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The Rock Set To Return To WWE But Has He Wrestled His Last Match?, E! Announces New WWE Divas Series, Top ROH Star To WWE?, Rosa Mendes Sent Home, Title Change At Extreme Rules?, Jericho's Next WWE Date, Punk's Return Pushed Back, WM29 Buys

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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 20, 2013 to Friday, April 26, 2013 as well as all five Ask WNW segments from the week. Use this newsletter as your own personal tool to catch up on any of the news that you may have missed during the week. Below is a table of contents:

Note From Richard: For those that have asked, the Newsletter is organized with the news posted on Saturday at the top with the most recent stories at the bottom. We have it organized this way so you can read the news in the order in which it happened. Thanks for your support!

Table Of Contents
- WWE News
- TNA News
- Ask WNW

WWE News

- Wrestling News World reader Dustyn sent word that Mick Foley will be performing his standup comedy routine on May 29th in Edmonton and May 30th in Calgary. WWE will tape Smackdown in Edmonton that same week on May 28th.

- The official theme song for next month's WWE Extreme Rules is "Live It Up" by Airbourne.

- This week's episode of "Backstage Fallout" Smackdown is now online at this link.

- UFC President Dana White spoke about meeting Jim Ross earlier this week at the UFC on Fox 7 press conference on Saturday. White said Ross was a really good guy, was "cool," and it was the first time they have met. He said there wasn't anything to CM Punk appearing last weekend at the Ultimate Fighter Finale and he was there as a fan. White also said that Brock Lesnar approached him about signing a UFC contract after he had already returned to WWE, not the other way around. As we know, this was all a work and there was not much of a chance of Lesnar returning to UFC.

- WWE will tape both Raw and Smackdown in Manchester, England in November. The dates are as follows:

WWE Raw on November 11th from the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England
Smackdown on November 12th from the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England

Tickets for both shows go on sale April 26, 2013.

- The Rock will indeed have to undergo from his injuries suffered in the WWE title match against John Cena at Wrestlemania 29 a couple weeks ago. Rock wrote the following on Twitter:

The injury occurred early on in the main event bout against John Cena as it’s estimated The Rock worked 15 minutes in intense pain. He ended up suffering torn abdomen and adductor muscles that he tore off his pelvis as well as a hernia. Dr. Lee Kaplan of the University of Miami examined Rock on April 8, 2013 and it was believed he would be able to rehab the injuries without surgery. Rock immediately resumed training and began physical therapy last week. Time is of the essence as The Rock is scheduled to begin filming "Hercules" in less than six weeks in Budapest. - Zack Ryder posted a new video on his YouTube channel at this link on Saturday that has his fans clamoring for a heel turn. - Sheamus didn't work Friday's WWE Raw live event in Dublin as he was touring with Smackdown in Newcastle. The former WWE Champion Tweeted his apologies for not making it home:

As seen in the poster Tweeted by Sheamus, he's officially advertised for the November 7th WWE live event in Dublin. - WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley (wow, that has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?) played the "what if" game with Twitter followers this weekend. Foley Tweeted:

Foley was actually advised by doctors not to wrestle again and he's stated in previous media interviews he would risk long-term damage to his health if he worked again. - As previously reported here at, The Rock is scheduled to begin filming his role in the upcoming motion picture "Hercules" later next month in Budapest, Hungry. He has the starring role in Brett Ratner's film as he'll play Hercules. Filming is expected to take four and a half months, which will take him into the fall. The former WWE Champion has spent several months with a dialect coach, working on his accent for the role. He's currently dealing with injuries suffered at Wrestlemania 29 as we reported on Sunday he'll need to undergo surgery. - CM Punk and his real-life girlfriend Amy "Lita" Dumas were at UFC on Fox 7 Saturday from the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California. Punk made headlines last weekend when he and Dumas were at the Ultimate Fighter Finale in Las Vegas. Punk, who is friends with UFC's Chael Sonnen, attended the shows as a fan. - Peter Rosenberg interviewed The Rock to promote his upcoming reality series called "The Hero" on TNT. In it, he talked exclusively about the injury he suffered at Wrestlemania 29 and whether or not this was his last match. Rock said when he sat down with Vince McMahon to negotiate his return [to WWE], the plan was for three Wrestlemania's back-to-back-to-back (Wrestlemania 27, 28 & 29). He said in the end it didn't matter if he lost or did the job because there is no better way to give back to the business than to do the honors. He said Hulk Hogan did it for him but Hogan was on his way out. Rock said there were never plans for a "rubber match" against John Cena at Wrestlemania XXX in New Orleans. He confirmed the original plan was to work Brock Lesnar at the show next year. However, he said those plans changed when he was unable to work Raw the Monday after Wrestlemania in New Jersey. Rock said he talked to Vince, Triple H, Cena, CM Punk and others Sunday night after his match at the pay-per-view. He saw WWE's "ortho guys" and they knew he was injured. Rock said he let Vince know he wouldn't be able to make it to Raw. Later on Monday he received a call from one of WWE's writers, asking if he wanted to give a message or some type of injury update. This is when the Tweets were worked out to be included on the broadcast. You can listen to the interview in its entirety at this linkhere on the panic the next day was a result of communication breakdown. While Vince and top officials knew, writers and producers were surprised when they were told segments involving The Rock had to be re-written. Last Monday, we posted a detailed exclusive on Rock's relationship with WWE souring just days before the pay-per-view. Rock was originally in the plans for Extreme Rules next month but he informed company officials to finish up his current run at the pay-per-view. The company urged him to shoot an angle the following night to plant the seed for a program at Wrestlemania 30 against Brock Lesnar but we're told Rock didn't want to commit to it. - WWEofficially announced that John Cena will defend the WWE Championship against Ryback at Extreme Rules next month. Already announced for the show is Dolph Ziggler defending the World Heavyweight Championship in a triple threat match against Jack Swagger and Alberto Del Rio. WWE Extreme Rules 2013 will take place Sunday, May 19, 2013 from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri. We'll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at - According to Steve Austin's friend Paul Lazenby, Austin would entertain the "right offer" for one more match and he's in better shape then most might think. We'll explore this a little more in detail later. Speaking of Austin, he has a new blog entry available at this link. - E! is teaming up with WWE for a new reality series called Total Divas. The show, set for the network's summer lineup, explores life beyond the ring for seven WWE Divas who "must wrestle with the challenges of life in the spotlight, a grueling work and travel schedule, and the intense competition for prominence in a career that leaves little time for a personal life." The following Divas will be highlighted on the series - Brie and Nikki Bella, Naomi, Cameron, Natalya, Eva Marie (a developmental prospect, official Twitter account) and Jo-Jo Offerman (new from developmental). Below is the official press release issued here by WWE:

Los Angeles, CA - April 22, 2013 – Adored by millions of fans, the gorgeous women called WWE Divas have earned their places as sports entertainment icons through more than just their pretty faces and red hot figures. It takes a lot of work and guts to enter the competitive WWE family, where youth is golden. This summer, E! will take viewers into a whole new world of drama when “Total Divas” explores life beyond the ring for seven WWE Divas who must wrestle with the challenges of life in the spotlight, a grueling work and travel schedule, and the intense competition for prominence in a career that leaves little time for a personal life. "I’m thrilled for E! and WWE to join forces and pull back the curtain on one of pop culture’s most fascinating arenas," said Suzanne Kolb, President E! "With tens of millions of weekly fans at their disposal, these glamorous, entertaining and powerful women prove that behind the glitz of the spotlight, the locker room drama and the jockeying for position within the organization, they are all drawn to one thing: stardom.” “We are excited to work with E! on the launch of 'Total Divas,' a series that will showcase the professional and personal lives of WWE’s multi-talented female performers,” said Kevin Dunn, Executive Vice President, Television Production, WWE. “There is no series on the air that can rival the charm, beauty, larger than life personalities, drama and glamour that this show will deliver.” The series will focus on a select group of seven women from the ranks of the WWE Diva corps. Five are established Divas who are no strangers to the life, and two are newbies, girls who have entered into the Diva training program, but have yet to prove themselves worthy of the title. Throughout the series, we will see these women attempting to establish their own pecking order, as the new girls attempt to handle the jealousy and pressure that comes with working your way up the ladder for the most airtime, ring time and top celebrity status. With no two days alike and juggling their constant demands, the Divas definitely find time to celebrate their star status by traveling the world for their various charities, appearing in feature films, attending star-studded red carpets and glamorous photo shoots. Through it all, the everyday challenges of maintaining relationships with their boyfriends, as well as their families, in their over the top lifestyles start to take their toll on the girls. Appearing in the series are the Bella Twins, Brie and Nikki, a pair of seasoned veterans who have reached superstar status in the WWE ring and earned their places in the spotlight. The duo will work harder than ever to maintain this level of excellence, whether the newbies like it or not. Naomi and Cameron are two knockouts whose dance routines have made them stars on the tour. When conflict and success collide head on between these two, will both be left standing? They don't call them Divas for nothing! Natalya is a third-generation sports entertainment star who knows the ropes and knows them well. She's seen lots of doors open for other Divas, but often finds herself left behind when it comes to achieving superstar status. Can she continue to soldier on as a perennial "bridesmaid"? And tagging into the ring as the newest member of the Divas is Eva Marie, a passionate, sexy, extremely competitive force that wants stardom more than anyone else. Also joining in on the action is Jo--Jo Offerman, an entertainer at heart, young and energetic who will no doubt be a charismatic force in the ring. The show kicks off with an unprecedented look inside the most-anticipated WWE event of the year, WrestleMania®, marking the first time that any television series was granted exclusive behind-the-scenes access to WWE. Following the drama, the series heads to WWE’s flagship television program, Monday Night Raw®, with a match between the Bellas in one corner, and Naomi/Cameron (aka “The Funkadactyls”) in the other. They bring on the drama from the very start, and alliances are quickly formed on the road as the new girls choose sides. And with some WWE Superstars vying for the romantic attention of the girls, the drama comes to a boil quickly, and shows no sign of slowing down. Total Divas is produced by WWE and Bunim-Murray Productions. Jon Murray, Gil Goldshein, Jeff Jenkins and Russell Jay are Executive Producers for Bunim-Murray Productions.

- WWE announced the appointment of Michael Pine as Senior Vice President of Global Sales & Partnership Marketing on Monday. Below is the official press release:

STAMFORD, Conn., April 22, 2013 – WWE (NYSE: WWE) today announced the appointment of Michael Pine as Senior Vice President of Global Sales & Partnership Marketing. Pine, who previously held senior level sales positions at Turner Broadcasting, UFC, World Triathlon Corporation, and most recently IMG, will report directly to WWE Chief Marketing Officer, Michelle D. Wilson. As head of WWE’s Global Sales & Partnership Marketing division, Pine will be a key member of the company’s senior management team. He will be responsible for providing strategic vision for WWE’s sales operation and ensuring revenue growth is aligned with company objectives and values. Pine brings 15 years of experience in strategic sales and marketing across a variety of major sports properties and brands. Prior to joining WWE, Pine was IMG’s Vice President of National Sales for the company's College Division. In this role, he was responsible for the daily development of national sales for IMG’s College and NCAA corporate champions, and their partner programs with Turner and CBS business units. He managed IMG College’s two largest national corporate partnerships, UPS and MillerCoors, accounts which exceeded $100 million. Formerly, he held the position of Global Chief Sales Officer at Ironman - World Triathlon Corporation, where he oversaw all global sales, marketing, licensing, PR and digital media sales business verticals. While at UFC, Pine oversaw and executed advertising, sponsorship, digital media and marketing operations. He secured key deals with Bud Light, Bacardi Cazadores, Harley-Davidson and Burger King, to name a few. Pine was a U.S. Air Force Captain and served from 1993 – 1999. He earned his M.B.A. from Golden Gate University in San Francisco, California and his undergraduate degree in Behavioral Sciences from the U.S. Air Force Academy.

- WWE has announced a November 9th live event from the LG Arena in Birmingham, England. - WWE introduced two new Divas in their press release for the upcoming E! reality series called "Total Divas." The Divas are as follows: Eva Maria - Real name Natalia Eva Marie, who is described on Twitter as a 2012 Powertec Fashion Model Winner, Entrepreneur, Actress, Model all american athlete (soccer), Mexican/Italian and SF GIANTS FANATIC. She is on Instagram at this link where we have compiled the following photos of her:

Jo-Jo Offerman - Real name Joseann Alexie Offerman, who has a background in singing and dancing. She is of Dominican descent. She is on Instagram at this link where we have compiled the following photos of her:

- I spoke with Davey Richards regarding his contract status and can confirm that he is under contract with Ring of Honor until September 2013. He's "very happy" being employed there but WWE is obviously an opportunity he would be interested in. However, any reports indicating that he has signed are unfounded. - The Miz spoke with The UK Sun about how the European crowds are always the rowdiest. You can read his comments at this link. - WWE Raw will take place from the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn, New York on July 15, 2013. This is the first episode of Raw in the building as it played host to WWE TLC 2012 last year. - WWE will host a pay-per-view from the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh next year, however, the exact event is unknown. - The Rock is featured in a new video for TNT's coverage of the 2013 NBA Playoffs. Rock is hosting an upcoming reality series on TNT this summer called "The Hero." You can watch the video at this link. - Jim Ross has a new blog entry online where he touched on The Rock's comments of Wrestlemania 29 possibly being his final match. Below is an excerpt:

Has the Rock, @TheRock, wrestled his last match due to injury? Seems as if Rock has left that matter open for speculation depending on the results of the surgery and his non stop schedule, etc. However, knowing Dwayne as I do, I would think that he would want to go out differently and be remembered for one, last major bout. If I had to make a wager, I'd say we haven't seen the last of @TheRock. The one wild card may be his movie partners who may not want to risk their franchise player stepping back in the ring. That's all TBD. I would speculate that if Dwayne can't do WM30 for any reason that he may be closer to done than many want to see.

JR also comments on the shape of Steve Austin, the new WWE Divas reality show and more. Click here to read his latest in its entirety. - In a story we've been trying to gather more details on, Rosa Mendes has been sent home from WWE's European tour. Messages left with WWE in attempt for comment were not immediately returned. The gist of the story is that Rosa had displayed outlandish behavior throughout the trip and it was time for her to return home for her own well-being. Wrestle Zone, who first broke the story, claimed the behavior had to do with being intoxicated throughout the entire loop thus far. Rosa has had a limited role on shows, appearing at Smackdown live events with Primo and Epico. Begin update - April 22, 2013 at 4:00 PM EST The company has issued the following statement regarding Rosa Mendes:

"Milena Roucka (Rosa Mendes) left the international tour for personal reasons."

End update There was a similar story involving Mendes, whose real name is Milena Roucka, that happened last August. It was then she was traveling from her home in Las Vegas, Nevada to San Antonio, Texas for WWE Raw when she was found distraught in the women's restroom at the San Antonio International Airport. She told police her fiancé at the time, former WWE talent,Jackson Andrews (real name Stephen Andrew Slocum),was a habitual woman beater and “hit her several times at their shared residence in Las Vegas” prior to her flight. Mendes was observed at the airport as to being very intoxicated, stumbling and having a hard time walking. She was taken from the public women’s restroom to a private security room where police filed the battery report and took pictures. Mendes was then transported from the airport to a local hotel. Mendes has since moved onto an apparent relationship with Bijan "RythmiK" Williams according to this photo on her Twitter account. She has not Tweeted since leaving with WWE for the European tour. - Rosa Mendes provided the following explanation for leaving WWE's current international tour on Twitter:

WWE issued a statement regarding Mendes, saying she "left the international tour for personal reasons." We have more details online at this link. - Last week's Smackdown did an average viewing audience of 2,590,000 viewers on SyFy. The show ended up doing a 1.92 cable rating. - Brie and Nikki Bella were in New York City Monday for the E! Upfront party. This is why they weren't featured on this week's episode of WWE Raw. They Tweeted the following photo with Ryan Lochte along with a "message" for AJ Lee:

The Bella Twins were representing WWE as the E! network has ordered a new reality series that highlights WWE Divas called "Total Divas." Daniel Bryan Tweeted that he'll be appearing on the show:

- The Shield, Fandango and Summer Rae pulled double duty on Monday as they worked the Smackdown live event in Cardiff, Wales (results here) before flying via helicopter to WWE Raw in London, England. As was seen on this week's Raw, WWE filmed the arrival of The Shield for inclusion on the broadcast. While The Shield has been working in the main event of Smackdown live events, they worked first followed by Fandango so they would be able to make it to London for Raw. - This week's episode of "Backstage Fallout" Raw is now online at this link. Backstage news from WWE Raw in London... - There was talk of putting the WWE Divas Championship on AJ Lee. While it hasn't been officially announced, the title match is expected to take place at next month's Extreme Rules pay-per-view. One of the supporters of strapping AJ stated it would be of value for both her and Dolph Ziggler to hold singles titles. - It was Kevin Dunn's idea to include footage from The Shield's helicopter landing in London. - While Undertaker is known for not being very verbal backstage unless it directly involves him, he was vocal after his match with The Shield. We're told he praised the trio "in front of everyone" and put over Daniel Bryan for his work. One observer said Undertaker thought they all did "great." - William Regal was selected as the opponent of Fandango to do the best possible job at trying to keep Fandango heel with the European audience. WWE was expecting a pop, so they fought fire with fire. - Following this week's episode of WWE Raw, below is the updated lineup for Extreme Rules: WWE Championship Match - John Cena © vs. Ryback Triple Threat Match for the World Heavyweight Championship - Dolph Ziggler © vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger Steel Cage Match - Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar WWE Extreme Rules will take place Sunday, May 19, 2013 from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri. - Following his appearance on this week's episode of WWE Raw, Chris Jericho will re-join his band Fozzy on their European tour. Jericho is set to return to WWE at a Raw live event on May 11th from the Ford Arena in Beaumont, Texas. Jericho wrote the following on Twitter:

- Summer Rae made her WWE Raw debut on this week's episode as Fandango's dancer. Summer has been appearing with Fandango since early last month when she appeared with him at the Wrestlemania 29 press conference. You can view her developmental profile at this link. - The Rock underwent successful surgery on Tuesday to repair three hernial tears. Rock Tweeted:

- When one thinks of Steve Austin the word yoga probably doesn't come to mind but Diamond Dallas Page told The Temple News that his good friend Stone Cold has agreed to give it a try for a month while filming "Redneck Island."

“One of my very good buddies, Stone Cold Steve Austin, has agreed to do it for a month while filming ‘Redneck Island,’” Page said. “His Hollywood stunt man swears by DDP Yoga. Steve lifts weights and does cardio for an hour a day, five days a week. I told him you only need to do my workout 20 minutes a day for three days a week and it will replace your cardio. He had to ask others for confirmation, even though the son of a gun lived with me.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety. - We reported here on that Shawn Michaels has been added to upcoming WWE live events in May. He revealed on Twitter that he'll be appearing with The New Age Outlaws. The following is from the official Twitter account of Shawn Michaels:

- John Cena will team with Ryback on next week's episode of WWE Raw to face The Shield. The show will take place from the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. We'll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at - The Rock's mother, Ata Johnson, told Arda Ocal that her son will "always come back to wrestling." You can watch her comments at this link. Of course this interview was conducted a couple weeks ago at the Cauliflower Alley Club Reunion in Las Vegas before it was known he needed surgery. - Mick Foley paid tribute to Paul Bearer at an indy show at the Cauliflower Alley Club Reunion in Las Vegas a couple weeks ago. You can watch it at this link. - This week's episode of WWE Raw did an average viewing audience of 4,400,000 viewers on the USA Network. Below is the by hour breakdown: Hour one - 4,190,000 viewers Hour two - 4,650,000 viewers Hour three - 4,360,000 viewers The show ended up with a 3.14 cable rating. - E! Online covered the news of The Rock's successful hernia operation. Their piece notes the surgery caused Rock to miss the Pain & Gain premiere in Los Angeles where director Michael Bay issued his well-wishes and joked from the red carpet.

"Dwayne's hurt tonight," Bay told E! News on the red carpet. "He was pushing it too hard. [ He] needs to grow up and stop wrestling 300-pound men."

- There has been a development in CM Punk's return to WWE following the "walk out" angle on Raw a couple of weeks ago. Originally scheduled for next week's Raw in Columbus, Ohio, dot com has pulled Punk from all upcoming shows. His new return date is the May 27th episode of WWE Raw from the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. While the feeling was Punk was off Extreme Rules, the possibility was still there with him being advertised for shows prior to the pay-per-view. With him now removed from the schedule, it appears he's certainly off next month's event. Punk has been Tweeting photos from various baseball parks across the current during his time off. You can follow on Punk on Twitter @CMPunk. Make sure to follow us at @wnwnews. - Which WWE Superstars are the worst at keeping secrets? Who should be inducted into the 2014 WWE Hall of Fame? Your questions answered in this week's episode of WWE Inbox at this link. - WWE posted a brief clip of Dolph Ziggler promoting "Pain and Gain" starring Mark Walberg and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson at this link. - Jim Ross posted his thoughts about this week's WWE Raw from London, England in a new blog posted on his official website at this link. In it, he says he hopes to work with WWE until he dies and he has no intentions of retiring. - The Rock used Twitter to poke fun at the publications that took director Michael Bay's quote about him out of context. Rock Tweeted the following on Wednesday:

As we noted here on, Bay wished Johnson well on the red carpet of the "Pain and Gain" premiere on Tuesday night and had a little fun at his expense. One of the themes throughout the night was constant jokes about Rock's injuries. Rock had to miss the premiere in Los Angeles as he recovers from emergency hernial surgery. 5:05 PM EDT Update - Michael Bay actually had to issue a statement (here on his official website) because of wrestling fans taking his joke seriously. Below is his statement in its entirety:

Wrestling fans, it was a joke said on Entertainment Tonight–with a laugh. You can see the clip for yourselves. The most important person to see the on air joke was Dwayne. I love seeing The Rock wrestle. I hope he wrestles 10 more years. I joked on air because Dwayne was not at our LA premiere due to his injury. Michael

End update - As previously noted here on, director Michael Bay had some fun at The Rock's expense by jokingly saying the former WWE Champion needs to "grow up" and stop wrestling while on the red carpet at the premiere for "Pain and Gain" in Los Angeles on Tuesday night. Rock had to miss the premiere due to emergency hernial surgery related to injuries suffered at Wrestlemania 29. Video of Michael's comments were featured on Entertainment Tonight and can be seen at this link. Some publications unfairly took the comments out of context, playing the comments like Bay made a snide comment about The Rock or pro wrestling in general. Rock made reference to the comments on Twitter and Michael Bay issued a statement. - WWE announced on Thursday that Wrestlemania 29 was their highest-grossing "Wrestlemania" of all-time. The event earned $72 million, with that figure including ticket sales and pay-per-view buys. Last year's Wrestlemania XXVIII did $67 million in Miami. Early buy rate estimates have the show at 1.2 million, which is less than the reported 1.3 million sold for Wrestlemania XXVIII last year but that number could increased as total purchases are still being tabulated. Variety has more at this link. Below is the official press release from WWE:

STAMFORD, Conn., April 25, 2013 – WWE® (NYSE:WWE) today announced that WrestleMania 29, held Sunday, April 7 at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, grossed an excess of $72 million, the highest grossing event in WWE history. In addition, WrestleMania 29 will once again exceed 1 million global pay-per-view buys and attracted a sold out crowd of 80,676 fans from all 50 states and 34 countries at MetLife Stadium. New Orleans, Louisiana will be the site of next year’s WrestleMania, which will take place Sunday, April 6, 2014 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Ticket information will be announced later this year.

- Cody Rhodes vs. Morgan Freeman? It's a match Rhodes would welcome, according to comments made to Sowetan Live. So why Freeman?

Cody explained, "because I feel like I could win because he's old; although I'm sure he's tough. But then we could sell it and he could narrate the match, like he narrates everything. He could explain everything because he's such a great storyteller he could tell the story of me beating him. That would be wonderful."

- USA Today interviewed The Rock and Mark Wahlberg about their roles in "Pain & Gain." In it, they talked about bulking up for their roles and maintaining it for continuity. You can check it out at this link. - There is no longer any question within WWE about the legitimacy of The Rock's injury but there remains a lot of uneasiness because of him being unwilling to commit to a match at Wrestlemania XXX next year. We're told The Rock has promotional commitments with WWE this fall for the new WWE 2K14 video game, which is part of his deal to be on the cover. This could lead to an awkward situation where he briefly returns to promote the game but never has a match. Some feel that if Rock doesn't come back to work Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania XXX that this could finally be the catalyst that brings Steve Austin back to WWE for one more match. Triple H has been trying to make a name for himself by inking "impossible" deals, with obviously his biggest to date being Bruno Sammartino agreeing to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. We're told Hunter has already tried to "no sell" the departure of Rock by commenting internally that if Rock doesn't come back, he'll finally get a deal done with Austin and it would be just as big, if not bigger. One observer commented this could be a more than desirable backup plan given the fact Rock has worked three Wrestlemania's in a row and "one last match" for Steve Austin would be a huge spectacle. - The Rock used Twitter on Thursday to thank Steve Austin and Kevin Nash for their kind words regarding his latest injury:

- Wade Barrett is featured in the latest "Behind the Match," when he regained the WWE Intercontinental Championship from The Miz on WWE Raw. You can watch it at this link. - WWE taped a new episode of WWE Hangout with Howard Finkel and Tyson Kidd on Thursday. This is something they did at Wrestlemania Axxess and the new episode is online at this link - Ariel Helwani interviewed Chael Sonnen about his fight at UFC 159 on Saturday. Chael said CM Punk will be in the locker room prior to the fight but he doesn't believe he'll be part of the walk-out, however, he is welcome to. Sonnen said Dana White gave Punk front-row seats, where he'll be sitting at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. You can watch the interview at this link. - Jerry Lawler was in attendance at Thursday night's Los Angles Clippers at Memphis Grizzlies NBA Playoff game. Lawler performed a body slam on a fan that was wearing a Clippers jersey. Video of the spot is now online at this link. Remember when Lawler gave a fan a piledriver around this time last year? You can check out our coverage at this link. - John Cena and Daniel Bryan celebrated Kane's birthday with him at Friday's WWE Raw show in Russia. Below is a Tweet from Justin Roberts with a photo:

We heard many workers were putting over the Russian crowd. - This week's episode of The JBL & Cole Show is online at this link. - E! Online's public relations department Tweeted the following photo of The Bella Twins at the E! Upfront party on Monday in New York City:

- The Rock did a Q&A on Twitter Friday evening. In it, he continued with the rhetoric that his match at Wrestlemania 29 could have been his last, talked about his future schedule and confirmed he was asked to be in Transformers. The following is from Twitter:

TNA News

- TNA Wrestling sent out the following regarding tickets for their 2014 tour of the United Kingdom:

TNA IMPACT WRESTLING UK TOUR TICKETS ON SALE FROM MAY 3 • Fans cans experience TNA live from just £22.50, plus booking fee • Live events coming to Glasgow, Manchester, London and Birmingham • TNA President Dixie Carter to launch UK Tour with special fan events (info below) TNA IMPACT WRESTLING announced that tickets for the 2014 MAXIMUM IMPACT VI Tour go on sale from Friday May 3 at 9am. UK TOUR PREVIEW VIDEO: CLICK HERE TO WATCH ON YOUTUBE TNA returns to Britain in January/February 2014 with shows in Glasgow (Jan 30), Manchester (Jan 31), London (Feb 1) and Birmingham (Feb 2). The Glasgow event will see TNA IMPACT WRESTLING become the first ever company to put on a wrestling show at the gorgeous new Hydro arena. Fans can be part of the action, and experience the UK’s most popular wrestling company live, from just £22.50, plus booking fee. Tickets are available via the TNA UK Facebook page, direct from the tour venues. Full details of the UK events are: Thursday 30 January 2014Glasgow Hydro0844 811 0051Friday 31 January 2014Manchester Arena0844 847 8000Saturday 01 February 2014London Wembley Arena0844 815 0815Sunday 02 February 2014Birmingham NIA0844 338 8000 TNA IMPACT WRESTLING is broadcast on Challenge in the UK and Ireland every Sunday night at 9pm, as well as on Spike TV in the USA and more than 120 other countries. TNA President Dixie Carter will be coming to Britain from April 30 – May 2 to host huge fan events in London and Glasgow to launch the MAXIMUM IMPACT VI Tour. Carter said: “TNA live is something everyone must experience and we’re working hard to make our 2014 Tour extra special for both our amazing long-term fans in the UK and those who will be coming to the arenas to experience a TNA live event for the vey first time.” The TNA UK Tour launch also includes an exclusive competition with Challenge, where one lucky fan can win a trip for two to Boston to experience TNA Slammiversary live. More details on the fan events and competition can be found at TNA PRESIDENT DIXIE CARTER IN THE UK TNA President Dixie Carter is coming to the UK to launch the TNA MAXIMUM IMPACT VI Tour. Dixie will be hosting a huge TNA Tour Launch Party in London on the evening of Tuesday April 30. Taking place at a secret location in the heart of the city centre, between 7.30-10pm, the only way fans can attend is to win tickets. Tickets can be won via the TNA Wrestling UK Facebook page – – during the next week. The party is open to over 18s only. Dixie will also be holding a very special meet & greet and Q&A with fans in Glasgow on Thursday May 2 at 5.30pm. This event will take place at The Clyde Auditorium (part of the SECC complex), Exhibition Way, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, G3 8YW. It will be FREE and open to EVERYONE. No tickets will be required and all ages are welcome. Each fan attending the London or Glasgow events will be given an exclusive ‘Dixie Carter MAXIMUM IMPACT VI Tour’ signing card, while stocks last.

- Jay Lethal was contacted by TNA Wrestling to work their X-Travaganza pay-per-view taping back in January but had to decline due to his contract with Ring of Honor. The show was TNA's first "One Night Only" pay-per-view effort and was on pay-per-view earlier this month. -TNA Wrestling is running a competition with Challenge TV to send a fan to Slammiversary in Boston. More details - including how to enter - are available at this link. - Rob Terry discussed his future in Impact Wrestling in a new TNA ReACTION clip at this link. - Is Robbie E smarter than a TNA announcer? Check out the latest episode of "The List" with SoCal Val at this link. - Bobby Roode spoke with SLAM! Wrestling where he talked about his contract issues that overshadowed TNA Lockdown weekend. Below are the highlights from the piece: Contract situation with TNA Wrestling:

"Honestly with the TNA situation, a lot of it had to do with the visa paperwork and stuff like that, being a Canadian and having to come and work in the United States," Roode told SLAM! Wrestling. "Everything just fell into place very quickly. It wasn't like I was sitting at home for months at a time, stewing and looking for different things to do." "I was trying to concentrate on staying here and looking towards my future, and getting to where I was going to be," he said. "TNA wanted me here bad enough that we were able to work something out quickly. I'm happy for it."

Leaving the Impact Zone:

"It's obviously not as convenient," Roode said. "Let's face it, for eight years, we were going down to Orlando. We were going to the same hotel, going to the same areas. You became quite familiar with the area. You didn't have a problem getting in or out. You knew exactly how much time you needed to get to the airport and all that stuff. Now, it's a little different that way." "Honestly, if I'm getting on an airplane, whether I'm flying to Florida, or flying to Texas, or flying to wherever, it really doesn't matter. It's really nice to be able to come to different places and do our television show in front of real wrestling fans, fans that want to be there, and bought a ticket. In Orlando, a lot of times in the Impact Zone, it was a great home for us, but a lot of times, they were just park people, and families that just came because we were one of the attractions in the park. So you didn't always get that excitement sometimes during the show. Now it's different. We look forward to that. The travel is a little more, but it's a good price to pay."

Click here to read the piece in its entirety. - Newsday has a new piece where Jeff Hardy is interviewed by kids. In it, Jeff admits to being limited in WWE and says in TNA he can express his spirit more. You can watch the video at this link. - Prior to the May 4th TNA live event from the Baton Rouge River Center in Baton Rouge, LA there will be a Gut Check seminar that afternoon from 2-4 PM. Click here and here for more details. - Rogers Cable in Canada plans to move Spike TV to their classic tier, meaning customers that want to keep the channel will have to pay an additional $6.05 per month plus tax. This has caused TNA to issue a template to talent to protest on Twitter. Spike TV of course is the home of Impact Wrestling. Below is a look at Tweets from TNA talent:

- Welcome everyone to The Point of Impact! I usually do this for, but this show has TNA Wrestling star Christopher Daniels as a special guest!

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- The Tampa Tribune covered TNA Wrestling's press conference at Hogan's Beach restaurant on Tuesday (footage here).

The publication noted that University of South Florida football coach Willie Taggart (pictured above with Magnus and Hogan) did his best Hulk impression after receiving an honorary championship belt.

The day didn't go without controversy as security had to remove a man that began shouting questions to Hogan and Taggart, making references to local radio host Mike “Cowhead” Calta.

“Coach, have you seen his sex tape,” the man shouted repeatedly before security forced him to leave.

Click here for coverage by

- Kurt Angle was on The Fan Morning Show in-studio on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh on Wednesday morning to promote this week's Impact Wrestling tapings in Indiana, Pennsylvania.

In the interview, the 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist claimed due to some "issues with the other company," TNA really couldn't book any venues in Pittsburgh. He said the Kovalchick Convention [in Indiana, PA] is the perfect place for them to be and if it goes well, they'll be back in the next six months and do it all over again.

Angle said Impact on the road has been "very successful" and TNA is "on the road for good."

Regarding his health, he said he's "100 percent healthy" and it's the first time his "felt this way" in years.

Click here to listen to the interview in its entirety.

- Dixie Carter is scheduled to host a TNA Tour Launch Party in London, England next Tuesday, April 30. The only way fans can attend is to win tickets on the TNA Wrestling UK Facebook page located at this link. You must be 18 or above to attend. Click here for more information.

- Speaking of Dixie, she'll be holding a meet and greet in addition to a Q&A with fans in Glasgow on Thursday May 2 at 5.30pm. The event will take place at The Clyde Auditorium (part of the SECC complex), Exhibition Way, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, G3 8YW. The event is free and open to the general public.

- TNA Wrestling has hired Rafael Morffi to help with touring and live events. Morffi, was formerly employed by WWE but was released last fall.

He'll help fill the void left by the departures of Craig Jenkins and Michael Krewson. Jenkins was TNA's Director of Touring while Krewson was the live events coordinator.

Bischoff welcomed Morffi with the following post on Twitter:

Morffi is scheduled to start with the company at Thursday's Impact Wrestling tapings in Indiana, Pennsylvania.

- Mark Madden interviewed Kurt Angle to promote this week's Impact Wrestling tapings in Indiana, Pennsylvania.

Angle opened by reaffirming that taping from the Impact Zone "got stale" with "only about 1000 people" attending with mostly the same people with the exception of a few international tourists from time-to-time.

Madden said he watches Impact every week and what he wants is more Kurt Angle and that he should be the one battling Aces and Eights, not the guy that can hardly walk (referencing Hulk Hogan). Angle said he's gone back and forth with creative and he was the staple of TNA for the last five years, up until the last year when they've been trying to use younger talent.

Madden interjected, "like Hogan" and Angle responded by saying, "that's a touchy subject." Kurt said he "loves Terry" but it is about younger talent and having them work people such as himself in the main event. He said hopefully in the future they'll start doing that more often.

Angle said his demise in TNA was when he was unable to continue his journey towards another Olympic run in 2012. He said they wrote him off to train but didn't have a lot for him when he came back. Angle said they told him they were going to have plans for him and start writing him back in.

He went on to talk about his health, including getting Novocaine injections in his neck during his Olympic gold medal run in 1996. He talked about Vince McMahon putting him on and letting him go out on how own.

Angle said he is happy in TNA and they treat him well. He just wants to retire with a bang and hopes within the next three years they can have a pay-per-view that's somewhat close to Wrestlemania because everyone wants to retire at Wrestlemania. However, Angle reiterated his desire to stay with TNA Wrestling.

Madden told Angle he wanted him to return to WWE so he could stretch Brock Lesnar one more time. Angle discussed his shoot match with Lesnar and discussed his brief fight scene in "Pain & Gain" with The Rock.

You can listen to the interview at this link.

- Velvet Sky is features as Maxim's "Today's Girl." You can view a photo below:

- Fans will be able to meet Mickie James at her album release party for "Somebody's Gonna Pay" on Tuesday, May 7, 2013. The party will take place at Sharky's Bar & Billiards in Glen Allen, Virginia. Doors open at 7:30. All ages are welcome and there is no cover charge. Click here for info on the venue.

- TNA launched their new Knockouts website at

- Chris Sabin is scheduled to work this week's Impact Wrestling tapings as his return match will be taped for the May 2nd episode. He's advertised to work a X Division contender match. Sabin hasn't worked since suffering a torn ACL in his left knee on the June 14, 2012 episode of Impact Wrestling.

- Hulk Hogan was granted a temporary restraining order against Gawker relating to his sex tape on Wednesday. As a result, they'll have to pull the 1-minute teaser video from its networks and deliver all versions of the sex tape to Hogan's legal representation.

Hogan's initial suit against Gawker failed as Florida federal Judge James Whittemore denied an injunction on grounds that what Gawker had published was newsworthy and that the Supreme Court had recognized that even minimal interference with the First Amendment freedom of the press causes an irreparable injury.

Hogan dropped the federal lawsuit and re-filed in state court.

The Hollywood Reporter has the full story at this link.

- issued a statement in response to Hulk Hogan getting a temporary restraining order against them, causing the website to remove the 1-minute teaser video of the Hogan sex tape from its networks. The website says while they will comply by removing the video, they will not remove the 1,400-word narrative of the video written by former Gawker editor A.J. Daulerio and 466 user-submitted comments.

Gawker claims the narrative is protected under free speech and they will defend that decision. You can read their statement in its entirety at this link.

- TNA posted their awesome Chris Sabin return vignette on YouTube at this link. Sabin made his return to the ring in a match that will air on the May 2nd episode of Impact Wrestling. We have full taping results at this link.

- This week's episode of Impact Wrestling, up against stiff competition with the 2013 NFL Draft and the NBA Playoffs, did an average viewing audience of 1,226,000 viewers on Spike TV. The show ended up doing a 0.99 cable rating. The NFL Draft on ESPN did an average viewing audience of 6,200,000 viewers and 1,520,000 viewers on the NFL Network.


With Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal working as babyfaces on the European tour does this mean that 3MB will turn face in the near future or was this just a way to fill in spots on the show?

For those unaware, Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal have teamed with Santino Marella and Ted DiBiase on Smackdown live events overseas to face The Prime Time Players and Epico & Primo. I don't see this as a face turn for 3MB as much as I see it as WWE trying to bank off the cheap pops generated from the overseas fans regarding Drew McIntyre. The match has been booked as comedy and shouldn't be taken too seriously.

Over the years I have heard the statement that a worker or a segment has gotten "X-Pac heat." I know what heat is defined as, but I was wondering if you knew where this specific term originated and exactly means?

The term "X-Pac heat" seems to indicate the worker receives heat because they aren't a good in-ring worker, not because they are a heel character. The problem is that it is inaccurate as X-Pac was a good worker throughout his career. A better word for it would be "Great Khali heat" or who knows, maybe "Ryback heat."

Update from WNW's Jesse Sherwood:X-Pac heat originated when the fans got so tired of him that regardless of whether he was a face or heel, he'd get booed out of the building. It's a nuclear heat that fans use to show their hatred of a character.

Part-time talent in WWE is obviously a huge draw for the company but PPVs that don't have them can sometimes sell horribly, what if WWE were to have a large amount of part-time talent that they could book them so that they could have at least one part-timer on a PPV. Is this something that WWE has thought about? Could you see it happening? And could you see it being successful?

I am all for using the best talent available that will draw the most. It shouldn't be forced nor should it be mandated that WWE must utilize a part-time worker. One of the reasons why part-time workers are so successful is they help breakup monotony and provide something different. The problem with this is, once they are utilized a few times, they fall back in just like anyone else. One could make an argument The Rock working a WWE match is no longer a "big deal" because he's worked three just this year. It requires strategic booking to keep part-time workers hot and the worst thing WWE could do would be to over-utilize them by the rigid mandate you have suggested.

You've gone on record saying that you're a fan of having JBL on commentary but I'd like to state what myself and others think on his work and hear your opinion on it. Though he does have talent at commentating, he's very aggressive with his opinion and does a lot of shouting, making his partners at times uncomfortable, there were separate occasions where Josh Mathews and Jim Ross were noticeably silent on commentary because of JBL yelling at them. I feel he prevents other commentators from doing their jobs. Your thoughts?

"Everybody loves freedom of speech until someone uses it!" or when talking about The Shield, "These guys wrestle like they're in someone else's body." You can't just come up with quotes like this or write them on a script. John Layfield is one of the best at what he does and just because you don't agree with him (my political views are actually quite different), doesn't mean he isn't good. You speak of people being uncomfortable like it's a bad thing. When JBL plays the role of an antagonist, he does it brilliantly. I love the banter he adds to announce and feel it brings a compelling element to broadcasts.

What is the status of Christian's return?

I've refrained from questions surrounding Christian because I don't have anything new. We were told in February that Christian was medically cleared to compete. He was part of Wrestlemania Axxess in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Apparently it's a situation where WWE is trying to find the right storyline for him. Other than that, we have nothing new.

Is the WWE Performance Center a copy of WCW's Power Plant?

The WWE Performance Center is the WCW Power Plant on steroids. Having a developmental facility is nothing new and something that has been done for decades. What is new is how impressive WWE's new facility will be. The WWE Performance Center, located in Orlando, Florida, is 26,000-square-feet and will feature seven wrestling rings in addition to its own strength-and-conditioning and physical-therapy areas. Not only will the facility be used to train up and coming talent but it will be a place where injured and rehabbing stars can go to prepare for their return. The pet project of Triple H, the WWE Performance Center is truly game-changing (pun intended).

Is Antonio Cesaro being punished by Vince McMahon because of CM Punk?

There was talk a couple of weeks ago that Antonio Cesaro was being humbled because of CM Punk's strong support for him and the rumblings about him being left off the Wrestlemania lineup. I don't know how much blame can be placed on Punk as this is just the way Vince reacted. I don't understand the point in building Antonio up, only to bury him out other than a good old fashion humbling.

A year ago we were eagerly awaiting the return of Brock Lesnar. A year later, which statistic do you find more surprising: the fact that he is 1-2 or the fact that he will soon be wrestling in his fourth match, three of which will be against a fellow part-timer in Triple H? Is WWE messing up a "can't miss" in their booking of Brock Lesnar?

The multiple matches against Triple H don't bother me as bad as the fact that Brock Lesnar is 1-2 in his three matches back in WWE. Clearly, WWE doesn't care about wins and losses and they don't seem to be as damaging as they once were, however, I categorically reject the way Lesnar has been booked. My only thinking is WWE is banking on Lesnar being a must-see spectacle rather than an unstoppable monster. A lot could have been rectified had they not fed Lesnar to John Cena right out of the gate at Extreme Rules last year.

I am a huge Jeff Hardy fan and I know he left WWE and went to TNA. I was just wondering if Hardy would ever come back to WWE?

WWE had interest in Jeff Hardy when his last TNA contract was up but he ended up re-signing with TNA Wrestling for another two years.

Will CM Punk return as a heel or babyface?

CM Punk is a heel although there have been some developments in when he'll return. Originally scheduled for next week's WWE Raw in Columbus, Punk is now scheduled to return on the May 27th episode of Raw in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. We have more at this link.

When Ric Flair returns from mourning, what capacity will he have in WWE?

Ric Flair isn't under WWE contract. There were plans to use him on a per shot (on the Legend's panel on the 3/25 WWE Raw) but a health issue caused him to get sent home followed by the tragic death of his son Reid. If he signs or if there are plans to bring him in on a per shot, we'll bring you the latest details.

Why aren't the dark matches on Raw and Smackdown ever seen on television? It seems like the dark matches are sometimes the best match of the night. What are your thoughts about this?

Dark match main events are done to give the crowd in attendance a bonus for attending live. They usually aren't very long but do involve main event names. Dark match main events provide workers an opportunity to go over spots with people they are in programs with in front of a live television audience.

A couple weeks in, what are your thoughts on Ryback as a heel?

I've been higher up on Ryback the past two weeks (three counting the initial turn) than I've been on Ryback since he debuted the character. The heel turn is more believable and provides substance and gimmick progression. He got his first real test on the stick during the in-ring segment with Mick Foley on this week's Raw and I think he passed. The segment wasn't flawless but it wasn't bad either. Kendra Bunyon graded it a B and I'm in agreement. His goal was to make fans hate him and he accomplished that goal in London.

Now that Ryback is a heel, wouldn't it make more sense to turn Big E Langston as a babyface and program him against Ryback?

Not so fast my friend! The best thing that can happen for Big E Langston is for him to continue in his current gimmick. Right now he's in the shadow of Dolph Ziggler. This isn't a bad thing and can be used in a multitude of ways. Obviously the out is Big E "grows tired" of Ziggler and turns on him, however, this isn't something that should be rushed. It would be a mistake to try and push him too hard too fast right out of the gate. Let's give him some time to develop before clamoring for a turn.

So we all know now that The Rock won't be able to compete at Extreme Rules due to his injury but my question is, if he didn't get injured what type of match would he be in? Would he be wrestling for the WWE title again or was there other plans to use him?

The Rock decided against working Extreme Rules before he worked Wrestlemania 29. The word going around was he didn't want to do another job in a match presumably involving John Cena and CM Punk. In hindsight, those plans would have probably been out the window as Punk is doubtful for the pay-per-view due to time off. Rock also begins filming "Hercules" soon and there could have been a scheduling conflict. As things currently stand, Rock is out of the WWE plans indefinitely.

What is your overall opinion of The Shield?

The Shield is comprised of three guys that flat out get it done. I haven't seen anything that I would call "bad" and it all comes down to how WWE decides to progress the gimmick. Do they add more members or disband? The key thing here is not to overkill the gimmick past its lifespan but I'm very optimistic in regards to Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns.

With Dean Ambrose getting a singles match against The Undertaker on this week's Smackdown, is this a sign that Vince McMahon and Triple H see him as the breakout star in the group?

All three members of The Shield are held in high regard. While the feeling before they debuted was that Roman Reigns had the most to prove, even he has drawn high marks from those within WWE and all are highly touted young workers. The fact Undertaker worked a singles match against Dean Ambrose goes to show how much he thinks of them as we heard he put the trio over in front of everyone after the match on this week's WWE Raw. I don't mind the classification of Ambrose as #1, Seth Rollins as #2 and Roman Reigns as #3 but I think all three are held in equal high regard and are looked at as future superstars as singles performers.

Normally after Wrestlemania The Undertaker just disappears out of thin air, but now he's worked two matches on free television. Will he work another PPV other than Wrestlemania or is he finished?

I'm under the impression Undertaker will be written off television following this week's Smackdown but you never know. He clearly has more left in the tank and the fact he worked two matches on free TV after Wrestlemania tells me he has another Wrestlemania bout left in him. I've heard some complain about Undertaker "wasting" matches on television and couldn't disagree more. He's in great shape and any situation that sees him work is a special treat. Undertaker knows what he is doing and I hope if you live in London you were at this week's tapings.

Does Triple H pickup dual paychecks for his multiple roles in WWE?

Yes, Triple H's Performer's Contract is different from his role as an executive officer and he is paid for both roles.

I was sure Jack Swagger would've been pulled back right after Wrestlemania because of the DUI. But it doesn't seem like WWE are going to change courses with him at all as he's still in the spotlight. What type of message does this send?

It's important to remember that Jack Swagger has not been convicted on the charge of Driving Under the Influence stemming from his arrest in February just days after winning the WWE Elimination Chamber. Swagger is set to take the charge to trial on June 25, 2013 (story here). WWE has been eerily quiet regarding the arrest as they only issued a very brief statement and have continued to book him in the top of the card. We were told it was just a situation of "innocent until proven guilty," however, while he's still booked in the top of the card he didn't get the nod as World Heavyweight Champion either.

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