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WWE Referee Nearly Loses Thumb, Top Star Taking Time Off, First Look At Global Force Wrestling Roster (12 Names), WWE Closely Monitoring Big Program, Interest In TNA Tag Team, Details On GFW's Future TV Tapings

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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 19, 2014 to Friday, April 25, 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
- GFW News
- Ask WNW

WWE News

- WWE referee Charles Robinson nearly severed his thumb while setting up the ring for the company's live event in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Friday.

Luckily for Robinson, Senior Ringside Physician Chris Amann came to the rescue and was able to stitch him up. Robinson required 6 stitches to put things back together.

Goldust must have a stronger stomach than most as he watched as the stitches were sewn.

Below are some graphic and completely inappropriate photos:

- While doing media out of Charlotte, North Carolina, Mick Foley said he probably wasn't going to sign his new WWE Legend's Contract because he doesn't feel the company did right by the guys in the WWE 2K14 video game. Foley said the check was "a little low" and while there was a bankruptcy last year (referring to THQ going out), he said he didn't see the upside. He admitted he probably should have told WWE before he told the radio hosts. You can listen to Foley make the comments at the 13:30 mark at this link.

- El Torito and Hornswoggle discuss their match in this week's episode of Smackdown Fallout. You can watch at this link.

- WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella have been off on their honeymoon for the last couple of weeks. They're back home and scheduled for Raw this week in Baltimore, Maryland.

Below is a photo:

- CM Punk resurfaced in the trailer for the new season of Maron that starts on Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 10 PM on IFC. Below is a screen capture:

You can watch the trailer at this link.

- Roddy Piper and Kevin Nash have been going back and forth on Twitter over a backstage incident in WCW several years ago that Piper brought up on his podcast. Nash Tweeted in response to Piper stating that Nash went after him in the locker room but he countered with a single leg takedown.

This caused the following response from Nash:

Piper responded:

- Christian, who hasn't worked since suffering another concussion on the March 24, 2014 episode of Monday Night Raw, is booked for next month's WWE European tour. The current sheets call for him to pick up on his program with Sheamus. - Batista is not being advertised for WWE shows after next month's Extreme Rules pay-per-view, as it appears he'll be taking time off. You can check out official promotional listings at this link. Batista is back under a multiyear contract that calls for him to work TVs and live events, however, he is featured in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel film that will be released on August 1, 2014. - WWE Hall of Famer Jake Roberts Tweeted the following health update on Sunday:

- Remember the undisclosed ailment that hampered Eva Marie earlier this year? On this week's episode of Total Divas it was revealed that she was dealing with an ovarian cyst that had ruptured. - Adam Goldberg, the creator of the ABC sitcom, "The Goldbergs," is dedicating the May 6, 2014 episode of the show to Ultimate Warrior. According to TMZ, Goldberg was heartbroken when he heard about Warrior's death earlier this month. He contacted Warrior's wife Dana and everything is set for the tribute. Speaking of Warrior's wife Dana, she Tweeted the following from his Twitter account:

Warrior girls and I will put our toes back in the pond of life. To honor Warrior do something brave today too. He'd tell us all we can be sad but not lazy :) join a gym and put down that chocolate bunny. I'm going for my first run since I lost him; support us by doing something bold, brave and awesome. Dana A. Warrior

- Multiple retailers have received preliminary information from WWE that they'll release a Sting DVD next September. Further details regarding the project are not available as of press time.

- Eva Marie was with her husband at UFC on Fox 11 in Orlando, Florida over the weekend. She did an interview that you can watch at this link. While there was once a time where WWE performers would have been shunned for attending UFC shows, that's no longer the case.

- WWE announced on Monday they'll debut a new series of four specials on the WWE Network titled "Best of the WWE Hall of Fame." The show will premiere on Tuesday night at 10 PM ET and will be hosted by Josh Mathews.

Below is the official press release:


STAMFORD, Conn., April 21, 2014 – WWE Network will premiere the Best of Hall of Fame, a series of four special presentations showcasing some of the most memorable inductions in WWE Hall of Fame history. The one-hour specials begin tomorrow night at 10 pm ET and will be hosted by WWE’s Josh Mathews.

Episodes (10 pm ET, Tuesday through Friday) include:

Tuesday, April 22 – Hulk Hogan inducted by Sylvester Stallone, Trish Stratus inducted by Stephanie McMahon and Bobby Heenan inducted by Jack Lanza

Wednesday, April 23 – Pete Rose inducted by Kane and Ric Flair inducted by Triple H

Thursday, April 24 – Gene Okerlund inducted by Hulk Hogan and Shawn Michaels inducted by Triple H

Friday, April 25 – Jerry Lawler inducted by William Shatner and Bruno Sammartino inducted by Arnold Schwarzenegger

- WWE announced on Monday that Hugh Jackman will return to Monday Night Raw next week in St. Louis, Missouri. Jackman will be there to promote "X-Men: Days of Future Past" and will look to followup on his appearance a few years ago when he knocked out Dolph Ziggler.

Click here for coverage by dot com.

Ziggler and Damien Sandow had a kayfabe exchange on Twitter about it and Jackman chimed in as well. Below is how it played out on social media:

- Last week's episode of WWE Smackdown did an average viewing audience of 2,757,000 viewers on SyFy. The show led Friday's original cable programming in the adults 16-49 demographic. TV by the Numbers has more at this link.

- announced that Daniel Bryan's father passed away. Despite this horrible news, Bryan will still be performing on Raw this week.


WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan's (Bryan Danielson's) father has unexpectedly passed away. Bryan was made aware of his father's passing after returning from his honeymoon with Brie Bella. Despite the news, Bryan has insisted on performing for the WWE Universe tonight (April 21) and will be on Raw. WWE extends our deepest condolences to Bryan and his family.

- On this week's episode of Monday Night Raw, Stephanie McMahon announced that Daniel Bryan will defend his WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Kane at next month's Extreme Rules. Also announced on Raw was Alexander Rusev versus the team of Xavier Woods and R-Truth.

- Following the airing of this week's episode of Monday Night Raw, below is the updated lineup for WWE Extreme Rules:

Extreme Rules Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
- Daniel Bryan © vs. Kane

6-man Tag Team Match
- The Shield vs. Evolution

Steel Cage Match
- John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt

WWE Intercontinental Championship Match
- Big E © vs. RVD or Bad News Barrett

WWE Divas Championship Match
- Paige © vs. Tamina Snuka

2-on-1 Handicap Match
- Alexander Rusev vs. R-Truth & Xavier Woods

WWE Extreme Rules 2014 will take place Sunday, May 4, 2014 at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. We'll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at

- We noted earlier that WWE will return to the Baltimore Arena for the September 8, 2014 episode of Raw. There is a presale to obtain tickets with the password BALTIMORE.

- Next week's episode of Monday Night Raw will feature the finals of the No. 1 Contender Intercontinental Championship Tournament with Rob Van Dam facing Bad News Barrett. The winner will face Big E at Extreme Rules. The updated pay-per-view lineup is available at this link.

- Brooks Oglesby will be covering this week's Smackdown taping in Hershey, PA. WWE has announced Cesaro vs. Jack Swagger and Triple H for this week's show. Make plans to join our Open Thread to discuss this week's Smackdown as it's taped on Tuesday night.

- The storyline update on Daniel Bryan is that he suffered a "stinger" at the hands of Kane and will be ready for Extreme Rules next month. Speaking of Kane, I Tweeted a photo of his return as The Big Red Machine:

- WWE announced the Top 10 most watched shows on WWE Network last week during the airing of this week's episode of Monday Night Raw. I Tweeted a screen capture of the graphic that you can view below:

- This week's episode of Total Divas did an average viewing audience of 1,390,000 viewers on E. The show had to deal with competition from Game of Thrones on HBO as TV by the Numbers has more data at this link.

- WWE posted their video highlights from last week's tour of Saudi Arabia at this link.

- For those that missed it on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw, Emma missed badly on a dropkick to Layla in their match. While I'll be the first to defend Emma as a very talented female wrestler (with the WWE Divas MOTY so far against Paige), Jerry Lawler had a hilarious line I shared on Twitter:

- Natalya Tweeted a photo of Steve Blackman from backstage at Smackdown in Hershey. You can check it out below:

- You can catch up with Jonathan Coachman, who now works for ESPN, at this link.

- If you missed Sting talking about the Ultimate Warrior on the WWE Network, you can watch the new footage at this link.

- Atlanta Hawks point guard Jeff Teague told that WWE could have picked someone better than Brock Lesnar to end the streak. You can read his comments at this link.

- This week's episode of Monday Night Raw did an average viewing audience of 4,139,333 viewers on the USA Network.

Below is how the viewership broke down by hour:

Hour one - 4,224,000 viewers
Hour two - 4,395,000 viewers
Hour three - 3,799,000 viewers

WWE had to deal with the NBA Playoffs, which led the night in the adults 18-49 demographic.

TV by the Numbers has more data at this link.

- WWE sent out a "breaking news" kayfabe alert on Daniel Bryan's health on Tuesday evening. The update stated Bryan was "diagnosed with a cervical cord neurapraxia" and he's currently resting at home.

The biggest thing of note is that Bryan is expected to work next week's Monday Night Raw in St. Louis, Missouri.

Click here for kayfabe coverage by dot com.

Bryan was not actually injured on the show and the angle was likely done to give him the rest of the week off due to the death of his father.

Richard Reacts: It's interesting WWE listed neurapraxia as Bryan's "diagnosis" as it was side effects from this that ultimately ended the career of Edge.

- We reported last week that Mick Foley "probably won't" sign his new WWE Legend's Contract over the low payout for WWE2K14. Foley has expounded in a new blog posted on Facebook. You can read it below:

Post by Mick Foley.

WWE TV Taping Notes from Hershey…

- Neither John Cena nor WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan worked this week's tapings. The storyline is Bryan was at home resting when he was given time off due to the death of his father. Bryan is scheduled to work Raw next week in St. Louis.

- Someone that was supposedly gone was back. We have taping results at this link.

- Bo Dallas worked a dark match prior to the start of the show, going over a local worker. Sami Zayn was also at the taping and went over Heath Slater in a dark match.

- After this week's Smackdown was taped, The Shield brawled off-camera with The Wyatt Family. The babyfaces won out to send the crowd home happy.

- We noted here on that Bo Dallas went over a local worker in a dark match prior to this week's Smackdown taping in Hershey, PA. The worker was actually former WWE worker Mike Mondo. He Tweeted the following after the bout:

Mondo is best known for his work as Mikey as part of The Spirit Squad faction. Backstage news from Monday Night Raw in Baltimore… - We're told Cesaro's new entrance music was an example of Triple H winning out. As we reported last week, Vince McMahon and Paul Heyman had an idea for him to not have an entrance but Hunter hated it. Speaking of Cesaro, there was talk of him winning the IC title tournament, however, they decided to go with the Jack Swagger followup after the lengthy undercard build. - Daniel Bryan was given the rest of this week and the weekend off due to the death of his father. He didn't have to work Raw on Monday but insisted that he work after missing time on his honeymoon. This was the reason for the angle with Kane to keep the Extreme Rules match hot with the pay-per-view less than two weeks away. WWE has already announced Bryan will be on Raw next week. - Vince McMahon ultimately wants Cody Rhodes heel, which was the reason for the dissension with Goldust. The feeling, at least from yours truly, is WWE didn't full capitalize on the opportunity they had with the hard working Rhodes Brothers. - Speaking of turns, there continue to be discussions about turning Sheamus heel. - WWE is closely monitoring the John Cena/Bray Wyatt program as they don't want a double turn. This was the reason for some of the "WWE Universe is being brainwashed" remarks on commentary. Basically it's a situation where the company is "walking the fine line" to the finish line. - Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley once again have interest from WWE but we know there's also interest from Global Force Wrestling. Neither have long-term commitments anywhere as of press time. - Brandi Rhodes spent Easter Sunday alone and documented her time in a new video blog, where she tried on one of her own bikinis for her fans. You can watch it at this link. - As the storyline goes, Stephanie McMahon will "apologize" to Daniel Bryan on next week's Raw for Kane's "attack" on him this week. Next week's Raw will take place from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri. - Scott Fishman of The Miami Herald has a new article online featuring quotes from Cesaro. In it, he discusses his rise to prominence as a Paul Heyman Guy. Below is an excerpt:

“It has been a great two years,” Cesaro said. “I started at the bottom and worked my way up. I think that shows hard work pays off. A good thing takes a while.” “It comes with time,” Cesaro said. “If you constantly put in the hard work, you see the crowd starts to appreciate that. I think that’s why it’s so important to keep working hard every day and get better every day.”

He also spoke about learning from Zeb Colter:

“It’s been great,” Cesaro said. “Zeb has been in this business for four decades. The knowledge is huge. It’s always great to listen to him talk and see how he thinks and what he thinks about things. It’s been great and awesome to work with him.”

Click here to read the piece in its entirety. - WWE Divas Champion Paige is featured in this week's kayfabe sit-down interview with Michael Cole. In it, she discusses her journey to beating the longest-reigning Divas Champion in WWE history. You can watch at this link. - Dot com has a 4-page "Where Are They Now?" article on Trevor Murdoch. Click here to read it. - Below is the synopsis for next week's episode of Total Divas:

"The House Sitters" Ariane ends up losing Nattie's cat while house sitting. T.J. and Nattie are unable to agree about money. Brie teaches Nikki a lesson.

Make plans to join our Total Divas Open Thread on Sunday night at 9 PM EDT for live discussion right here at - WWE is taking Hulk Hogan to Japan for their upcoming tour of the country on July 11 and July 12. The July 11 show will take place from Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo and the show on the 12th will take place from Maishima Arena in Osaka. We have official details on WWE's summer tour of Japan at this link. Thanks to Wrestling News World reader Hiroaki Kawafuji for sending this in. - Batista went on a bit of a Twitter rant on Wednesday, where he called out negative fans. You can read the Tweets below:

- Steve Austin is getting a lot of press for throwing his support behind same-sex marriage on a recent episode of his podcast. USA Today's "For the Win" blog posted a couple of excerpts from Austin.

"I believe that any human being in America, or any human being in the [expletive] world, that wants to be married, and if it's same-sex, more power to 'em."

Austin also ranted on the church's opposition:

“What also chaps my [expletive], some of these churches, have the high horse that they get on and say ‘we as a church do not believe in that.’ Which one of these [people] talked to God, and God said that same-sex marriage was a no-can-do?”

Deadspin uploaded audio from Austin's podcast and uploaded it on SoundCloud. We've included that audio below but please be advised it includes explicit language:

Click here for coverage by USA Today's "For the Win" blog.

Richard Reacts: It's very important for people such as Steve Austin to speak up in support of same-sex marriage and I applaud him for doing so. Equality is crucial and it's my hope to see same-sex marriages recognized in all 50 US states sooner than later. The fact it has been shunned for so long based on what people perceive as "different" is asinine. If one's religious views do not believe in same-sex marriage, then don't get one. However, to prevent others with different beliefs from marrying the person they love is absurd and in the words of Austin, doesn't jive with me.

- The promotional posters for WWE Payback and WWE Money in the Bank are now available. I Tweeted the images that you can view below:

WWE Payback 2014 will take place Sunday, June 1, 2014 from the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, IL.

WWE Money in the Bank 2014 will take place Sunday, June 29, 2014 from the TD Garden in Boston, MA.

- WWE will put the wheels in motion to crown a new WWE NXT Women's Champion at Thursday night's WWE NXT taping in Winter Park, Florida. There will be a storyline explanation for Paige being stripped of the title because she cannot hold the WWE Divas Championship and WWE NXT Women's Championship at the same time.

We'll have a reporter at this week's NXT tapings and will have complete results right here at

- Diamond Dallas Page shredded Nancy Grace in a media interview with The Undisputed Wrestling Show.

Page accused Grace of setting him up and said he wanted to "strangle her." He said he would "never do that bitch's show again."

You can also listen to Page talk about why he didn't get up and walk off at this link. We've also included the audio embedded in the video below:

Page appeared on Nancy Grace's HLN show on April 9, 2014 to talk about the death of the Ultimate Warrior. The next day, he quickly issued a statement, denouncing Grace's propaganda. The deplorable coverage has resulted in WWEblackballing future appearances on her show.

- We reported earlier that Hulk Hogan has been added to WWE's live events in Japan on July 11 and July 12. The company issued the following press release to officially announce it:

Hulk Hogan Returns To Japan

TOKYO, Japan, April 24, 2014 – WWE® today announced that WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan will appear at WWE Live in Tokyo on Friday, July 11 and in Osaka on Saturday, July 12.

A larger-than-life pop-culture icon, Hogan is one of the biggest names in WWE history. Earlier this month, Hogan was the host of WrestleMania® 30 at a sold out Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. He has also appeared on WWE’s flagship television program Monday Night Raw® and on WWE Network.

“Hulkamania™” was officially born on January 23, 1984 when Hogan defeated The Iron Sheik to become WWE Champion at Madison Square Garden. He headlined WrestleMania III, where he successfully defended the WWE Championship against Andre The Giant in front of a record 93,173 fans at the Pontiac Silverdome. Hogan went on to win six WWE Championships, starred in movies, television shows and became an idol to a vast legion of fans he dubbed “Hulkamaniacs™.” Hogan was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005 by Hollywood legend Sylvester Stallone.

“Words cannot express how excited I am to be back in the WWE family,” said Hulk Hogan. “I only have one question for the WWE Universe in Japan: ‘whatcha gonna do when Hulkamania runs wild in Tokyo and Osaka, brother?’”

WWE Live takes place on Thursday, July 10 and Friday, July 11 at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo and on Saturday, July 12 at Maishima Arena in Osaka. Tickets go on sale to the general public this Saturday.

- WWE Divas Champion Paige, Lana, Sasha Banks and more are featured in this week's episode of WWE Inbox. Click here to watch it.

- WWE has announced NXT Takeover, a "live, two-hour action-packed special" airing next month on WWE Nework. The event comes after February's NXT ArRIVALspecial event, the first live special to air on WWE Network. Click here for more information. WWE NXT Takeover will take place on May 29, 2014 at 8:00 p.m. ET, with a pre-show taking place at 7:30 p.m ET. will have full results from the show as it happens.

- Wrestling News World'sScott Brooks is at Thursday's WWE NXT tapings and passed along the following notes:

The next live WWE Network special will take place on Thursday, May 29, 2014 and it will be called NXT Takeover. Like ArRIVAL back in February, the show will be two hours in length.

Triple H announced both the NXT Championship and WWE NXT Women's Championship will be defended on the show.

Speaking of which, there will be a tournament [that started at Thursday's tapings] that will crown a new WWE NXT Women's Champion.

They'll also crown the new number one contender for Adrian Neville's NXT Championship.

- Triple H met with the NXT roster prior to this week's TV tapings to announce NXT Takeover. You can watch the video at this link. We have complete details on NXT Takeover here and here. We also have details on the show's two main events at this link (spoilers included).

- Brie Bella will also be off this weekend's WWE live events to be with Daniel Bryan as they deal with the passing of his father Bud. Brie's sister, Nikki Bella, Tweeted the following:

We have complete details on this weekend's WWE live events at this link. - WWE has hired Rich Brennan as an announcer and currently have him working in NXT. Brennan was hired in March and began his career in pro wrestling with Booker T's Reality of Wrestling promotion. Brennan has a background working in sports. You can follow him on Twitter at - Scott Fishman of The Miami Herald has a new article online featuring quotes from Summer Rae. Rae is currently away from WWE television as she films her part in The Marine 4. Below are the highlights from the piece: Total Divas Bridging the Gap:

“It’s crazy,” Rae said. “It’s not just wrestling fans now that recognize us and want to get our picture. It’s tons of women. I think most men have said we’ve bridged the gap between their wives, girlfriends and wrestling. It’s really cool because now they don’t have to sneak around and watch Monday Night Raw anymore. Their girlfriends want to watch Raw because of us. It’s very cool to be relationship counselors for people across America.”

Her best friend in WWE:

“I think someone who has helped me the most in the locker room has been one of my closest friends,” she said. “[WWE interviewer and host] Renee is just really cool. It’s good to get a non-wrestling, non-diva perspective on matches. She is very funny, good comic relief. We’re kind of buds. I love my Renee Young.”

Click here to read the piece in its entirety. - WWE declared their regular quarterly dividend of $0.12 per share for all Class A and B shares of common stock on Friday. Click here for the official release. - Bad News Barrett is in this week's episode of The JBL & Cole Show along with Cody Rhodes, his wife Brandi and more. You can watch at this link. - The National Football League has hired Perkins Miller away from WWE. Miller worked as EVP of Global Digital Media and played a key part in the launch of the WWE Network. His new role in the NFL will be as Chief Digital Officer. - SLAM! Wrestling interviewed Seth Rollins before Monday Night Raw in Baltimore, MD this week. Below are the highlights: The Shield turning babyface:

"It's just how things happen," Rollins said. "It's been an interesting transformation, I suppose. But to be honest with you, we really haven't done much different. We just started targeting different people, I suppose. By that association, the fans just started to get with us. It's been fun. It's been a side to take for sure, but I think it's something that we're all pretty excited about."

New generation of talent in WWE:

"I think that with this new generation of guys, you talk about the Wyatt Family, you can talk about Daniel Bryan, the Usos, you can throw Cesaro in there. There's this next generation of dudes who are hungry, man," Rollins said. "The Shield, coming into WWE, we wanted to change what was going on. We had seen the business stagnate for a good five years at least. Just guys not coming in being hungry, and not wanting to make change, not wanting to ruffle any feathers, feeling like they're walking on eggshells. Myself, Ambrose and Reigns, we were never like that. We're all alpha males, that type personality. "We all want to be the best, be number one. From the very outset, we were just going to work harder than everybody else, put on better matches than everybody else, cut better promos than everybody else, be more interesting than everybody else. We didn't really care who that pissed off. I think that attitude resonated with a lot of other guys that we came across, especially in developmental -- and they brought that attitude up here with them. It's really a great time to be a WWE fan, because you've got a lot of very invested performers who are willing to make that sacrifice, to make that change."

Emergence of Roman Reigns:

"He's smart enough to listen. He's smart enough to pay attention and pick up little things," Rollins said of Reigns. "He's someone who's a student of the game. He played football before he got here. He didn't spend as much time doing this as we had, but it's in his blood. His family's a huge part of this business. He's just a guy who's built for it. It's just part of him. We spend a lot of time in the car and a lot of time in the ring together, and stuff like that, so if he's not learning, then something's not right. But I think it's pretty clear that over the past 18 months that we've been teamed up up here that his progression and his development has been accelerated, to say the least."

Click here to read the piece in its entirety.

TNA News

- Samoa Joe is in fact working Magnus on the latest TNA live event loop. The bouts are Joe's first since the March 28, 2014 TNA live event in Lincoln, Nebraska. While it was originally believed Joe was suffering a concussion, he said that wasn't the case. - Last week's episode of Impact Wrestling drew an average viewing audience of 1,010,000 viewers. The show was down 405,000 viewers from the week prior. - TNA Wrestling announced on Monday that Gunner is coming to Wembley Arena in London, England for a meet and greet. The event will take place on Monday, May 5, 2014 at 6 PM to promote next year's Maximum Impact Tour. Gunner will begin with a signing, then hold a Q&A session. Click here for more information. - Jesse Neal did an interview at this link where he expounded on some things that have had him in the news recently. Below are the highlights: Jesse said he's working two full-time jobs, landscaping in the day and working nightshift at Walmart. He said the idea that TNA Wrestling pays big bucks is ridiculous and he turned down going to Ohio Valley Wrestling because it was for even less. He didn't want to be stuck in Louisville, crashing on someone's couch with five or six other wrestlers when he supposedly had a TV deal for a big-time promotion. Neal called Bruce Prichard a "piece of shit" and blamed him for the de-push of Ink Inc. (Neal's tag team with Shannon Moore). He had mostly good things to say about Dixie Carter but felt office people took advantage of her a lot. Neal said he would work for Global Force Wrestling in a heartbeat and said anything Jeff Jarrett does will be money. He said he broke his neck on a TNA pay-per-view and had torn ligaments, barely being able to move afterwards. He said the TNA doctor just told him to go home and rest and didn't offer much help beyond that. Jesse said he didn't have a second job in TNA, although he knew people that did. Once again, you can listen to the interview at this link. - TNA Wrestling posted Before the Bell: Sacrifice at this link. TNA Sacrifice 2014 will take place Sunday, April 27, 2014 from Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. We'll have complete coverage here at - Taz is launching his own talk show to talk about his insights in the pro wrestling business. You can get more information at this link. - TNA Wrestling announced an agreement with Nuvolari TV in Italy. The deal will make Impact Wrestling available every Friday at 8.30 PM with with repeats on Saturdays at 4.30pm and Sundays at both 9am and 10.30pm. Pay-per-views and One Night Only shows will also be broadcast monthly on Nuvolari. Click here for more. - Taz gave his thoughts on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw in a new podcast that you can listen to below:

Check Out Entertainment Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Taz Radio on BlogTalkRadio

- The early betting odds for TNA Sacrifice are online at this link. - The TNA contract of Christopher Daniels has expired and he's officially a free agent. The following is from Twitter:

We've been told that Global Force Wrestling has interest in the services of Daniels. Earlier this week we posted a list of 12 names that have been contacted about working for GFW.

- TNA Wrestling issued a press release on Thursday, announcing a new deal with UTA. The deal is for UTA to represent TNA in extending their broadcast reach as well as to expand its licensing programs and slate of live event programming.

Below is the release in its entirety:

Leading Pro Wrestling Company TNA Entertainment and its FLAGSHIP PROGRAM Impact Wrestling Sign with UTA

Beverly Hills, CA (April 24, 2014) --- TNA Entertainment, the Nashville-based sports entertainment company known for the global pro wrestling program, IMPACT Wrestling, has signed with UTA, it was announced jointly today by Dixie Carter, President of TNA Entertainment, and UTA.

TNA Entertainment’s IMPACT Wrestling, one of Spike TV’s top-rated shows, averaging 1.4 million viewers each week, is broadcast in 120 countries worldwide. Additionally, TNA Entertainment produces more than 100 live Impact Wrestling events each year as well as monthly PPV events with such internationally beloved professional wrestling stars as Jeff Hardy, Bobby Roode, Kurt Angle, Eric Young, Magnus, James Storm, MVP, Gail Kim and the lovely and lethal Knockouts.

UTA will represent the 12-year-old company to extend its television broadcast reach as well as to expand its licensing programs and slate of live event programming. TNA will also leverage UTA’s expertise in digital and social media to build monetization strategies for its digital media operations. TNA launched a cross-platform programming effort, #IMPACT 365, in October 2013 to provide viewers with ongoing storyline and original content 24/7 on its website and across YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and other platforms.

“UTA’s diverse range of capabilities make them an ideal partner to help TNA add tremendous visibility and value to the global IMPACT Wrestling brand,” said Dixie Carter. “We are confident that by working with the UTA team, we will not only expand our wrestling business in exciting ways, but we will also build new entertainment ventures and properties.”

TNA Entertainment, LLC is a privately held sports entertainment company based in Nashville, Tennessee, that specializes in events, products, numerous TV properties, merchandise and music, as well as, the management and promotion of professional wrestlers. The product is the world’s most innovative experience in professional wrestling and is broadcast in more than 120 countries. For more information, please visit

United Talent Agency is a premier global talent and literary agency representing many of the world's most widely-known figures in every current and emerging area of entertainment, including motion pictures, television, digital media, video games, books, music, theatre and live entertainment. The agency is also globally recognized in the areas of film finance, film packaging, corporate consulting, branding, licensing, endorsements and the representation of production talent. The agency operates the brand strategy firm UTA Brand Studio as well as New York and Los Angeles-based United Entertainment Group, a joint venture firm focusing on branded entertainment for Fortune 500 companies. UTA also owns leading broadcast and news agency N.S. Bienstock.

Deadline Hollywood article:

- Following the airing of this week's episode of Impact Wrestling, below is the updated lineup for Sunday's TNA Sacrifice pay-per-view:

TNA Championship Match
- Eric Young © vs. Magnus

Tables Match
- Bully Ray vs. Bobby Roode

"I Quit" Match
- Gunner vs. James Storm

Tag Team Match
- Kurt Angle & Willow vs. Ethan Carter III & Rockstar Spud

TNA Knockouts Championship Match
- Madison Rayne © vs. Angelina Love

X-Division Championship Match
Match 3 of Best of 3 Series
- Sanada © vs. Tigre Uno

"Committed" Match
Loser will be sent to a mental institution.
- Samuel Shaw vs. Mr. Anderson

3-on-2 Handicap Match for the TNA Tag Team Championship
- The BroMans © & Zema Ion vs. The Wolves

TNA Sacrifice will take place on Sunday from Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. We'll have complete live coverage here at

- This week's episode of Impact Wrestling, the go-home to TNA Sacrifice, drew an average viewing audience 1,088,000 viewers on Spike TV. The show just barely notched a spot in the top 100 cable shows for adults 25-54 for Thursday but was up an average of 78,000 viewers from the week prior. TV by the Numbers has more data at this link.

GFW News

- Former NASCAR driver and Fox Sports 1 broadcaster Hermie Sadler has accepted a position on the board of directors of Global Force Wrestling, Josh Stewart of Newsday is reporting.

Sadler's first mission as a member of the board is to help Global Force Wrestling gain some exposure by featuring the promotion as one of his car sponsors when he competes at the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown next Thursday at South Boston Speedway in Virginia.

“Just trying to get the word out about the brand, and let as many people know that there’s another wrestling promotion that’s coming,” Sadler said.

He noted that he would like to do what he did with TNA Wrestling where he picks a territory and runs some live events.

Click here for coverage by Newsday.

- Jeff Jarrett'sGlobal Force Wrestling has released their second Webisode subtitled #TheJourney. Jarrett's promotion will be working with AAA in Mexico. You can watch Jarrett's latest at this link.

- Jeff Jarrett and company continue to spend a lot of time scouting and negotiating with talent as things progress with Global Force Wrestling. On Tuesday, we received a list of 12 names that have been contacted for the promotion. Those names are as follows:

Christopher Daniels
Chris Sabin
Frankie Kazarian
Jay Lethal
John Morrison
Jesse Neal
Kevin Nash
Kurt Angle
Shane Helms
Shannon Moore
Sonjay Dutt

Before anyone starts to allege contract tampering, we cannot confirm how far along in the negotiation process any of these names are but we can confirm this is a list of talent that has been approached and/or contacted about being part of the Global Force Wrestling roster.

- We're told Toby Keith wasn't happy about some of the negative press Jeff and Karen Jarrett received last week for alleged incidents at independent shows. As one observer put it, true or not, perception is everything and Keith didn't like it.

Speaking of which, Keith is one of the main investors of Global Force Wrestling. He's been trying to get some of friends to invest as well and saw the negative press as a road block to attract them.

Right now, prospective GFW talent is being told the plan is to launch in November or December, although everyone believes the beginning of next year is a more realistic target.

For those that missed it earlier in the week, we have the first look at the GFW talent roster at this link.

- We've spent a lot of time this week going over preliminary details for Jeff and Karen Jarrett's upcoming Global Force Wrestling promotion.

On Tuesday, we gave the first look at the Global Force Wrestling talent roster, listing 12 names that have been approached about working for the company. You can read the names at this link. On Thursday, we detailed Toby Keith's role in the company and noted the potential start date. You can read those details at this link.

Finally, we're told Jarrett wants to tape TV at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. However, there is no availability right now and even TNA Wrestling is struggling to gets dates on a soundstage there.

As things currently stand, the plan is for Global Force Wrestling to tape television in Nashville. The plan will be similar to that of an upstart TNA with the hope of moving to Orlando at some point if they can work something out with Universal.


Was CM Punk on WWE Raw last Monday?

Several readers claim they saw CM Punk on the stage during the Ultimate Warrior tribute on last week's episode of Monday Night Raw. I've watched the tape and even posted a screen capture on Twitter. I would like to think that if Punk was backstage last week someone would have mentioned it. I've texted people that would have known and they're acting like I'm the biggest mark of all time. Anyways, here's the screen capture just for fun:

As for who the mystery person could have been, people have Tweeted Batista or even Seth Rollins, so just have fun with this. If Punk was there, I'm sure I'll find out soon enough. But it certainly seems unlikely. Also, to prevent the "clever ones" in the comment area, I'll show you some of the responses I've received so far... First, the experts:

Now for some light-heartedness...

With Batista taking time off after Extreme Rules, why build the Evolution stable now?

Batista is not listed on the official show listings for upcoming events after Extreme Rules on May 4, 2014. The assumption is he will be taking time off, possibly to help promote Guardians of the Galaxy, which is due out in August. If he does in fact take time off, I still will not be against the reforming of Evolution. Not only does it help from a post-Wrestlemania let down but it helps reestablish Batista as a HEEL. I have no idea why Vince McMahon was determined to bring Batista back as a babyface and even Batista himself told them it wouldn't work. Evolution vs. The Shield has a lot of people excited for next month's special event/pay-per-view, so it has accomplished its goal.

How long will The Shield stay together? Roman Reigns seems to be the first in line for a push, but do you - like most - think all three will be successful as singles wrestlers?

Vince McMahon and Triple H have gone back and forth on breaking up The Shield, with the indecisiveness playing out on television. Roman Reigns is still the first in line to be pushed first, however, I feel all three have very bright futures. I've mentioned numerous times how Reigns was placed with Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose so he could "learn on the job" and he's emerged as the favorite. Reigns has more than exceeded expectations and has performed better on the main roster than he did in developmental. This is the exact opposite of what we usually see as often times someone will impress in NXT, only to flop on the main roster.

Who currently employed in TNA Wrestling do you think would have the most success in WWE?

The TNA roster is getting thin with the company opting to spend less on talent, however, if I had to pick one worker it would be Bully Ray. Rumors are swirling about Kurt Angle getting another run in WWE but what about Bully Ray? He's reestablished himself as a singles performer and has shown he has what it takes to be a top guy. As for it actually happening, I doubt it as there are underlying issues between Ray and Triple H.

Why does WWE run in venues that draw 15,000+ instead of bigger arenas that can hold 20,000+?

I get this question a lot and honestly do not understand it. WWE runs in the largest and nicest indoor venues in the United States each week. If you're suggesting they do stadium shows each week, I would think that would be problematic on multiple levels. First, it'd be more expensive, carry a more difficult and lengthy setup process and they obviously cannot control the weather. Further, to assume WWE would be able to sellout large stadiums week in and week out would be a bit overly optimistic.

From the Ask WNW vault…

November 2012: Now that Linda McMahon’s political career seems to be over, can Vince move on to make the product more entertaining? - This was the one million… or should we say $100 million question that we knew would come up following Election Day. I honestly believe Vince McMahon is committed to producing a PG product because of the diverse opportunities it provides WWE in today’s marketplace. The only situation I can see the product reverting back to the days of the Attitude Era is if a viable competitor threatens them. Linda McMahon’s political career has certainly impacted WWE’s programming but her loss won’t produce the immediate creative overhaul some are hoping for.

Do you think in due time that Jeff Jarrett's Global Force Wrestling can be a viable competitor to WWE it can set off another pro wrestling boom?

There's no way to predict the future but I can tell you if Global Force Wrestling tries to compete with WWE out of the gate, they will fail. TNA Wrestling rose to prominence as a WWE alternative, where they were more of a "Ring of Honor type promotion" with higher production value. When they tried to be WWE, they stopped growing their audience. We can even accuse TNA just looks at what WWE is doing and tries to replicate it. That's not the best course of action. WWE is much bigger than any promotion in the world so Jeff Jarrett and company need to do all they can to present fans with something different. Also before I get accused of being a "typical TNA troll," I realize WWE replicates some of TNA's storylines. However, WWE is much bigger and because of that, they can get away with it.

Right now with my 6 month subscription to the WWE Network, I will be able to watch Summerslam and I don't see any reason to renew later in the year (will probably hold off until WM 31) Can we expect WWE to hold two really big, Wrestlemania-like shows per year, exactly 6 months apart in order to entice people to renew their subscriptions to the WWE Network?

People that signed up for WWE Network on the first day of availability will have access through SummerSlam 2014 before making the decision as to whether or not they'll renew. I am one of those people and currently have committed to the $9.99/month price until Sunday, August 24, 2014. As you can imagine, I will be renewing. Due to the fact fans will be able to opt-out after SummerSlam, I would expect the show to be particularly strong, however, WWE will aim to make all of their "special events" (formerly pay-per-views) as attractive as possible in order to entice people to signup. The "big four" shows (Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, SummerSlam and Survivor Series) are still the big four shows and WWE will continue to look to capitalize on all opportunities to monetize their network. From strictly a fan's perspective, I don't see why anyone that avidly follows WWE would not subscribe to WWE Network at $9.99/month. It's an incredible bargain for what you get and as long as they're at the price point, I will recommend it to friends and readers alike.

Any updates on Undertaker and his future?

Undertaker came out of Wrestlemania 30 in rough shape, suffering a severe concussion that saw him spend the night of the show in the hospital. It was my belief due to the streak ending and Undertaker suffering a serious injury, this year would be his last. However, I'm told that's not necessarily the case he could still opt to work again. As for an immediate update, there is none as he continues to recover.

With the number of subscribers to WWE Network not as high as expected, could you see it bring released in other countries sooner than the end of the year?

WWE announced on April 7, 2014 they had a total of 667,287 WWE Network subscribers, which I took as neither good nor bad. The numbers were simply middle of the road. It's my belief WWE would have liked to announce they had already topped their 1 million-subscriber threshold, however, they were still able to provide a number that was more than halfway there. They later followed-up with the claim that nearly 400,000 domestic homes ordered the pay-per-view in a traditional manner, which is both good and surprising. Considering these factors, there is no panic over the WWE Network. The company is pleased with how things are progressing and will look to stick to their phase one plan of international launch, which will take place in the fourth quarter of this year or in the first quarter of 2015.

From the Ask WNW vault…

October 2012: What is your take on CM Punk striking the fan? - There is no excuse to ever get physical with a fan. We could try and make an argument that the fan “deserved it” but Punk assaulted the wrong fan. The one pestering him walked away unscathed while the tape shows an incident onlooker got struck and his glasses broke. However, I’m not going to put the blame completely on Punk, as event staff and security are at fault for not containing the crowd around Punk. It’s their job to keep the workers safe when they go into the crowd and they failed at that on Raw. With that being said workers have a responsibility to remain composed no matter what.

I believe Cesaro and Paul Heyman being paired together is a great idea but it looks like Cesaro is being overshadowed by Heyman constantly talking about Lesnar. No focus on Cesaro at all. With Cesaro getting more over with the crowd, why are they trying to force him as a heel?

Here's the quandary WWE is in. They've booked Cesaro as a babyface since the beginning of the year but now want to pair him with the manager drawing nuclear heat over Brock Lesnar ending the streak. Heyman was given the task of working his magic on Raw but it still felt forced. Making matters worse, WWE is trying to blow off the underlying feud between Cesaro/Swagger, with the thinking being there has to be a payoff. I agree the idea of Cesaro and Heyman is genius but will this be a short-term bump in the road or a long-term problem that forces WWE's hand? That's a question only time will tell.

How do WWE superstars go about training in gyms? Obviously since they are only in the same city for a couple days they don't have memberships for each gym so does WWE organize where the superstars workout?

The first task for WWE workers is finding a gym when they get to a particular city. I can't give you the details for each worker/city because it depends on the situation, however, most gyms are willing to accommodate their situation. When John Cena was on WWE's loop of West Virginia last year, I received photos of him at the local YMCA, Applebee's, etc. The boys are on their own when they travel but are required to be at the building at a certain time so they can go over plans for the show.

Can we expect to see replays sooner than 30 days on the WWE Network?

Shows that do not originate on WWE Network carry a 30-day window due to existing TV deals, something I do not see changing in the immediate future. However, now that Elimination Chamber has been added, all pay-per-views will be available immediately after their conclusion since they will be WWE Network original programming. Speaking of which, we're still awaiting WWE's new domestic TV agreement, with an announcement expected at the end of this month/beginning of next.

In your opinion, what superstar deserved a push that never got one?

We could spend the rest of the day going over WWE's talent roster, measuring talent against success. The bottom-line is it comes down to opportunity and the right situation. Sometimes things work, other times they just don't. There are a lot of guys that have been given opportunities that I don't think have deserved them, while there are others that been cast into oblivion. When a worker is given an opportunity, it's ultimately up to how they handle it to see where it goes from there. Most of the time, a worker will break through if talented enough.

From the Ask WNW vault…

July 2013: It seems that Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler have been fan-favorites for quite a long time now, even during their respective runs as a heel. With Ziggler’s recent face turn and Bryan’s main event push, how much of an influence does the WWE Universe have backstage in determining the role of the the characters? - While Vince McMahon has the final say backstage, the fans ultimately have the final say. How they react, or don’t react, determines how workers are booked. Let me me explain. WWE planned to push Steve Austin under the very successful Austin 3:16 gimmick as a heel yet it was so over-the-top and entertaining, the audience turned him babyface. That’s an example of a success. An example of a failure would be that of Lord Tensai. WWE tried to bring him back as a top heel. After making some tweaks, such as the Tensai name and losing the manager, it didn’t work. They ended up paring him with Brodus Clay and he’s found a gimmick that works. The “monster heel” didn’t work but the mid-card comedy babyface did. The fans ultimately have the final say. People will say well what about John Cena? I can see the comments now, most fans want to see him turn heel. No, most IWC fans want to see Cena turn heel. John is still a top merchandise seller and his segments are highly rated. WWE is aware of the IWC hatred, which is why they promote that “no one draws a reaction quite like John Cena,” but ultimately the audience has the final say.

Do you think a heel John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan rivalry backed by a strong storyline would be very good for business as it will draw maximum heat for Cena?

Given the reactions to John Cena during his program with Bray Wyatt, the rumblings of turning Cena are coming back out. It's to the point where I'll believe it when I see it and I honestly do not see it. In addition to Cena moving merchandise and having highly rated segments, his charitable efforts provide WWE with a great public image. There are so many risk factors in turning Cena, it's not automatic that such a turn would work. There have been better situations to turn Cena in the past and while Vince gave them some consideration, he never actually pulled the trigger. I heard the talk on Monday night was to closely monitor Cena/Wyatt, in order to prevent a double turn.

Who do you think has given the greatest Hall of Fame speech so far?

I don't like to answer "greatest ever" questions because it's very hard to pick just one of anything in the pro wrestling business. My favorite WWE Hall of Fame speech this year was Jake Roberts. He truly spoke from the heart and it was one I'll always remember. Obviously with Warrior dying just days after his speech, his will always be remembered as well. I've been a loud critic of Mr. T's speech from this year because I felt he abused the honor by going too long in a bizarre rant/eulogy about his mother. Again, Mr. T fully deserved the honor in the celebrity wing but he was still a guest. A guest should never take the focus off the people that gave all they had for the business.

Are there any updates on the usual post Wrestlemania cuts we usually see this time of year?

WWE has shied away from going public with large number of releases. In fact, for much of last year, Triple H issued a "no fire edict," where they didn't cut anyone. This is basically still in tact as WWE lets contracts expire rather than terminating them early. The company has acknowledged the recent contract expirations of the original Sin Cara (Luis Ignascio) and Ezekiel Jackson. There are a number of workers that currently are not being used that are in jeopardy of not having their deals renewed. You can easily come up with these names but looking at some of the names that haven't been used in several months.

When music is featured in promos/videos on WWE TV, do the musicians get royalties?

Yes, WWE pays royalties to bands/artists for the music they use. This is also why music is edited off DVD releases, to prevent the company from cutting continuous royalty checks for DVD sales. WWE is legally obligated to compensate any artist whose music they use after they have received permission to use it.

From the Ask WNW vault…

April 2012: Do you think that there will ever be another company to compete with WWE? If so, which company, and why? - WWE has been operating for over ten years with basically no competition and they have put a stronghold on the market. Not only have they expanded into a global giant but Vince McMahon owns just about every tape library that anyone could ever care about. However, it isn’t impossible and could be done. In order to compete with WWE a company would need a national TV deal and plenty of money to spend on talent, production and of course marketing. Many people have hoped TNA would be that company with their national TV deal and significant financial backing but they haven’t even scratched the surface. They have had their opportunities but have not been able to create enough momentum to even sell out their major pay-per-views. I could spend the rest of this installment elaborating on why but there really isn’t enough time or space.

Why is it that Jeff Jarrett has so much influence in the wrestling community?

Pro wrestling is in Jeff Jarrett's blood. His father, Jerry, promoted shows for 50 years and one could say he's a chip off the old block. Jeff has been around the business his entire life and has forged many relationships that have allowed him to be successful. His ability to attract talent and investors to the business has been unlike very few and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to see what he can accomplish with Global Force Wrestling. However, I will caution that it's imperative Jeff look to create an alternative rather than trying to become WWE-light. As we discussed earlier in the week, TNA stopped growing their audience when they lost their core focus and attempted to recreate what was already being done in WWE. What made TNA different? High quality wrestling matches, the X Division, an impressive Knockouts division and subtle things such as alternative entrances for babyfaces and heels and the 6-sided ring. GFW must look to find their own subtleties that will cause people to take notice. The market is there as long as there is a realization that they are not going to compete with WWE anytime soon.

As for TNA Wrestling, I am very worried about the promotion's future. We haven't talked a lot about it but they're TV deal with Spike TV is coming up in October and their largest shareholder is Jeff Jarrett. What does it say to people after TNA has let all of their top talent go and their largest shareholder is starting another company?

Earlier this week, I read a feature dot com did on D-Von Dudley. Is this an indication he's returning to the company?

Anything is possible but I do not see WWE bringing Devon back at 41 (going on 42) for a main roster spot. I heard at one point there was talk of hiring him down at WWE NXT and perhaps that's still a possibility. One of the main things that has kept The Dudley Boyz out of WWE is issues between Triple H and Bully Ray. Bully, even at 42 (going on 43), is one guy I would like to see get "one last run" in singles in WWE. I don't think it's likely but it'd be great.

Where are the New Age Outlaws? We haven't seen them since Wrestlemania 30.

The New Age Outlaws wrapped up their return to the main roster at Wrestlemania 30. Both Billy Gunn and Road Dogg work backstage as producers and continue to fulfill those roles. Their job when they came back was to help the tag team division and they did an admirable job. While their run went longer than first intended, I do not believe there were ever plans for them to return as permanent additions to the main roster.

Adam Rose started as Leo Kruger. Right as it was catching on at NXT, he was changed to Adam Rose. The Adam Rose character caught on quick down there but I'm willing to bet with him being called to the main roster, in no more than two years, he will be repackaged as Leo Kruger. I'm taking bets rights now, what's your take?

I essentially had this same question in a recent installment of the WNW Premium Mailbag. WWE officials fell in love with the Adam Rose character based on the way it was received in NXT and have hot-shotted it to the main roster. The gimmick has found its critics as one observer told me it could be doomed from the get-go. This person pointed towards the concern of it being too similar to 3MB and in need to a "tall tale" to make it work. I'm willing to give it a chance as it is premature to judge something before it debuts.

From the Ask WNW vault…

April 2012: Did Edge and WWE come to terms on a new contract? - For those that missed it over the weekend, Edge is letting his WWE contract expire and his deal is complete after today. From what I understand they couldn’t agree on financial terms and Edge wanted to explore life outside of WWE. The departure wasn’t nasty and no bridges were burned so it’s likely the two parties could work together again in the future.

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