Welcome to the WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium Newsletter. This is where you will find all of the big news and Ask WNW segments from the week neatly archived for your viewing pleasure.
This week's edition covers news from Saturday, March 31, 2012 to Friday, April 6, 2012 as well as all five Ask WNW segments from the week. Use this newsletter as your own personal tool to catch up on any of the news that you may have missed during the week. Below is a table of contents:
Note From Richard: For those that have asked, the Newsletter is organized with the news posted on Saturday at the top with the most recent stories at the bottom. We have it organized this way so you can read the news in the order in which it happened. Thanks for your support!
- David Otunga setup a personal meet and greet with WWE talent for a Haiti Refugee he met in Florida on Friday at an anti-bullying rally at John F. Kennedy Middle School. The school raffled off a ticket to Wrestlemania 28 this weekend and was won by the refugee from Haiti. The boy now lives with foster parents in the US and two weeks ago, his biological mother died in Haiti. Otunga was so moved by the story he decided a free ticket to Wrestlemania wasn't enough and organized the meet-and-greet for the boy backstage. You can read more coverage by TMZ at this link.
- WWE Diva AJ won the annual THQ Superstars Challenge at Wrestlemania Fan Axxess last night. Dot com posted official results which you can read below:
- AJ def. Tamina
- The Great Khali def. Aksana
- Cody Rhodes def. Goldust
- Justin Gabriel def. Daniel Bryan
- Mark Henry def. Sin Cara
- William Regal def. Tyler Reks (Fan decision)
- Heath Slater def Curt Hawkins,
- Michael McGillicutty def. JTG (2011 champ)
- Cody Rhodes def. Justin Gabriel
- AJ def. Great Khali
- Mark Henry def. William Regal
- Michael McGillicutty def. Heath Slater
- AJ def. Cody Rhodes
- Mark Henry def. Michael McGillicutty
- AJ def. Mark Henry
Click here to read coverage by WWE.com.
- Batista was kicking it with Titus O'Neil last night in South Beach. As noted yesterday, Batista is in Miami to participate in the 2012 Nautica South Beach Triathlon on Sunday.
- The following is from the official Twitter account of Joey Styles:
- Kelly Kelly wrote the following on Twitter:
As Brooks noted earlier, Kelly is nominated for the “Favorite Buttkicker” category. - Wade Barrett was recently interviewed by Between The Ropes, and discussed his elbow injury he sustained on Raw, his memories with 2012 WWE Hall of Fame Inductee Edge, and more. The interview is embedded below: - Brock Lesnar has arrived in Miami, Florida where he is expected to meet with WWE officials. This will continue to fuel rumors regarding a possible appearance for Lesnar at Wrestlemania XXVIII tomorrow night or Raw Supershow on Monday. We first reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium on January 31, 2012 that WWE was interested in bringing in Brock to work Wrestlemania for next year. The thinking was while they wouldn't have enough time to get him signed for Wrestlemania this year, they could get him signed for next year and build his match for one year. His rumored opponent at this date was The Undertaker. Yesterday, we reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium that WWE officials were working "around the clock" trying to come to terms with a deal with Lesnar so he could appear at the pay-per-view on Sunday. We also reported a new potential opponent has emerged in The Rock. At this point I cannot confirm Lesnar has agreed to a contract with WWE but I can confirm WWE officials have been working all weekend to lock him in for next year's show. Vince McMahon wants to announce the match one year in advance like they did with John Cena vs. The Rock this year. With that being said, no name has been confirmed as Lesnar's opponent and all efforts have gone to getting Lesnar to sign a WWE contract. - WWE has announced the following original shows for the forthcoming WWE Network:
- WWE Countdown
- WWE Divas Tour Bus
- WWE The Monday Night War: Raw vs. Nitro
- WWE Wrestlemania Rewind
There are still plans for another show outside of the WWE Network but full details not yet known as well as show in Spanish. Another show originally slated for the WWE Network is WWE Legends House which wrapped filming in California earlier this month. It is expected to air on SyFy with the delay of the WWE Network. The last I heard the proposed premiere date was the middle of next month.
- The upcoming live edition of Smackdown on April 10th will be an "Old School" themed show. The show will take place from the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia. The following is from the venue's official website regarding the show:
WWE Smackdown broadcasts live from the Hampton Coliseum on April 10th! WWE goes old school! See your favorite WWE legends including: Rowdy Roddy Piper, Pat Patterson, Jimmy Hart, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, Tony Atlas, Mean Gene Okerland, Howard Finkel, Hillbilly Jim. Come see the main Six Man Street Fight Match - "The Great White" Sheamus, "The Apex Predator" Randy Orton and "The World's Largest Athlete" The Big Show vs. World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan, "The World's Strongest Man" Mark Henry and Cody Rhodes. Also, see all of your favorite SMACKDOWN Superstars including The Great Khali, Ted Dibiase and many more! Lineup subject to change.
Click here for local event information.
- WWE has tons of coverage from tonight's Hall of Fame induction ceremony over on dot com and on Facebook. You can view photos from the red carpet at this link. For photos of the inductions, including Edge's new short hair cut, click here.
- A Wrestling News World eyewitness saw Brock Lesnar earlier this afternoon at a Publix grocery store in Miami. Lesnar was surrounded by security to shield him from the public. We've been all over the Lesnar/WWE negotiations, even posting the proposed plans for Wrestlemania XXIXhere on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium on Monday.
- Sheamus beat Daniel Bryan to win the World Heavyweight Championship in the opening match of Wrestlemania XXVIII. Bryan was giving AJ a good luck kiss when he turned around and was hit with the Brogue Kick followed by a three count. The "match" was only 18 seconds long.
- Big Show beat Cody Rhodes at Wrestlemania XXVIII to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
- Jim Ross joined Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler to call Triple H vs. The Undertaker with Shawn Michaels as the special guest referee in a Hell in a Cell Match.
- The announced attendance for Wrestlemania XXVIII was 78,363, a new record for the venue. The show was sold out.
- The Undertaker beat Triple H in a Hell in a Cell match with Shawn Michaels a special guest referee at Wrestlemania XXVIII to go 20-0 at Wrestlemania. The streak remains intact for yet another year. Triple H was busted open and Taker's back suffered visible cuts and bruising.
- As the storyline goes, John Laurinaitis has "control" of both Raw and Smackdown after his 6-man team beat the 6-man team of Teddy Long at Wrestlemania XXVIII. The finish saw The Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale on Zack Ryder followed by the pinball. After the match, Eve delivered a low blow to Zack Ryder.
- Believe it or not, WWE actually wanted Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan at tonight's Wrestlemania XXVIII pay-per-view to beat the time for Chavo Guerrero vs. Kane for the ECW Championship at Wrestlemania XXIV in 2008. They didn't come close as Kane squashed Chavo for the belt in 8 seconds while Sheamus' victory took 18 seconds. So far, I haven't heard anything about Bryan being injured or any kind of trouble and the outcome of tonight's match was what they wanted to do from a creative perspective. The crowd turned on the outcome and loud "Daniel Bryan" chants were audible at the beginning of almost every match prior to the stellar Hell in a Cell bout.
- Big Show can now be considered a triple-crown champion after his WWE Intercontinental Championship win at Wrestlemania XXVII. Show is also a former World Heavyweight Champion and Tag Team Champion. (Thanks to WNW Reader Brandon Ceielo for sending this in.)
- Speaking of Big Show, his mother was ringside for his bout against Cody Rhodes and he hugged her afterwards.
- P Diddy introduced Machine Gun Kelly prior to their performance at Wrestlemania XXVIII.
- Torrie Wilson and New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez were shown sitting at ringside at Wrestlemania XXVIII.
- WWE wasted no time to tout the success of Wrestlemania XXVIII by issuing the following press release:
MIAMI, FL – April 1, 2012 – WWE® (NYSE: WWE) announced tonight that WrestleMania XXVIII set three records. With a sellout crowd of 78,363 fans from all 50 states and 36 countries, the annual pop culture extravaganza became Sun Life Stadium’s largest attended event and highest grossing entertainment event in history. Grossing $8.9 million, it was also the highest grossing live event in WWE history. The event was broadcast around the world on pay-per-view in more than 105 countries and 20 languages. The previous Sun Life Stadium attendance record was 77,912 for the BCS National Championship in 2005. Its highest grossing entertainment event was U2 on June 29, 2011, grossing more than $7.5 million. WrestleMania XXVIII surpassed the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania in Houston, which grossed $7.2 million. This marks the third consecutive year WrestleMania broke the gross entertainment event record of the host venue. “WrestleMania XXVIII in Miami-Dade County was an incredible event for WWE. WWE would like to thank our loyal fans, as well as the public and private sector partners for their tireless efforts to help make WrestleMania Week such a success,” said John P. Saboor, Senior Vice President of Special Events, WWE. “We now look forward to building on these achievements as we head to MetLife Stadium for WrestleMania XXIX next year.” WrestleMania XXIX will take place on Sunday, April 7, 2013 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. Ticket information will be announced later this year.
- WWE is giving away 100 trips for two to Wrestlemania XXIX next year. You can register for the sweepstakes at this link.
- WWE United States Champion Santino Marella will appear on "The Deadliest Catch" on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 9 PM on the Discovery Channel.
- Wrestling News World reader The Arbiter sent in the following:
Just a heads up that SKY TV, the PPV provider for Wrestlemania in New Zealand completely dropped the ball today. People who recorded Wrestlemania live to watch it at home after work lost the last 15-20 minutes of the main event. SKY TV are not offering refunds, just allowing people to watch a reply that doesn't finish until after midnight tonight. This is not a good precedent for PPVs and will probably hurt buy rates in the future.
- Wrestling News World reader Patrick Peralta sent word that dot com has several vides of Wrestlemania 28 performers giving their reactions at this link. Wrestling News World reader Bmac sent this in…
There is a write up about a woman's experience at Wrestlemania last night with her husband on miaminewstimes.com. While reading, beware of stereotypes and ignorance about pro wrestling and it's fans! Click here to read it.
- The Rock posted the following on Twitter after his Wrestlemania 28 victory against John Cena:
- "Extra" host Maria Menounos wrote the following on Twitter:
- StyleSeenDaily.com has detailed coverage of former WWE star Batista participating in the Nautica South Beach Triathlon yesterday. The piece includes several photos of Batista who has slimmed down but is still in great shape. Click here to read now.
- For those that missed it on last night's Wrestlemania XXVIII pay-per-view broadcast, Jerry Lawler, when commenting on the white suit of John Laurinaitis, said, "That suit is so ugly, it would give Brother Love a heart attack." Brother Love of course is TNA executive Bruce Prichard who suffered two heart attacks a couple weeks ago. As I reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, Prichard is not at tonight's Impact Wrestling taping.
- Florida Championship Wrestling President Steve Keirn wrote the following on Twitter:
Triple Hsaid a couple of weeks ago there would be a "major announcement" about WWE's developmental system shortly after Wrestlemania XXVIII. - Justin Gabriel posted the following on his Twitter account today:
Gabriel worked the WrestleMania XXVIII pre-show triple threat tag team match, teaming with Tyson Kidd against The Usos and Tag Team Champions Epico & Primo.
- I'm told Vince McMahon hoped all weekend that Brock Lesnar would be able to appear at Wrestlemania but there were a few things standing in the way. More than anything, the issue was making sure the deal was signed before he was allowed to appear in front of the crowd. Even though Brock and WWE had been in talks for some time, it was only within the last week that Vince wanted him to return at Wrestlemania as opposed to on Raw Supershow sometime in April, so that really put a squeeze on how much time there was to get everything done. Another issue though is that Vince hadn't made up his mind 100% on who Brock would wrestle at Wrestlemania XXIX next year, and Brock's side didn't see the point in rushing to get a deal signed in time for him to be a surprise at Wrestlemania when Vince was still going back and forth on who the opponent would be. The three opponents being considered are The Undertaker, The Rock and John Cena Complicating things further is the fact that Steve Austin vs. CM Punk is on the company's wish list for next year, but Austin hasn't fully committed to a return. There are some in WWE who are against doing Brock vs. Undertaker or Brock vs. The Rock, feeling the big match for next year shouldn't be between two guys who aren't full time members of the roster. That is why Brock vs. Cena has some supporters. However, the counter to that is, if Austin is returning as well, Austin facing a regular roster member calms some of the concerns of having Brock face a guy like Undertaker or Rock, who don't appear often. So, without knowing if Austin is really going to end up agreeing to return to face Punk at Wrestlemania XXIX, it's hard to factor that into the decision making process in regards to Brock's opponent. I was told that while Vince was disappointed they couldn't get Lesnar to sign yesterday, he didn't want to push so hard that he risked Brock walking out on the deal, so Brock was never given an ultimatum or anything of the sort in regards to signing in time to appear later in the day on the pay-per-view. Once WWE sorts out who Brock will be facing at Wrestlemania next year, some of the plans for other big shows will fall into place.
- Wrestling News World reader Patrick Peralta sent this story about a 24-year-old man dying while wrestling with his young cousin at a Wrestlemania XXVIII party last night.
- In addition to Alex Rodriguez, his New York Yankees teammates Robinson Cano and Eduardo Nunez were in attendance at last night's Wrestlemania XXVIII pay-per-view. A-Rod's girlfriend, former WWE Diva Torrie Wilson, introduced him to Big Show and Rey Mysterio backstage.
- Evan Bourne's foot injury is not just a nasty looking severe injury but it's career threatening. Bourne suffered a midfoot fracture, also known as a LisFranc fracture dislocation, which is an injury that has been known to be career-threatening to athletes even when treated well. Bourne suffered the injury in a car accident on Monday, March 19, 2012, just two days after his 60-day suspension from his second WWE Wellness Policy violation had ended. Bourne is out indefinitely. You can read more about Bourne's severe injury at this link.
- Less than a month ago World Heavyweight Champion Sheamusexplained why he wasn't on Twitter, citing too much access to superstars. Today, he has opened a Twitter account at Twitter.com/wwesheamus. To be fair, he did say there may be a time he would have to go out and get a Twitter account.
- Dean Ambrose, formerly Jon Moxley, worked a dark match prior to tonight's WWE Raw Supershow taping form American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. Ambrose beat JTG. - To keep up with storylines, John Laurinaitis has "taken over" the @GMSmackDown Twitter account.
- Matt Bloom returned to WWE on tonight's Raw Supershow as Lord Tensai. He was accompanied to the ring by Sakamoto. Michael Cole acknowledged Tensai as a former WWE star that went to Japan and found success and has returned. Sakamoto, who has been training in Florida Championship Wrestling, was signed to a WWE developmental contract late last year. He is a student of former WWE star Taka Michinoku. In his debut, Tensai squashed Alex Riley. For those that do not remember, Tensai's former WWE gimmicks included A-Train and Albert. He worked in New Japan Pro Wrestling as Giant Bernard, having success in tag teams with Tyson Tomko and later with Karl Anderson.
- Abraham Washington made his return to WWE on tonight's edition of Raw Supershow during a backstage segment with Mark Henry. Washington "offered his services" to Henry by giving him a business card. Washington has been in WWE's developmental system since 2009 as he worked as a regular on the company's ECW brand, hosting the Abraham Washington Show. Since the demise of ECW, Washington has competed as a singles performer in Florida Championship Wrestling.
- Former WWE Champion Brock Lesnar returned to WWE at tonight's Raw Supershow, confronting John Cena in the show's closing segment. As I broke exclusively here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium earlier today, Cena's name emerged as a possible opponent for Lesnar at Wrestlemania 29 next year. While I cannot confirm that is still the plan, there are clearly plans to program Lesnar with Cena.
- TMZ is reporting that Randy Orton has been pulled from his proposed role in the upcoming WWE Studios production "Marine: Homefront." WWE faced intense backlash because of Orton's troubled military past. Orton was dishonorably discharged from the United States Marines Corps for bad conduct after going AWOL on two separate occasions and disobeying an order from a commanding officer. Orton was court-martialed and served 38 days in a military prison. Cpl. Mike Vinn, who was a former unit member with Orton, told TMZ before Orton was pulled from the project, "I am disgusted that his face and the word Marine are being used next to each other -- real or fake -- because of the fact that he quit us, the country, and the Marine Corps. [Randy] in the role of a Marine is a disgrace to those that have worn and are wearing that uniform." A WWE representative told TMZ the following:
"WWE demonstrated poor judgment in signing Randy Orton for the 3rd installment of the film." The rep adds, "Despite Randy's popularity, the fact that he was dishonorably discharged from the USMC made it inappropriate for him to be cast in this film."
- Brock Lesnar'sWWE contract is for a duration of one year that will run through next year's Wrestlemania 29 pay-per-view. Under the agreement, it's believed Lesnar will make a minimum of two appearances each month with more on the build to Wrestlemania. Lesnar is not returning full-time and while WWE will obviously be able to negotiate more appearances, he has made it clear he wants to work as few as possible. I have more much on Lesnar in WWE in a Backstage News update located at this link.
- Brock Lesnar has signed a contract with WWE although full details are not available as of this writing. As I noted here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium, Vince McMahon wanted him to appear at Wrestlemania 28 but it didn't happen because a deal couldn't be reached. McMahon didn't want to rush things as he wasn't clear on the direction he wanted to go with Lesnar. While I do not have full information on what WWE plans on doing with Cena and Lesnar, there is clearly a plan in place for a major main event match. For those wondering about Lesnar's UFC contract, I'm told he bought himself out of his UFC deal, however, the deal carries a non-compete clause, preventing him from competing for another Mixed Martial Arts company. The non-compete clause isn't believed to expire until his UFC contract would have run out.
- Yoshi Tatsu posted the following on Twitter:
- Former Miss USA and WWE Tough Enough contestant Rima Fakih is believed to have signed a WWE contract. There was an article in German that apparently had a quote from Rima confirming the signing over Wrestlemania 28 weekend. Rima was with the WWE roster throughout Wrestlemania weekend although her future role in the company is currently unknown. - The following is from the official Twitter account of Jim Ross;
- Jim Ross posted the following today on Twitter:
Strongbow's real name was Joe Scarpa and he had his success in the NWA for twenty-three years before joining the WWWF in the 70's. After leaving for a brief stint in Big Time Wrestling, Strongbow returned to the World Wrestling Federation from 1979 to 1983. You can view his WWE Hall of Fame profile at this link.
- Local advertisements for WWE Extreme Rules are promoting WWE Champion CM Punk vs. John Cena and Kane vs. Randy Orton in a steel cage match. As always, this is subject to change but WWE Extreme Rules 2012 is set for Sunday, April 29, 2012 from the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois.
There are a couple of newsworthy notes from tonight's Smackdown taping in Orlando, Florida.
* The Three Stooges are set to guest host next week's Raw Supershow.
* Skip Sheffield made his return to television under what was his original gimmick in Ryback. He squashed a local worker named Barry Stevens in a match that will air on this week's Smackdown.
* Damien Sandow debuted by cutting a promo on the titantron about people's moral quality and calling them out on it. The segment will will air on this week's Smackdown. Sandow is a WWE developmental talent that has been competing in Florida Championship Wrestling. You can read his official profile at this link.
* Alberto Del Rio won a future shot at the World Heavyweight Championship by beating World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus by disqualification.
- The following matches are being advertised for WWE Over the Limit on the PNC Arena's official website (the venue in which the PPV is scheduled for in May):
* CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho for the WWE Championship
* Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan for the World Heavyweight Championship
WWE Over the Limit 2012 will take place Sunday, May 20, 2012 from the PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. You can view this local information at this link. We'll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage of WWE Over the Limit here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- TMZ is reporting that former WWE star and original Tough Enough winner Maven Huffman was arrested in Florida on Monday under the accusation he was "doctor shopping" to obtain painkillers. Huffman reportedly went to three doctors in two weeks, scoring multiple prescriptions for Oxycodone and Hydrocodone. He spread out the pharmacies in which he had fill the prescriptions but is believed to have obtained more than 1000 pills. "Doctor shopping" is illegal in the state of Florida and Maven faces up to five years in prison if convicted. He was released on $2000 bond.
- Gus Ramsey from ESPN posted the following on Twitter:
If this is true it's an incredible number for WWE. - Drew McIntyre revealed today on Twitter his shoulder is hurt. Below is from his official account:
McIntyre did not compete at last night's Smackdown taping in Orlando, Florida.
- A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Martha Hart against Vince and Linda McMahon where she alleged WWE used the image of Owen Hart without her permission and despite her objections. Judge Stefan Underhill ruled last week that WWE retained a right to Owen Hart's wrestling career but denied the company's motion to dismiss a claim related to personal family photos but said there was no evidence Linda McMahon knew about the photos. Hart's claim for unpaid royalties against WWE was allowed to proceed. WWE attorney Jerry McDevitt, who called Martha's suit filed in 2010 a political stunt, said he was pleased with the ruling. Click here for coverage by the Huffington Post.
-Wrestling News World reader Fernando sent word that Brock Lesnar has been added to the official WWE roster. Click here to view his page. -After mentioning it to the Raw crowd last Monday, Daniel Bryan officially announced that a new "YES" shirt is on the way, via his official Twitter account:
- The official WWE website has the following quotes from Titus O'Neil, in which he explains that he wore a hoodie on NXT this week to voice his opinion on the ongoing Trayvon Martin case:
“The hoodie symbolizes my support of justice being served in the Trayvon Martin case. As a father of two – whether I’m a good guy or a bad buy in WWE – I’m a father. I can definitely understand the value of our children. I wore the hoodie in support of Martin’s family, as families around the world have done. "The lettering on the hoodie is my fraternity, Omega Psi Phi, Inc., the largest black fraternity in the world and, in my opinion, the greatest. We have members as notable as Shaquille O’Neal, Michael Jordan, Bill Cosby, Rev. Jesse Jackson amongst many others in the sports and entertainment field, as well as in business and every other field. I’m a proud member of Omega Psi Phi, and I’ve been a proud member since 1999. It’s part of who I am, so I’m just being Titus O’Neil.”
Click here to watch this week's episode of NXT.
- TMZ is reporting that WWE is offering former superstar Maven Huffman rehab assistance as part of their Former Talent Rehab program. As noted earlier this week here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, Maven was arrested in Florida on Monday on charges of "doctor shopping" to obtain painkillers. He has not worked for WWE in seven years, however, the company offers assistance to any former talent with drug or substance problems.
- WWE is officially advertising Brock Lesnarfor the following dates this month:
- Next week's Raw Supershow in Washington, DC
- April 23rd Raw Supershow in Detroit, Michigan
- April 29th Extreme Rules in Rosemont, Illinois
- SyFy has announced that John Cena will guest star in an upcoming episode of the new series "Dream Machines." Below is the official press release:
SyFy Kicks Into High Gear When 'Dream Machines' Premieres
Tuesday, April 10 With Guest Star 50 Cent NEW YORK – April 4, 2012 – Syfy will drive viewers to dream big and build bigger as its latest original reality series Dream Machines premieres on Tuesday, April 10 at 10PM (ET/PT) featuring guest star 50 Cent, immediately following WWE SuperSmackDown Live at 8 PM (ET/PT). Dream Machines follows Florida-based brothers Marc and Shanon Parker, owners of Parker Brothers’ Concepts, and their crackerjack crew as they take the most imaginative vehicles ever seen in movies, comic books, and TV shows, and engineer them into on-the-road realities. There's no design challenge too fantastical – or even impossible – for the brothers to take on, and each week they'll stop at nothing to create these one-of-a-kind "dream machines" for their vast array of celebrity and collector clients. WWE Superstar John Cena will also guest star in an upcoming episode of Dream Machines enlisting the Parker Brothers to design the “InCENArator,” a vehicle specifically built for the former World Champion. The custom made “InCENArator” will make its television debut on WWE Monday Night Raw on Monday, April 9 at 9PM (ET/PT) on USA Network live from Washington, DC. WWE SuperSmackDown Live will feature WWE’s biggest Superstars and Divas, including Randy Orton®, Daniel Bryan™, Big Show®, Sheamus™, Mark Henry®, Wade Barrett™, Cody Rhodes™ and Alicia Fox™. The special will encore in Smackdown’s regular time slot on Friday, April 13 at 8PM (ET/PT). In the premiere episode of Dream Machines, entitled “50 Cent’s Jet Car” – the first of a two part episode – the Parker Brothers have their hands full when rapper, actor and entrepreneur 50 Cent (a.k.a. Curtis Jackson) requests a one-of-a-kind formula one race car inspired by a futuristic space ship. In order to find inspiration for the design, Shanon must get over his fear of flying and challenge Marc to a mid-air dogfight in jet fighters. Back at the shop, design and fabrication collide when Shanon’s creativity conflicts with Marc’s practical ability to build the plans. Just as the car is coming together, a major design change combined with a harrowing new deadline could make the Parker Brothers’ build crash and burn. Dream Machines is produced by Triage Entertainment with Steve Kroopnick (Iron Chef America) serving as executive producer. Steve Nigg (American Chopper, UFO Hunters) is co-executive producer.
- Not only was WWE very pleased with Mike Tyson's involvement in Wrestlemania 28 weekend but Tyson hopes to work with the company again the future. Tyson reportedly had a great time and would welcome an opportunity to do something again on WWE TV.
- Billy Gunn was backstage at Tuesday's Smackdown taping from Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. - There was some talk coming out of this week's WWE television tapings that some people had their feelings hurt when they weren't invited to the post-Wrestlemania 28 party in South Beach. All of the top executives, including the head creative team writers were there, but the ones that were excluded weren't happy about it.
- The Twitter rant posted by Epico about being left off Wrestlemania XXVIII and his lack of television time was a work. WWE has instructed workers to Tweet more in-character as part of their continued commitment to social media.
- In something I've been watching very closely, ESPN'sGus Ramsey followed-up his claim that Wrestlemania XXVIII did 1.9 million buys with the following Tweet:
I've heard some numbers thrown around for the Wrestlemania 28 buyrate, all over 1 million, but none as high as what Ramsey posted.
- WWE posted the following tribute video in memory of Hall of Famer Chief Jay Strongbow:
WWE honors the life of WWE Hall of Famer Chief Jay Strongbow
- The latest on Wade Barrett is that he should be back in plenty of time to have a prominent role at SummerSlam. Barrett suffered a disclosed elbow in February that required surgery to repair. There were originally plans to feature Barrett going over in a match at Wrestlemania 28 but obviously had to be changed due to the injury.
- WWE has announced the June 19th Smackdown taping will take place from the 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore, Maryland. Tickets go on sale on Saturday, April 21, 2012.
- WWE has removed The Rock's bio from the Raw Superstars page and re-added it to the WWE Alumni page.
- Toronto Sun writer Jose Rodriguez has a new article online entitled "Loud-mouth Lesnar belongs in WWE." Just so you can get a ease of what Rodriguez meant by the title, here's an excerpt:
Now, not questioning Lesnar’s athleticism for a second, but it’s a little like the righting of the Earth’s axis to see him back where he belongs. I, for one, can’t think of a better home for the loud-mouthed, brash and often times ignorant Lesnar. He did little to build the credibility of the sport and, if anything, cheapened it. There is something seriously wrong when The Undertaker is one of the featured stars in the stands during a UFC pay-per-view. Just doesn’t seem right. Brock, I will NOT miss you though I wish you nothing but success in your return to an acting career.
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
TNA Impact Wrestling News
- Dixie Carter'sTweet on Thursday that Sting has signed a new talent contract was for storyline purposes due to him no longer being the Impact Wrestling General Manager. Sting's current TNA contract is actually up at the end of the year. - Scott Steiner took to Twitter this evening to bury Hulk Hogan. The following Tweets are from his official Twitter account:
- Scott Steiner has been released from his TNA contract, WrestlingNewsWorld.com can now confirm. Steiner wasted no time to take aim at Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff and company on Twitter as he buried them earlier this evening. - Scott Steiner claims he was offered a contract extension from TNA but refused to sign it. His comments last night were just the beginning of a rant that continued, where he said he's going to be the voice for the guys that can't say anything. The following is from Steiner's official Twitter account:
- The following is from the official Twitter account of AJ Styles:
- Jeff Hardy and James Storm were at the ACM Awards this weekend. You can view video of them embedded below:
- Eric Young is set to host a new series on Animal Planet called "Fish America." According to this article by the Chicago Tribune, Young will get a line on some of the most creative, unexpected and dangerous fishing practices across the country. The series is set to begin airing this summer.
- TNA Impact Wrestling has agreed to a new multi-year contract extension for their programming to remain Spike TV. As part of the deal there will be opportunities for more TNA programming on the network, possibly another TNA-based show or additional TNA-branded TV projects
"We look forward to working with Spike to help us build and extend the TNA brand," TNA President Dixie Carter told Multichannel News.
You can read more coverage at this link.
- TNA Impact Wrestling issued the following press release today about their new deal with Spike TV:
SPIKE TV AND TNA ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCE MULTI-YEAR EXTENSION TO ITS STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP
The Highly-Rated “Impact Wrestling” Maintains Its Home On Spike TV On Thursday Nights Spike TV and TNA Entertainment have agreed upon a multi-year extension on their strategic partnership, maintaining Spike TV as the exclusive U.S. television home of the emerging sports-entertainment property. The deal was announced today jointly by Kevin Kay, Spike TV President and Dixie Carter, TNA Entertainment President. TNA wrestling debuted on Spike TV in July, 2005. Over the last seven years, the ratings for TNA’s “IMPACT Wrestling” have grown from an average of 700,000 viewers at launch to nearly two million today. “Dixie Carter and her team at TNA have done a phenomenal job in developing stars for an exciting, high-action brand that resonates with Spike’s audience,” said Kay. “We are excited to further our partnership and will continue to build and invigorate the franchise together.” “We are thrilled that Spike TV will be IMPACT Wrestling's home for years to come,” said Carter. “The dedication that Kevin Kay and the network have shown us in building our brand is what makes this announcement even more meaningful for me. And look for some exciting things to happen on IMPACT in the near future." TNA’s flagship series, “IMPACT Wrestling,” airs weekly on Spike TV and is one of the network’s top-rated series. The show has evolved into must-see-tv on Thursdays with young men and currently ranks among the top shows on cable in its timeslot with Men 18-34. The roster features many of the biggest names in wrestling including Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Jeff Hardy, Kurt Angle, Booby Roode, Sting, James Storm, Rob Van Dam the lovely and lethal Knockouts.
- TNA's multi-year contract extension with Spike TV runs through 2014. The date is not listed in the press release that officially announces the deal at this link.
- Kurt Angle posted an update on Twitter regarding his torn hamstring that could cost him a chance at an Olympic comeback:
- Eric Bischoff commented on Brock Lesnar returning to WWE earlier today on Twitter. You can view his comments below:
What is the latest on the Brock Lesnar signing with WWE rumors?
In my latest free update I noted Brock Lesnar was in Miami to meet with WWE officials with the hope of appearing at Wrestlemania 28 or Raw Supershow tonight. I have much more regarding Lesnar on my Backstage Blog and in the WNW Premium Area. I have the latest on Lesnar and I will be posting more shortly.
With the crowd reaction following the World Heavyweight Championship 'match' at Wrestlemania last night, can you see a forced heel turn for Sheamus, with the crowd backing Bryan after his burial?
Daniel Bryan was a babyface before WWE did the quick match with Sheamus going over. There were "Yes, Yes, Yes!" chants and signs with Sheamus the clear heel in the bout. In the best case scenario, last night's squash will lead to some gimmick progression, ditching the "cheating" gimmick and on to bigger and better things in the top of the card. Worse case, he's reduced back to a mid-card role. I will have my full reaction to the match in Richard Reacts to Wrestlemania XXVIII online later today.
Why did WWE put Sheamus over Daniel Bryan in 18 seconds at Wrestlemania?
I got word last night the match was a planned outcome and WWE had hoped to beat the time it took Kane to beat Chavo Guerrero for the ECW Championship at Wrestlemania XXIV back in 2008. My first thought was something had happened, such as an injury, that caused the quick finish but that doesn't appear to be the case.
What will happen with The Rock vs. John Cena now that their Wrestlemania match is over?
The Rock is advertised for tonight's Raw Supershow so I expect it to be addressed on tonight's show. Going forward, I am really hopeful for some character progression for Cena as a lot of people are thrilled he got pinned clean, however, it is worrisome that The Rock is near the end of his latest WWE run (before Wrestlemania XXIX next year) and Cena has to go forward as the loser. I'll elaborate much more in my Richard Reacts to Wrestlemania XXVIII feature coming later today.
What are your thoughts on John Cena following his "Once in a Lifetime" match at Wrestlemania XXVIII?
Most fans were thrilled to see John Cena get pinned clean by The Rock at Wrestlemania XXVIII and while I was happy to see a clean outcome, the finish was worrisome. I maintained throughout the build to Wrestlemania it was going to be very difficult for The Rock to go over Cena clean if he wasn't returning to WWE full-time. He isn't returning full-time and it sets a dangerous precedent going forward. Prior to Brock Lesnar returning in the final segment of last night's Raw Supershow, Cena was delivering one most robotic, boring promos of all time. There HAS to be some type of gimmick transition for Cena following his loss to The Rock. Promising he's not going to lash out at the fans and "the better man won," makes him look incredibly weak and way below The Rock. The return of Lesnar saved the closing segment but the promo highlighted the monotony of Cena's character. We've literally SEEN ENOUGH and it's time for something to happen.
Is Vince McMahon going to exploit the Daniel Bryan situation and turn him into a top babyface or will he buried in favor of Sheamus?
There is no way to accurately predict Vince McMahon's mindset but part of me feels like he was patting himself on the back last night. Sheamus' 18-second squash of Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania has caused Bryan's stock to skyrocket and McMahon's pupils probably dilated to dollar signs last night. While I was very unhappy with the booking of the World Heavyweight Championship match at Wrestlemania but it has actually made the fans care more than they probably would have if they would have gotten a significant amount of time. Think about it this way, as good as the match could have been, was there any way they were going to top Cena/Rock, Jericho/Punk and Undertaker/Triple H? I'm not defending Vince McMahon but there is a method to his madness no matter how insane it seems at times.
What is The Rock's future with WWE going forward?
The Rock finished up his latest WWE return on last night's Raw Supershow. He is not in the plans going into the WWE Draft and will not return in the immediate future. There are plans to utilize him at Wrestlemania next year and possibly an event before then but he's not a full-time WWE superstar.
With WWE promoting The Rock vs. John Cena as "once in a lifetime," I feel like it's a bit ironic because Rock vs. Hulk Hogan was pretty much billed as the same thing. How do you feel the Rock vs Cena compares to Rock vs. Hogan?
The Rock vs. John Cena was bigger because it had a full year build and featured both workers still in the prime of their careers. Hogan vs. Rock was billed as a tremendous match but wasn't even the main event at Wrestlemania X8 (the show was headlined by Triple H vs. Chris Jericho). WWE has a way of "overlooking the past" or even forgetting it when it benefits them for obvious monetary purposes.
Following Wrestlemania 29, what will happen to The Undertaker, Triple H and Shawn Michaels?
I haven't heard the latest on The Undertaker's status but prior to his Hell in a Cell match against Triple H at Wrestlemania 28 on Sunday, WWE had already begun looking at ideas to use him next year at Wrestlemania 29. The way the match ended on Sunday, it was done so it could have "ended" his career but that has been nothing more than speculation. Triple H was backstage at TVs this week, working just like always. Hunter signed a new performer's contract at the beginning of the year that runs through March 2016, so he isn't hanging up the boots quite yet. Shawn Michaels is retired and returned only to be the special guest referee for the Wrestlemania 28 match. There are no plans as of this writing for him to return to the ring in any capacity.
Is it just me or did the Lord Tensai gimmick fall flat on Raw Supershow? The crowd was hot all night then when he came out they were chanting "shave your back" and "boring." What were your thoughts on his debut?
The Lord Tensai gimmick didn't see to draw much of a response from the live crowd or the TV crowd based on responses in our Comments Area. It looked like WWE was going to give the gimmick significant build and I was surprised to see Bloom re-debut so early. With that being said, I haven't seen enough to have an opinion. When Brodus Clay debuted as the Funkasaurus people were up in arms. I said I was surprised about the gimmick but I was going to wait and see what happened. Clay is now over like rover so it's important to give a gimmick some time before judging it either way.
Do you think the "YES! YES! YES!" chants will continue? Or is it just a Florida thing?
Daniel Bryan is very over in the state of Florida so it will be interesting to see if the chants continue throughout the country. There doesn't seem to be plans to turn him babyface but I'm told the squash at Wrestlemania was about revamping his character without AJ. That seems to be the direction but we'll have to wait and see about future reactions.
What is the backstage opinion of Brock Lesnar returning to WWE?
It's the same song and dance. There are those happy to see Brock Lesnar return while others are extremely critical of another part-timer coming in for a big payday. One thing I find interesting is that John Cena and Lesnar didn't get along the last time around and now they are working together. It should be an interesting story to follow both in and out of the ring. If you want my opinion, I welcome any star that draws and think anyone that complains about it should figure out how they do it.
I have read and heard your opinions on current superstars learning from "part-time" wrestlers for when they comeback but don't you think it's unfair for them to take a backseat to part-timers?
There are a lot of full-time workers that feel it's an injustice for people like The Rock and Brock Lesnar to be able to return for a guaranteed main event spot and big payday when they are the ones on the road 300 days out of the year, working very hard for their spot. I will be the first to admit it isn't fair, however, this is a business and it's all about money. Word began to make rounds yesterday that Wrestlemania 28 did 1.9 million buys. If that's true, the results don't lie and WWE will be very, very pleased with the number. This has become somewhat of a paradoxical point of view for me as I am for WWE bringing in part-timers as long as they draw while criticizing TNA for doing essentially the same thing. However, my argument is that if TNA did it and it grew their audience then I would have no problem with it. What bothers me about TNA is they were growing with their own talent and brought in people like Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff and they haven't made much of an impact.
With Brock Lesnar returning to WWE do you expect Paul Heyman to return in some way?
Paul Heyman was not part of Brock Lesnar's deal to return to WWE, however, he has worked very closely with WWE in the past when it came to Lesnar. I don't know if he ends up coming in or not as there are some probably pushing for it. I would be for Heyman coming in as an on-screen character but him and Vince McMahon seem to butt heads too hard when trying to work together.
I will be the first to admit I've never really liked TNA but I'm curious why WWE stars leave for TNA. Take Ric Flair for example, wouldn't he be better off in WWE?
There are two types of situations where workers leave WWE for TNA. The first are workers that are released from WWE or in their eyes are underutilized. These workers want to remain relevant so they go to TNA where they are still able to be seen on national television. The second situation are workers that are not interested in working the hectic WWE travel schedule and enjoy being able to work a select number of dates in beautiful Orlando, Florida while still getting paid. Ric Flair's situation was different because he had retired as an in-ring performer in WWE but was retained as an ambassador for the company. When he began to get the itch to return to the ring, WWE wasn't interested. Not only that but I don't believe he liked having to book all his outside appearances through WWE so they ended up parting ways.
What show were you watching in the Monday night wars - WWF Monday Night Raw or WCW Monday Nitro?
During the inception of the new World order and heel turn of Hulk Hogan I was glued to WCW Monday Nitro, flipping over the USA Network during the commercial breaks. When the WWF turned things up with DeGeneration X, Steve Austin and The Rock, I found myself watching Raw and flipping to Nitro during the commercial breaks. I never recorded either show so it was always a remote game, however, my viewing pattern followed the pattern of many that of course ultimately saw the WWF win the war.
What are the chances for The Undertaker to be in the Hall of Fame next year? Is he going to retire now that he is 20-0?
WWE is playing up the fact The Undertaker is "finished" because there is nothing left for him to accomplish. You can watch a compelling video of WWE stars discussing his outstanding Wrestlemania 28 bout against Triple H at this link. Behind-the-scenes I can confirm WWE is already making plans for Undertaker to work Wrestlemania 29 next year in New Jersey. I don't know where Undertaker stands on working/retiring but the company is making plans like he will work. As for the Hall of Fame, I haven't heard any names mentioned for induction next year.
I know a lot of the boys dislike Brock Lesnar and The Rock based on issues highlighted in yesterday's Ask WNW but at the same time I feel like Brock & Rock have earned this type of treatment. It seems like to me the boys in the back don't know what it means to pay your dues. What are your thoughts?
I do not feel it's an issue where the boys don't understand what it's like to "pay dues" as one could argue there are boys in the back that have "paid their dues" more than both The Rock and Brock Lesnar. It's a situation where Rock and Brock (I love how that rhymes) are very rare and talented individuals that still draw. There is obviously a lot of jealousy and resentment towards guys that can come in part-time and earn huge 7-figure salaries for minimal work while the boys working 300 days a year are making significantly less. My argument is that it's up to the "full-timers" to step up and force WWE to take notice of them and there won't be a need to highlight part-time talent. With that being said I can also understand how frustrating it would be to hear Lesnar is reportedly getting $5 million for a limited amount of dates over the next year. However, from a fan's perspective, I want the most entertaining programming and I welcome the addition of Rock and Brock.
Do you ever see WWE holding Wrestlemania abroad? I would think Wrestlemania in England would be huge.
We get this question a lot and while I have heard WWE has looked at parts of Canada to hold Wrestlemania, the big detractor on holding it in England (or anywhere in the UK) is the time difference. As popular as WWE is internationally their top priority is still their core United States fan base. I love the fans over in the UK as I feel they add a unique aspect to WWE programming and would like to see WWE bring back a pay-per-view held across the pond but I would not be in favor of Wrestlemania due to the aforementioned time difference problem.
You mentioned that you found it ironic that Brock Lesnar was working with John Cena because in the past Lesnar didn't like Cena. Why?
I do not know the specific reason Brock Lesnar didn't like Cena but it's clear in many circles they didn't get along. Lesnar was a main event talent while Cena was still "coming up" and I don't know if Lesnar saw Cena as a threat or just didn't like him personally. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out but it's very different now as Cena is the face of WWE and no one is going to push him around.