist in booking transportation and hotels for their workers but they do not cover these expenses.

I'm going to the April 23rd Raw Supershow in which the start time was changed from 8:15 to 7:15. While it's not confirmed, is this the Raw that will host the 2012 draft?

WWE has not confirmed the date for the 2012 WWE Draft, however, April 23, 2012 is the rumored date. This is also the go-home for Extreme Rules which would make sense in that remaining Wrestlemania feuds will be blown off at the pay-per-view and the company can start fresh on April 30th. When/if a confirmation is made, we will pass the information along.

With WWE paying for the rehab of many former stars, you'd think the cost would add up. Do you have any idea, as to what WWE has spent on the rehab program since it began?

One would think the expense would add up but the only ballpark number I have heard for sure is what the company has spent on Scott Hall. Stephanie McMahon said in a piece that aired on ESPN last year the company has spent 6-figures on Hall which is the most they've spent on any former star.

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