Welcome to the WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium Newsletter. This is where you will find all of the big news and Ask WNW segments from the week neatly archived for your viewing pleasure. This week's edition covers news from Saturday, April 12, 2014 to Friday, April 18, 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!
- TMZ is reporting that former NFL linebacker Shawne Merriman is negotiating with WWE to work as a commentator as well as an in-ring performer. When signed, he'll train at the WWE Performance Center in Florida for a potential run as an in-ring competitor. Click here for coverage by TMZ. WWE was very pleased with Merriman's work on WWE Network throughout their coverage of Wrestlemania 30.
- Steve Austin is featured in the latest episode of The JBL & Cole Show that you can watch at this link.
- WWE posted a pretty cool "time-lapse look" at the building of the Wrestlemania 30 set. You can watch it at this link.
- Vickie Guerrero is disputing the word going around NOLA over Wrestlemania 30 weekend that she finished with WWE this week. She Tweeted the following:
Guerrero also confirmed she is on next week's TVs:
Vickie still has one year left on her degree in medical administration as she prepares for life after WWE.
- Fandango is featured in the latest Smackdown Fallout about his breakup with Summer Rae and his new lady, Layla. You can watch at this link.
- TMZ is reporting that WWE flew two "senior officials" to Arizona to help Ultimate Warrior's wife Dana following the 2014 Hall of Famer's sudden death.
According to the report, the company sent the employees "almost immediately" after Warrior's death with the task of helping Dana with the little things such as grocery shopping and informing family members so she can focus on her daughters.
Click here for coverage by TMZ.
Richard Reacts: Vince McMahon gets a lot of criticism and maybe rightfully so but this is an admirable move. Vince is surely controversial but it's moves like this that show he is compassionate.
- Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella were married in an outdoor wedding ceremony in Sedona, Arizona on Friday. The event was a smaller affair that was taped for inclusion on Season 2 of Total Divas.
In addition to the cast of Total Divas, Cesaro, Tyson Kidd, Jimmy Uso and John Cena were in attendance.
Below are photos:
Click here for photos on dot com.
E! Online has coverage at this link.
Congratulations to the happy couple!
- Wrestling News World reader Fred Loyal was in attendance at Saturday night's WWE live event in Hidalgo, TX and noted Darren Young might have suffered a knee injury in a singles bout against Fandango. According to Loyal, Young was counted out in less than two minutes and the referee gave the "X" signal. The following is from Twitter:
- Below is the updated "special event" listing for WWE following next month's Extreme Rules on May 4, 2014. Please note they are no longer called pay-per-views but special events because of the evolution of the WWE Network:
Payback on Sunday, June 1, 2014 from the Allstate Arena in Chicago, IL
Money in the Bank on Sunday, June 29, 2014 from TD Garden in Boston, MA
Battleground on Sunday, July 20, 2014 from the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, FL
SummerSlam on Sunday, August 17, 2014 from Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA
Night of Champions on Sunday, September 21, 2014 from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN
Hell in a Cell on Sunday, October 26, 2014 from American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX
Survivor Series on Sunday, November 23, 2014 from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, MO
TLC on Sunday, December 14, 2014 from Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, OH
We'll have complete coverage of all the shows here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- Have you heard about Sadermania? It's a documentary about Hulk Hogan super fan Chris Sader that's won numerous awards and received praise from critics. Below is the trailer for the film:
Yekra is a revolutionary new distribution network for feature films.
In this inspirational tale, Chris Sader and Hulk Hogan relate on how they met and developed a bond through mutual struggles and personal loss that each would have faced alone if not for the unlikely friendship that developed between them.
Apparently Hogan isn't getting a piece of the pie and isn't happy about it. He Tweeted the following:
Hogan also made reference to someone selling unlicensed merchandise, which may or may not refer to Sadermania:
For more on the film, head over to Sadermania.com.
Richard Reacts: I have no problem with Hogan defending his likeness, I just found his quote referring to Sadermania as "their little project" so narcissistic that it was funny.
- The latest WWE Studios project titled Oculus finished number 3 at the box office over the weekend. The film, released in 2,648 theaters, did the following numbers courtesy of Deadline.com:
3). Oculus (REL), 2,648 theaters / $4.9M Fri. / $4.3M Sat. (-12%) / $2.8 Sun. (-35%) / 3-day cume: $11.8M to $12M / Wk 1
Click here for coverage by Deadline.
WWE got involved with the film after its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 8, 2013.
- WWE hopes to have The Rock back for Wrestlemania 31 in Santa Clara, CA next year and have already penciled in a potential match for him against Brock Lesnar. There are a lot of things that can happen between now and then but this is a bout the company wanted to do this year before it was learned Rock would not be available.
Another match possibility for Rock outside of Wrestlemania is one against Sting. We're told both Rock and Sting want the match, however, it's unknown when it could possibly take place. This is in addition to the aforementioned plans for Wrestlemania 31.
Sting won't be wrestling much when he starts with WWE but currently wants his run to conclude at Wrestlemania 31 next year. Therefore a bout against Rock would have to take place in the next 11 months. He is under WWE contract but we do not know when he is scheduled to officially debut.
- WWE is pushing the WWE Network hard this week as they launched a new one-week free trial on Monday with the promotional point being the opportunity to watch Wrestlemania 30 in its entirety. They've even installed a lightbox over dot com that links the visitor directly to the offer before proceeding. The company also sent out a text message alert to mobile subscribers to promote it.
- WWE had Hulk Hogan screen the new WWE Studios film Oculus in NOLA over Wrestlemania XXX weekend. You can watch video at this link.
- TMZ is reporting that The Ultimate Warrior died from a massive heart attack, according to the medical examiner that conducted the autopsy last week.
The official cause of death was determined to be "Atherosclerotic/Arteriosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease," which is more commonly known as heart disease. Neither drugs nor alcohol were directly involved.
Warrior clutched at his chest before collapsing while walking down a hallway with his wife Dana last Tuesday at the Gainey Suites Hotel in Scottsdale, AZ. He was transported to a local hospital by Scottsdale firefighters and pronounced dead.
Ultimate Warrior's death happened less than 24 hours after appearing on last week's Monday Night Raw following his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame and appearing live at Wrestlemania 30. He is survived by his wife Dana and their two daughters.
- WWE announced on Monday they'll announce their 2014 first quarter results before market open on Thursday, May 1, 2014. Vince McMahon and George Barrios will host a conference call with investors later that morning. We'll be on the call and have complete coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- Last week's episode of Smackdown did an average viewing audience of 2,717,000 viewers and won the night on cable. You can see more cable ratings data for Friday night at this link.
- The Brooklyn Brawler posted the following photo to his Twitter from the Ultimate Warrior Tribute Raw.
- On this week's episode of Raw, John Cena challenged Bray Wyatt to a Steel Cage Match at Extreme Rules PPV. Wyatt accepted. Extreme Rules will be on PPV and WWE Network May 4th, 2014 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. WrestlingNewsWorld will have all the coverage.
- The announced attendance for this week's episode of Monday Night Raw from Birmingham, Alabama was 12,172. The show was a legitimate sellout.
- After this week's episode of Raw went off the air, John Cena beat Bray Wyatt in a dark match main event via disqualification after interference from The Wyatt Family.
- I've spoken with multiple DirecTV customer support representatives that have told me they have not dropped WWE pay-per-view events. I'm aware there are rumors to the contrary, however, as a customer, I've called [more than once] and been told they are still carrying them and will notify if there is any further update. Take that for what you will as Dish told me they would be carrying Elimination Chamber, which of course they did not. The difference here, however, is that I am a DirecTV customer.
- Raw opened with a great Ultimate Warrior tribute that saw everyone (including Vince McMahon) on the stage followed by a 10-bell salute. I saw Cody Rhodes get emotional and will admit I was moved by it, especially after a clip of Warrior with one of his daughters at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony was shown.
- WWE is doing a promotion with Toys R Us where you can Instagram a photo with a WWE action figure using the hashtag #TRUSuperstar and you can win a $1,000 gift card from the store. 25 others will receive $100 gift cards. Rules and regulations are available at this link.
- Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella weren't at Raw because they're on their honeymoon. They were wed on Friday and given the weekend off live events, however, Bryan was listed for this week's Raw. It's good to see he was given the week off but he is also listed in promotional information for this week's Smackdown taping. This is probably an oversight.
Nikki Bella posted this on Twitter:
- The following matches are set for next week's episode of Monday Night Raw in Baltimore, Maryland:
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan returns for a match against Kane
The semi-finals of the WWE Intercontinental Championship No. 1 Contender Tournament:
Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett
Cesaro vs. Rob Van Dam
Make plans to join our Raw "Open Thread" next Monday beginning at 7:00 PM EDT right here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- Head WWE NXT trainer Bill DeMott caused some concern over a Tweet he sent to Michelle McCool. The following is from Twitter:
McCool's husband, The Undertaker, suffered a severe concussion in his match against Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 30.
- This week's episode of Total Divas did an average viewing audience of 1,164,000 viewers on E. While up against stiff competition, including Game of Thrones, Break and The Real Housewives of Atlanta, viewership was down 382,000 from two weeks ago. Click here for a breakdown on the night.
Backstage news from Monday Night Raw in Birmingham…
- The idea behind Cesaro not having music was one of Vince McMahon and Paul Heyman so that he would be seen as different. We're told Triple H isn't a fan. The idea to align Cesaro with Heyman was their own creation pitched to Vince and he loved it.
- Tyson Kidd was on the stage under his Lucha Libre gimmick for the Ultimate Warrior tribute that opened the show. We haven't heard why as he didn't work.
- Seth Rollins was nursing a sore ankle after Raw but isn't expected to miss any time.
- There were rumblings of involving Ric Flair in the reuniting of Evolution.
- WWE officials are already second guessing the debut of Adam Rose after only two weeks of vignettes. Apparently the hesitancy has to do with the "rock star party bus gimmick" being too similar to 3MB and in need of a "tall tale" to make it work. As one observer put it, this could be doomed from the get go.
- This week's episode of Monday Night Raw drew an average viewing audience of 4,770,333 viewers on the USA Network.
Below is how the show broke down by hour:
Hour one - 4,811,000
Hour two - 4,831,000
Hour three - 4,669,000
- WWE issued the following press release on Tuesday:
STAMFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- WWE® (NYSE:WWE) today announced that WrestleMania 30 reached a record 1 million households in the U.S. alone on WWE Network and pay-per-view combined, the first time WrestleMania has eclipsed this mark domestically. With more than 667,000 WWE Network subscribers in the U.S. and nearly 400,000 domestic pay-per-view buying homes for WrestleMania 30, WWE is confident that it will reach its goal of 1 million subscribers by the end of 2014.
WrestleMania 30 reached a record 1 million households in the U.S. alone on WWE Network and pay-per-view combined, the first time WrestleMania has eclipsed this mark domestically.
WWE Network launched on February 24 in the U.S. and successfully streamed six hours of live coverage of WrestleMania 30 on Sunday, April 6. Additionally, more than 7.1 million hours of video content was viewed on WWE Network during WrestleMania Week from Tuesday, April 1 through Tuesday, April 8.
WWE Network will be rolled out in Canada, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Nordics in late 2014/early 2015.
- After a battle royal to determine the number 1 contender for the Divas Championship, Tamina Snuka won. She will face current Divas Champion, Paige at WWE Extreme Rules.
- One of the reasons Layla was paired with Fandango was because Summer Rae is off WWE television to film her role in the next Marine film. The Miz is also away for the film.
- For those looking to obtain tickets to WWE Night of Champions 2014 from Nashville, TN on September 21, a presale will begin at 11 AM EDT on Ticketmaster.com. The password is NASHVILLE.
- WWE has partnered with AOL.com as part of their new video module. Variety has the coverage at this link.
- AJ Lee missed TV this week due to an undisclosed injury.
- Sting was featured on the WWE Network in a new Ultimate Warrior tribute that aired on Tuesday night. The piece was filmed recently and marks Sting's first appearance for the company.
The belief is Sting's signing with WWE is imminent if it hasn't happened already. There are plans for him to wrestle more than one match, with a run that could conclude at Wrestlemania 31 next year.
- Two confidential WWE documents from this week have leaked online, including a draft of this week's Monday Night Raw script and a "To Do" list. I've gone over the documents and noted the following:
The internal injury report listed Rey Mysterio, Alberto Del Rio and AJ Lee.
While Del Rio was on the internal injury report and listed as unavailable, he was on the script to work Rob Van Dam in a match that happened.
The Miz (movie, off until 5/16), Summer Rae (movie, off until 5/16), The Great Khali (off until 5/24), Daniel Bryan (honeymoon, off until 4/20) and Brie Bella (honeymoon, off until 4/20) were listed as unavailable.
Stephanie McMahon is scheduled to be appear on this week's episode of The JBL & Cole Show.
You can check out the documents below:
- Darren Young underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL. He tweeted the following:
We reported that he was possibly injured at a live event right here. We wish Young a speedy and healthy recovery.
- As we've previously reported on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, WWE has been interested in signing Prince Devitt and Karl Anderson, however, both have shied away from signing, in large part because they don't want to linger in the company's developmental system. They're also aware of the bad reputation Bill DeMott has for running talent through his continuous drills and they want no part of it.
We're told this was one of several reasons why Triple H recently met with DeMott and scolded him.
WWE recently approached Devitt again but this time with a significant offer. He was also given assurances of how long he would be in developmental and with the kind of money they would be paying him, there's no way he would be stuck in Florida forever.
TNA Wrestling is also interested in Prince Devitt and has extended an offer where he would go to TV right away and receive a significant push. However, our source says they would be "shocked" if Devitt signed with TNA because WWE has made a significant offer and going to TNA would harm his chances to go to WWE in the future.
When TNA accepted the fact that AJ Styles wasn't coming back and was signing with New Japan Pro Wrestling, there was a "knee jerk" reaction to go get Devitt. The feeling was he would be a significant player for them for many years. While Devitt is older than some realize, he's still four years younger than AJ Styles.
With WWE offering Devitt main roster kind of money and the quiet promise that he'd be on the main roster by the end of the year, it looks like they will land him. We're cautioned that WWE doesn't want word out about Devitt receiving special treatment because there are usually no promises of how long you'll be in developmental before getting called up.
- The wife of Ultimate Warrior issued a statement on Wednesday where she not only put over WWE for the tribute to her husband on this week's Raw but she said saying WWE has been "there" for them is the "understatement of a lifetime."
Below is her statement in its entirety:
It is with an absolutely broken heart I reach out to you. Since the passing of my husband, I have been fortunate enough to insulate my sweet girls and myself from the outside world. In this bubble we have grieved and continue to do so. For a week, I did not allow any television or media to seep through our cocoon. I was told, though, of the outpouring of love for my beloved husband and support for, as he always called us, his Warrior Girls. I can only say thank you.
On Sunday night, I was told WWE would pay tribute to Warrior and so I set the DVR planning to watch it when we were ready. As the hour neared, I broke resolve and turned on every TV in the house to full blast and snuggled our daughters close to me on the couch, unsure what we would see. As the scene unfolded with that amazing roster of talent gathered donning Ultimate Warrior shirts and even his face paint, we cheered and sobbed simultaneously. To everyone who stood there, thank you. My girls will remember your bowed heads for the rest of their lives. You are not just Superstars; you are super people.
I cannot put words to what that video tribute meant. We watched it multiple times and, this morning, it was how I started my day; mornings are the hardest for me. I will treasure that song and those images more than anything I own. Vindication. ULTIMATE PERFECTION.
I was told it was reported WWE was "there" for us. "There" is the understatement of a lifetime. They were a warm blanket to us three and we were quickly absorbed into their family. Words are cheap; promises are forever. This family is one I'm honored to be a member of and will gladly be the warm blanket to any of them who need me next.
My husband's speech had so many highlights for me as I sat proudly in the audience looking on at his moment ... I most loved his request for the Hall of Fame to include the, as he called them, "true Superstars," those behind-the-scenes people who make the machine run. See, I'm the person who puts up the ring in our house. I'm the background person who makes things happen seamlessly. I am surrounded by performers in my husband and children, so I felt a kinship with all the people he wanted to shine a spotlight upon who make WWE work. He loved you all, and knew that each of you made his run there possible. Thank you!
To all the ULTIMATE WARRIOR fans: THANK YOU!! He told me when he shook the ropes it was him gathering strength from each of you. Warrior respected you and loved you as do the girls and I. I will reach out to the ropes for your strength to sustain me in the sad days that the girls and I face. UNWAVERING is what you've been. GRATEFUL is what we are.
The Undertaker and I have a lot more in common than you might think. You see, I had a bit of a streak of my own going for the last 20 years. Yes, Warrior and I would have matches of our own ... He would yell, I would cry, he would submit, I would win - always. My quivering chin and "pooched" lip was always more powerful than any clothesline or gorilla press slam. He'd laugh and shake his head and say,"you win, Pooch," but really we both did.
My streak was broken April 8, 2014 when he collapsed. I fought and screamed and cried for him not to leave me, but I wasn't to win this round. Heaven won and I lost, but I had the ULTIMATE love for 20 years and my children learned to be Warriors from THE ULTIMATE DAD. I wouldn't trade a moment of the life we shared, good or bad, for anything on God's green earth. He is the love of my life and gave me the gift of our beautiful, sweet, amazing girls. He was loyal and kind and strong and brave. He taught me to live by his creed,"Live Strong, Act Bold, Be Brave. Nothing's too hard to do, ALWAYS BELIEVE," and with that creed I will carry on and make him proud.
Streaks are broken but legends live forever.
Dana A. Warrior
- Triple H returned to his weekly sit-down interview series with Michael Cole to "issue an ultimatum to The Shield." The interview is kayfabe in nature and is online at this link.
- WWE Superstars and Divas are on the road 300 days out of the year so they spend a lot of time in hotels and airports. In a new feature on SBNation.com, WWE personalities tell their hotel horror stories. Click here to read now.
- Dot com posted an update on Darren Young on Thursday. The former member of The Prime Time Players tag team will miss 4-6 months after tearing his ACL in a match against Fandango at a WWE live event last weekend. Click here for coverage by dot com. Young suffered the injury last Saturday, shot down our report on Sunday but was unable to work through the injury with a torn ligament.
- Paul Heyman was on The Steve Austin Show with Steve Austin in an interview that was taped before Wrestlemania. In regards to CM Punk, Heyman reiterated a story he's told before in that the only people that truly know Punk's WWE status are Punk himself, Vince McMahon and Triple H. Until one of those three tell it, it's all speculation.
- After the embarrassing coverage of Ultimate Warrior's death on her HLN show, Nancy Grace is being blackballed by WWE. TMZ is reporting while no official memos have went out, current and former WWE talent have been warned to stay away.
Grace's coverage featured an appearance by DDP where she tried to pin Warrior's death on steroids and drugs even though no official cause of death at the time had been determined. The show included Owen Hart's name on a list of wrestlers who died young, when of course his death was the result of a freak accident at a WWE show.
DDP later issued a statement, where he said if he had known the only topic discussed was going to be steroids, he wouldn't have participated.
Grace's deplorable coverage is online at this link.
- Darren Young Tweeted the following:
Young tore his ACL last Saturday night during a WWE live event match against Fandango. The finish was altered to a count-out because of the injury. While Young tried to deny our report, he couldn't work through it when it was learned he tore a ligament.
- For those that missed the confidential WWE documents that leaked online earlier in the week, Stephanie McMahon is featured on this week's episode of The JBL & Cole Show. You can watch at this link.
- The Undertaker is featured on the cover of the May 2014 issue of WWE Magazine. I Tweeted a photo of it that you can view below:
- TNA Wrestling is promoting Low Ki's return to the company at Saturday's X-Stravaganza "One Night Only" pay-per-view taping. They posted this video that looks at his training. TNA will tape X-Stravaganza at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. Scott Brooks of WrestlingNewsWorld.com will be there and will file an exclusive report upon the show's conclusion.
- John Gaburick Tweeted on Saturday that James Storm has signed a new multi-year contract with TNA Wrestling. The Tweet is included below:
- Samoa Joe Tweeted the following:
The word that Joe was injured started when he was pulled from physical activity from TNA's live event loop a couple weeks ago. He was scheduled to work shows, however, a storyline was done where Rockstar Spud came out with a "doctor's note" and stated he was injured and for the referee to count him out.
He was scheduled to work last week's Impact Wrestling taping but was pulled from the announced 10-man Gauntlet Match.
Joe's contract with TNA Wrestling is up in December 2014 and he is commanding interest from Jeff Jarrett'sGlobal Force Wrestling. Click here for the latest on that.
- Low Ki returned to work the company's Xtravaganza pay-per-view taping and the belief is he has a new contract with TNA. We cannot confirm that as of this writing but can tell you that was the word this weekend.
- Chris Sabin finished up his commitment with TNA at the Xtravaganza taping, where he worked the aforementioned Low Ki.
- The Tennessean ran a feature article on Jeff Jarrett's new Global Force Wrestling promotion. It's noted that Jarrett is still the largest shareholder of TNA Wrestling outside of Panda Energy (Editor's note: Jarrett owns 29% of TNA and Panda owns the other 71%). He doesn't feel the launch of a new promotion is a conflict of interest.
Click here to read the piece in its entirety.
Jarrett resigned from his position with TNA Wrestling last year in order to launch the new promotion. We plan on covering Global Force Wrestling from the start as you can bookmark GlobalForceNews.com for the latest.
- Jeff Jarrett's new Global Force Wrestling is not another independent promotion. The group has large aspirations and are looking to sign top talent across the board. In addition to Jarrett and company scouting talent with expiring contracts in Ring of Honor and Dragon Gate USA, they're looking to TNA Wrestling for top names.
I can confirm interest in both Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe as possible roster additions next year. Angle's contract with TNA is up in September and Joe's contract is up in December.
TNA announced over the weekend they've re-signed James Storm, so take his name out but they're about to face a significant challenge in Global Force Wrestling.
It was confirmed on Monday that Jarrett is still a part-owner of TNA as he now looks to become a competitor.
Richard Reacts: In the words of Terrell Owens, get your popcorn ready. This is going to be wild.
- John Gaburick is in the process of announcing contract extensions on his Twitter account. After announcing the re-signing of James Storm over the weekend, he announced the re-signing of Gunner on Monday.
The following is from Twitter:
Big has promised to announce more soon.
- As far as TNA Wrestling's President, Dixie Carter, she revealed the tickets for the June 25th, 26th, and 27th Impact Wrestling tapings from New York City at The Grand Ballroom in the Manhattan Center will go on sale May 9, 2014. She will reveal the pre-sale code soon and we will have that for you once it becomes available.
- There is a lot of turmoil in the creative department of TNA Wrestling right now.
It's no secret that "Big" John Gaburick has accumulated a lot of power since coming in. We're told this is because he was willing to do the job of several men for the salary of one man. He's currently got his hand in creative, production and talent relations.
According to a source, Dixie Carter was taking Big's word at every turn, even though he was suddenly in charge of area in which he had no pervious experience. We're told Dixie was becoming "quite hands off" and really trusted Gaburick.
However, there was an issue lately where Dixie feels she got really bad advice from Gaburick on how to handle the situation with AJ Styles. Gaburick was convinced that AJ's options were limited and that ultimately, he would cave and come back to TNA for their lowball offer. As recently as a couple of weeks ago, Big was still assuring Dixie that AJ would change his mind and come back.
The problem is Gabruick doesn't see the bigger picture outside of TNA and WWE with New Japan Pro Wrestling emerging as a serious alternative for Styles.
When Dixie learned that Styles signed a contract with NJPW, she felt like she got terrible advice from Gaburick.
- As I wrote on TNANews.com, TNA Wrestling signed Robbie E to a multi-year contract. He is added to the list of new extensions which also house James Storm and Gunner. We are expecting more to be announced in the coming days. Below is the tweet that was sent out by TNA's Vice President John Gaburick:
- TNA Wrestling has announced the following matches for their Sacrifice pay-per-view:
- Bully Ray vs. Bobby Roode
"I Quit" Match
- James Storm vs. Gunner
These bouts join the previously announced Knockouts Championship match with Madison Rayne defending against Angelina Love.
TNA Sacrifice will take place on Sunday, April 27, 2014 from Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. We'll have complete coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- An Xplosion match between TNA X Division Champion Sanada and Jesse Godderz is online at this link.
- The opening to this week's episode of Impact Wrestling is online at this link.
- As I first noted on TNANews.com, the list of superstars receiving contract extensions is growing. The newest talent we can add to the list is Rockstar Spud. As noted by Dixie Carter in the video below (or click here), Spud's contract was coming up and she decided to give him a long-term contract. He is added to the list with James Storm, Gunner, and Robbie E.
- TNA X Division Champion Sanada successfully defended against Christopher Daniels at Thursday's Wrestle-1 show in Tokyo. The bout went 16:58 and saw Sanda get the victory with the Rounding Body Press. Click here for more.
- Former TNA star Jesse Neal Tweeted the following:
- Dixie Carter has been pleased with the retooling of TNA Wrestling's Knockouts division. We're told she is happy with how the reunited Beautiful People have been received and she's been impressed with the newcomer Brittany.
As we've reported in the past, Christy Hemme was responsible for both of those moves and had really been gaining more and more influence behind the scenes.
With Dixie starting to question "Big" John Gaburick after the debacle with AJ Styles, she began to wonder aloud why Hemme wasn't helping more with creative for the whole show instead of just the women.
According to sources, Gaburick was not happy with the idea of Christy Hemme being officially added to the creative team. Others were upset as well but Big ultimately decided to pick his battles and didn't fight the move, sensing that Dixie wanted to make a move and exercise her authority.
- AJ Styles spoke with The Baltimore Sun and he didn't hold anything back. When asked about the state of TNA Wrestling, here's what he said:
You know, I really don't know. I know they've made a lot of cuts. That must mean they're not doing so well. Sting gone, Hogan gone, myself gone, and I'm sure we're going to see more cuts soon. From what I've heard and been told, it's been horribly mismanaged as a company. I don't know if they're going out of business. But they're definitely doing things that make people think they're going out of business. And I hope they don't. I hope TNA doesn't go out of business because I have a lot of good friends that work there and deserve to be in the national spotlight. My hope is that they never go out of business.
Styles talked about the independent scene being alive and well and put over Eric Young as TNA Champion.
He also preceded the above comment by saying that he had hoped to retire in TNA Wrestling .
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
- TJ Perkins, known as Manik on Impact Wrestling revealed on his Ask.FM page how much he made in TNA Wrestling. Ask.FM is a social media type network where people can send you questions to answer. The question of What's your salary in TNA was asked. Here is his response:
My contract was started midway thru the year last year but altogether with salary+appearances I was on pace for roughly $75,000-$84,000 for a year period. That's if my schedule is as busy as it was last summer/fall. Also that's only counting TNA. I'd make a lot more if I kept up with other bookings outside but I just don't. I'm also guaranteed a huge chunk of that regardless of if I wrestle or not. So it's pretty ok considering I do what I love.
I'm on the low end on the roster too. Most guys do way better than me.
We saw a report earlier today about Jesse Neal actually making more money at Walmart than he did in TNA.
Manik also revealed that his contract is coming up in September, but the company has an option to sign him for the following year.
- For those who missed this week's Impact Wrestling, results can be seen here, Austin Aries and Kurt Angle made their return to the show.
Austin Aries has been off television for a month as his last appearance was at the Lockdown pay-per-view back on March 9th. I had several updates about him on TNANews.com including this one where he was given an "extended vacation".
Kurt Angle made his return this week as well. We were the first ones to break the news that Kurt Angle would be having arthoscopic knee surgery in February and him appearing at Lockdown would be in question. After the successful surgery, we learned Kurt Angle would return in April; therefore, missing Lockdown completely. After a full recovery, Kurt has returned.
- Following the airing of this week's episode of Impact Wrestling, below is the updated lineup for TNA Sacrifice:
TNA Championship Match
- Eric Young © vs. Magnus
- Bully Ray vs. Bobby Roode
"I Quit" Match
- James Storm vs. Gunner
Tag Team Match
- Kurt Angle & Willow vs. Ethan Carter III & Rockstar Spud
Match 3 of the Best of 3 Series for the TNA X Division Championship
- Sanada © vs. Tigre Uno
- Samuel Shaw vs. Mr. Anderson
TNA Knockouts Championship Match
- Madison Rayne © vs. Angelina Love
TNA Sacrifice will take place on Sunday, April 27, 2014 at the Impact Wrestling Zone in Orlando, Florida. We'll have complete coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
Do you believe CM Punk walking out was the greatest thing that ever happened to Daniel Bryan's career? Do you think Bryan would be WWE World Heavyweight Champion had Punk not walked out?
Remember it was the crowd's reaction to Daniel Bryan at Royal Rumble that started the Yes Movement and put the wheels in motion for the now WWE World Heavyweight Champion. CM Punk was in the Royal Rumble match and went nearly 50 minutes, however, his stock actually increased after the events that followed (even though he's done nothing WWE-related since). With that being said, Punk's sudden departure created an opportunity for Daniel Bryan against Triple H but WWE was going to have their hand forced even if Punk had stayed. The storyline is Bryan "overcame the odds" but that's very much how his WWE career has played out in real life. So had Punk not walked out, I still think Bryan would be a top star.
Paul Heyman has to be considered one of the greatest managers of all time but for some reason his protégés have seemed to flounder when called upon. Do you believe that Heyman is to blame for the lackluster outcomes that come from his protégés or is the blame to be placed on WWE creative?
I assume you're speaking of the failed Paul Heyman pairings with Ryback and Curtis Axel. Paul Heyman is not only one of the best managers in the wrestling business but he has one of the greatest minds in the pro wrestling business. Heyman "gets it" and is able to use his skills to be a very valuable asset to WWE. The aforementioned experiments proved that putting a talent with Heyman doesn't guarantee them stardom, however, I didn't take it as a condemnation of Heyman's skills either. WWE tried to make both Ryback and Axel main event talents, however, the audience didn't accept them. That's not say they won't get another opportunity either but there are now others in front of them.
What are the consequences for a talent breaking the 90 day non-compete agreement attached to a WWE Performer's Contract?
Non-compete agreements attached to WWE Performer's Contracts are put in place to protect the company from a talent leaving and using their exposure from WWE to help a competitor. Breaking the agreement would result in litigation from WWE that could probably extend to the competing promotion as well. WWE legal is fierce and the company has more money and resources available than pretty much anyone that tries to challenge them.
What does the future hold for Hulk Hogan in WWE now that Wrestlemania XXX is over?
I look for Hulk Hogan to continue to be used in an ambassador's role in WWE. According to Wade Barrett, he'll be at the Smackdown taping in London next month. One of the biggest reasons Vince McMahon wanted to bring Hogan back was not only to be part of the 30th anniversary of Wrestlemania but to entice lapsed fans to subscribe to the WWE Network. Creative will have to be careful when booking Hogan on television as they will not want to overexpose him. As you know, workers that cannot wrestle have a limited shelf life. Even Dixie Carter admitted to overexposing Hogan on TNA television.
From the Ask WNW vault…
March 2014: Do you think the fans would have received Batista differently if his return wouldn’t have leaked and he would have came back as a surprise Rumble entrant and went over? -Batista’s return leaked in advance advertising material for WWE live events, however, the plan was always to air vignettes before bringing him back. If WWE would have foregone those plans and made Batista a surprise Rumble entrant and put him over, I still think they would have had trouble selling him as a babyface. Daniel Bryan has been over like rover since last summer and the majority of the WWE audience demands he gets a proper payoff. When the decision was made not to put Bryan in the Rumble, that’s when the problems started and it was an error WWE is now trying to correct by incorporating the reactions into storyline. Batista’s new direction is the right direction and has me more optimistic, however, WWE will not be able to get Batista vs. Randy Orton for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania over. Bryan must be inserted if there is any hope for it. I have more about possible tweaks to the match at this link.
Do you think The Streak ending was made more for Brock Lesnar or Paul Heyman? The Undertaker has always been a leader in the locker room and so many in the past have done the honors to Taker to maintain the streak. It seems now that Heyman's legitimacy as a manager is cemented due to him beating the streak.. In turn, it seems this would give a future rub to any superstar lucky enough to partner with Heyman and they would think that the superstar with Heyman is serious business.
I'm told it was important to The Undertaker to give someone the rub of ending the streak. He didn't want to retire unbeaten at Wrestlemania because so many people have "done the honors" for him. While I was initially upset over Brock Lesnar ending the streak, I feel that initial reaction was more shock that followed a lackluster match. Now that I know Undertaker suffered a serious injury early on and the creative plan was such so that Undertaker was able to "give back," I'm fine with it. By having Brock Lesnar end the streak aligned with Paul Heyman, several creative doors were opened. First, Lesnar is a huge threat and a major promotional point going forward. Also, Paul Heyman, who is around on a full time basis, provides a huge lift to anyone he pairs with because now all Paul Heyman Guys have to be taken seriously. Hindsight is 20/20 but it's always important not to rush to judgment.
Did anyone else catch John Cena making fun of himself on Raw during the segment with Bray Wyatt?
I certainly noticed it while watching the tape and Tweeted about it below:
Cena used Bray Wyatt's "push" line to create a humorous pun that made the segment fun. As I stated in my Tweet above, I love how John Cena takes things in stride. So many workers are unable to do that and get butthurt over anything they see as "below" them. John's break from the main event scene to work Bray Wyatt in an upper mid card program is refreshing for everyone involved.
I'm high up on Paige and feel WWE could have something special on their hands with the Divas division. I know it's early but do you think AJ Lee and Paige have enough talent to main event Raw like Lita and Trish Stratus several years ago?
WWE's Divas division is in good shape going forward. I am also high up on Paige and to answer your question I'll point to her bout against Emma at NXT ArRIVAL in February. Did you think that was strong enough to main event Raw because I thought it was strong enough to headline a pay-per-view. It's more than in-ring work in WWE and that's even more true when it comes to Divas, however, fans have every reason to be optimistic about the division with the talent going forward. And while Total Divas laid a viewership egg this week, the popularity of the reality series has also helped things.
What are your thoughts on the return of Kane?
The Monster will return next week against WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan and the majority of Kane fans will be elated. The versatility of Glen Jacobs to go from the corporate villain to the superhuman monster should be commended. There are so few that are able to transition on command, that's the reason for his longevity.
From the Ask WNW vault…
January 2013: What does the WWE Hall of Fame mean to an inductee and what benefits do they get? - In addition to monetary compensation for appearing, WWE Hall of Fame inductees get a Hall of Fame ring and of course the immortalization of being inducted into the Hall of Fame of the biggest wrestling promotion in the world. While critics will rightly point out the WWE Hall of Fame is more of the Vince McMahon Hall of Fame than an actual Hall of Fame (with no formal voting process), it’s still a huge honor.
Why are some people talking about Brock Lesnar ending the streak as some sort of rub for Paul Heyman? Five years from now, no one will remember who was the manager of the guy who broke the streak. Lesnar will be remembered, Heyman will be forgotten.
While that may be true, Paul Heyman offers WWE a great catalyst to help build an up and coming superstar. We know from the past failed Paul Heyman Guys that putting him with a talent doesn't guarantee them success but Cesaro has a great opportunity in front of him. Brock Lesnar is a part-time talent with limited dates so associating Heyman with him and keeping Heyman on the road, helps keep the momentum from ending the streak going. It doesn't matter what rub Heyman gets five years from now as WWE is using him for right now. And the right now is to help elevate Cesaro.
Is there any indication when WWE Network will launch in Australia?
We continue to get a lot of questions about WWE Network's availability in Australia and the date hasn't change, it's part of the company's phase 1 international launch and will happen in late 2014/early 2015. The cost should be along the lines of what we pay in the United States at $9.99/month or $10.71 AUD/month. WWE has announced their Australian tour for 2014 with the following dates - August 7 in Melbourne, August 8 in Sydney and August 9 in Perth.
I love the fact that Eric Young is TNA Champ… He defiantly deserves it. Do you believe he owes Daniel Bryan a bit of gratitude? I think it's TNA riding on the coattails of WWE giving the title to the little guy.
The parallels are certainly there between Eric Young and Daniel Bryan, however, it was Eric Young's hard work that got him the payoff. But as I just finished saying in the WNW Premium Mailbag, it's essential that TNA really get behind Young as "the guy." Magnus held the title for 128 days and I don't think he's much further along than he was before he won it. Not enough clean wins, no breakout moment and as a result, I don't think the audience ever bought him as champion. Let's hope things go better for Young.
Do you think there's a possibility we will see Ric Flair rejoin Evolution in a management type role?
I heard there was interest in utilizing Ric Flair for the reunited Evolution but cannot confirm whether or not it will happen. It's amazing how reuniting a past faction can completely atone for the mistake of trying to bring Batista back as a babyface. I am very optimistic about Triple H, Randy Orton and Batista back together again and while I don't know how long Hunter plans to work, this is a good idea to keep a post-Wrestlemania drop off from happening.
From the Ask WNW vault…
April 2012: Besides the nWo, what was your favorite moments in WCW? - In addition to the original new World order storyline, my favorite moments in WCW were the superior wrestling matches. One thing that I think Eric Bischoff deserves some credit for is bringing in international cruiserweight stars and highlighting them on mainstream shows. Workers such as Ultimo Dragon, Psicosis, La Parka, not to mention the names that became big stars once in WWE such as Rey Mysterio, Eddie Guerrero, etc. There was a lot to like on WCW shows and it’s a shame the company was ran into the ground.