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, August 4, 2012 to Friday, August 10, 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!
-The Miami Herald has a new article up with quotes from WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels. In the interview, Michaels discusses whether his son wants to follow in his footsteps, his hunting show, the power of Twitter, and more. In the following excerpt, Michaels explains how much he is willing to do in current and future WWE roles:
“I don’t have a stance or an outline of what I do or don’t do,” Michaels said. “Obviously, I want to do things that will help. You don’t want to bring me back for no other reason. It would depend on what it was. I am not as young as I once was. Do I think about that stuff? Yeah. It’s one of those things that I know that I can do it. At the same time I can also drink a six pack and be able to drive home, but do I want to give that a whirl? No.
“Yeah, I can fall off this or go through this, but then I end up getting hurt and can’t do my other show. I have other responsibilities. I can’t take piano lessons with my daughter because I’m up with my knee in a brace and pushed my knees too far. I do have to give more thought to that kind of stuff. I can’t just go in with reckless abandonment. At least at this point nobody has even asked about that stuff, so I haven’t really given it that much thought.”
Click here to read the full article.
- For those that missed Smackdown or didn't read it in the taping results, Booker T was announced as the brand's General Manager by Vince McMahon.
TMZ is reporting that recently released WWE talent Kharma is planning to to lose weight in order to document the change for a potential reality show. The article continues in the following excerpt:
"In the months that followed [her tragic miscarriage], Kharma became depressed, put on even more weight and was dropped by the WWE.
But in the past couple of weeks, with the help of some friends, Kharma motivated herself to get back into fighting shape ... and has vowed to reclaim her career.
We're told she's already recruited a team of fitness experts and therapists ... and plans to document the transformation in the hopes of scoring a reality show. In fact, sources tell us ... Kharma has already been in touch with multiple production companies."
Click here to read the full article.
- Cody Rhodes posted the following on Twitter:
We originally reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium that Rhodes along with Ezekiel Jackson failed WWE Wellness Tests around the same time Randy Orton failed, however, both cleared with valid prescriptions. I stand 100% behind my source and my story.
- On May 31, 2012, we reported exclusively here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium that Cody Rhodes had a positive WWE Wellness Test due to a dietary supplement he had been taking. The positive test was cleared by a doctor thus there was no Wellness strike nor was he suspended.
Sunday night, referencing a website that ripped our report off without permission, Rhodes posted a denial on Twitter. Standing by my source and my original story, I have more information.
I'm told Rhodes was notified on May 20, 2012 that his Wellness sample came back dirty. The following day, May 21, 2012, Rhodes posted "Time off." on Twitter. My source, speaking to me under the condition of anonymity, says Cody posted the Tweet because he thought he was getting suspended for the aforementioned dietary supplement. Rhodes ended up producing a prescription for what turned out to be a weight-loss supplement, described to me as an "old school Hydroxycut" that contained ephedrine (a derivative of amphetamine and methamphetamine which are on the company's banned substance list).
The prescription cleared the positive test, as any worker that tests positive can clear it with a valid prescription unless the substance is banned outright, so Cody was allowed to work the next week. Since then, Rhodes has dropped the WWE Intercontinental Championship and been buried on WWE Superstars.
Rhodes was slated for a big push but I'm told WWE wanted to "send him a message" first. Apparently Rhodes felt the need to deny the positive test today, knowing his push may start again and knew it was a situation where it was his word versus ours (in which he thought it was the Luchadore website that ripped us off).
- For those that missed it in the local media interviewShawn Michaels did on Monday morning, he confirmed Sean "X-Pac" Waltman was in San Antonio, Texas. He posted a photo of the two of them on Twitter at this link.
- WWE has announced a live event on Saturday, February 2, 2013 from the Garett Coliseum in Montgomery, Alabama.
- As we noted last week here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, both Wade Barrett and Kelly Kelly are locally advertised for this week's Smackdown world tour. Whether or not either, neither or both will return to television this week is currently unknown.
- Diva-Dirt.com is reporting that Rosa Mendes was involved in an incident at the San Antonio International Airport in the last 24 hours. According to their report, citing a police officer, Rosa was assaulted in Las Vegas prior to flying into San Antonio for this week's WWE Raw taping. After landing in San Antonio, Rosa was spotted "visibly upset in a public bathroom" at San Antonio International Airport where another female notified police on her behalf. Pictures were taken and a report was filed before she was transported to her hotel.
- TMZ is reporting that Rosa Mendes - real name Milena Roucka - told police her fiancé, former WWE talent, Jackson Andrews (real name Stephen Andrew Slocum), is a habitual woman beater and "hit her several times at their shared residence in Las Vegas" prior to flying to San Antonio for this week's WWE Raw taping.
Mendes was found in a bathroom stall at the San Antonio International Airport late Sunday night where she stated she needed help. Mendes, according to police, was under the influence of alcohol and said the abuse had been an on-going thing. She told police "she was afraid [her fiancé] would try and kill her."
A battery report was filed around 10:17 PM and police took roughly 30 photos of her body which appeared to show bruising and scratches. A WWE spokesman issued the following statement to TMZ:
"Milena Roucka contacted a WWE Talent Relations representative this morning to notify WWE that, upon her arrival in San Antonio last evening, she contacted police at the airport to report alleged domestic abuse that occurred just prior to her flight." "WWE is supportive of Rosa and will provide her with professional assistance."
Andrews was released by WWE in 2011.
- WWE began airing return vignettes for Wade Barrett on this week's Raw. Barrett, who hasn't worked since February with a dislocated elbow injury, is advertised for this week's Smackdown tour overseas.
- Despite the reports from the NEWZ sites, Rosa Mendes wasn't arrested Sunday night at the San Antonio International airport, however, she was said to be very intoxicated. According to eyewitness accounts, Mendes was stumbling and had a hard time walking.
She was taken from a public women's restroom to a private security room where police filed the battery report and took pictures. As we noted earlier, she was then transported from the airport to her hotel and wasn't taken into custody.
The police report noted she was under the influence of alcohol. Click here for our earlier report with details from TMZ.
JTG is currently on a Twitter rampage about the atmosphere backstage in WWE. Below are his Tweets:
Just in case any of the Tweets are deleted, we've recapped them below:
There are some who live in a fantasy, there are those who live in reality.Then there are some who turn one into the other. Be the change you wish to see in the world. #Iwantchange The camels back just BROKE ! I had enought of this As a pro athlete,Im tired of me and my lockerroom brothers being taken advantage of . Fans have no idea what we go through. #itsanillusion Nobody wants to speak up, everybodys afraid of losing their job or getting taken off TV
- Rosa Mendes did not accompany Primo & Epico to the ring for their match against The Prime Time Players on this week's WWE Raw.
- AJ Lee officially announced on this week's WWE Raw that Daniel Bryan will face Kane at SummerSlam.
- Kelly Kelly returned to WWE on this week's Raw in a match against Eve Torres. She went over in the bout. Kelly Kelly has been off for the past couple months on approved time off where the company allowed her to take outside bookings.
- Shawn Michaels announced on WWE Raw he will be in the corner of Triple H for his match against Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam, in a segment involving Lesnar and Paul Heyman.
- The official WWE website has announced that DJ Pauly D of Jersey Shore fame will be the Social Media Ambassador for next week's Raw. Pauly D is promoting his new brand of cocktails, and will also act as the headlining DJ at the SummerSlam VIP party on August 16. Click here to read the full announcement.
- Wrestling News World reader Catarino sent in the following report from Raw:
After Raw went off the air, Shawn Michaels comes out and thanks everyone. Triple H comes outs and they embrace. CM Punk interrupts and says that Shawn is "the man" in WWE. He says that he appreciates Shawn and they embrace as well. Triple H gives Shawn a plaque saying that they are brothers and that he loves him. They embrace once again. Out comes the Vince McMahon, who calls him his son tells him he loves him. The locker room comes out on stage clapping for Shawn. The Undertaker comes out next. Undertaker talks about punching Shawn for old times sake. He said that if there was a Mount Rushmore for wrestling, Shawn would be the biggest face on it. He then said Shawn is in his top 3 opponents of all time. He then calls him his friend, and they embrace. John Laurinaitis interrupts, and Shawn hits a Sweet Chin Music on him. Triple H picks him up and sets him up so that Shawn can hit another Sweet Chin Music. Shawn thanks everyone in attendance, and everyone leaves as Shawn hits one more Sweet Chin Music on Big Johnny.
- LocalBozo.com has a new article online featuring a Q&A with Chris Jericho. While the majority of the album discusses Fozzy's upcoming album "Sin and Bones," Jericho talks about his latest run in WWE. Below is an excerpt:
LocalBozo.com: Switching gears Chris, you’ve had some incredible opportunities in and out of the ring over the past decade. Shortly you’ll be stepping away to spend some more time with your band. Looking back on your latest run with WWE which looks to be wrapping up shortly, what are your reflections on this latest run and is it still as fun for you as ever to be out there wrestling? CJ: If it wasn’t fun for me I wouldn’t do it, you know? I took time off on the “Chasing the Grail” tour and once that tour was done it was time to move forward doing a new record and my job as a singer is to write the lyrics and to sing on the record. Lyrics were all done and doing vocals took about 15 days total so other than that I had nine months of nothing really going on. So it was the perfect opportunity to step back into WWE for awhile. But the plan was always when the new record came out, then I would leave and go back full time with Fozzy. So you know, we’ll see what happens in the future. I still love doing what I do in the WWE but like I said, Fozzy’s kind of taking precedence at this point. With all the momentum and great things we have going on, it’s cool to see this second dream come true. But it’s good to know too that WWE’s always gonna be there and I feel great. I thought this last run was awesome and I feel better than I did, you know, 3,4,5 years ago. So, you know, I’m raring to go for the next round.
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
- - Zack Ryder posted the following on Twitter:
We get questions all the time about Ryder's lack of television time and it seems as though he's as frustrated as anyone.
- I'm told Abraham Washington was very close to getting fired late last week after the fallout from his dated Kobe Bryantjoke on last week's WWE Raw. While the company is high up on his character, Vince McMahon was very upset over the comment and wanted him gone. Vince began to calm down but was still leaning towards firing him. My source says he was talked out of it by someone in his inner circle although we didn't hear who it was. The reasoning was that the story started to die down pretty fast and if they fired him over it, it could result in another round of coverage from the mainstream media. This could have actually worked counter to WWE's goal to limit negative publicity so not only did AW keep his job but his television time as well.
- Tom La Ruffa announced on his official Facebook page that he has signed a WWE developmental contract. La Ruffa has already reported to Florida Championship Wrestling in Tampa. La Ruffa is from Nice, France and is a graduate of the Storm Wrestling Academy.
- Grantland.com has a new article online featuring quotes from Kevin Nash that is certain to ruffle some feathers. Below are the highlights (or lowlights depending on how you look at them):
What he considers the end of the wrestling business:
"When Benoit and Guerrero hugged [at the end of WrestleMania XX], that was the end of the business," he says. "Has business been the same since that WrestleMania? Has it come close to the Austin era? Has it come close to the nWo or the Hogan era? You put two f---ing guys that were great workers that were the same height as the f---ing referees, and I'm sorry, man. Are you going to watch a porno movie with a guy with a three-inch d--k? Even if you're not gay, you will not watch a porno movie with a guy with a three-inch d--k. That's not the standard in porno films. So you put a 5-foot-7 guy as your world champion."
Criticism of CM Punk & Daniel Bryan:
"They are not bigger than life," he says. "I bet they could both walk through airports and not be noticed unless they have a gimmick shirt on and the belt."
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
- Prior to this week's Smackdown taping in Houston, Texas, Wade Barrett returned to the ring and defeated Zack Ryder. A vignette aired on this week's Raw promoting Barrett's return, and he is advertised for this week's Smackdown international tour.
- Kevin Nash's recent controversial comments have drawn criticism not only from fans, but WWE talent such as Chris Jericho:
It should be noted that Nash has called social media "his PS3" in the past.
- In this week's episode of AfterBuzzTV.com, former WWE Diva Maria Kanellis launched into the personal life of Kelly Kelly. Maria criticized Kelly for photos of her that ended up on the Internet, not naked photos but those that featured Kelly "with someone else's someone else."
Kelly Kelly seemed to have responded to the criticism on Twitter with the following Tweet:
"I will never mention your name, you will never be relevant. If I have something to say about you, I will say it to you ? #thebiggerperson."
The Tweet, located here, has since been deleted.
Maria wrote the following on Twitter:
@afterbuzztv is a show about a show. Every show discusses the show, news and gossip. If you don't like your dirty laundry aired maybe you should be more careful what shows up on the Internet.
You can watch the segment with Maria discussing Kelly Kelly at this link.
- TMZ has a weird twist to the Rosa Mendes story now online. According to the publication, Andy Slocum, who is formerly known as Jackson Andrews in WWE and is engaged to Mendes, had another fiancee in Texas. The girl in question, named Amber Stovall, says she was blindsided by the news of Slocum's alleged abuse and engagement to WWE's Rosa Mendes.
While Amber says Slocum was never violent with her, she is "incredibly angry" and feels "betrayed."
Stovall issued the following statement to TMZ:
"He has not reached out to me despite my efforts to contact him since I found out about Rosa. So as of today, I have cut off all joint accounts which includes his cell phone."
For more on your daily dose of gossip, click here for coverage by TMZ.
- WWE and THQ will be giving away free CM Punk Ice Cream bar t-shirts to people that pre-order WWE '13 through select retailers. In the United States, the attire will be available by pre-ordering at GameStop and in Canada, the shirt will come with all pre-orders placed at EB Games. Click here for more. (Thanks to WNW reader Logan Walker for sending this in.)
- Fozzy is scheduled to tour on the Soundwave Festival in February and March 2013 in Australia. Click here for more information.
- There have been talks of possibly extending the WWE contract of Brock Lesnar past its current expiration date of Wrestlemania XXIX next year. From what I'm told, company officials feel they can get Brock for another year at a cheaper price due to the fact they helped burn his bridge with UFC. While his relationship with UFC isn't completely dead, it's much less likely he will return than it was six months ago.
- To give you a double-dose of daily gossip, I have more details on Maria Kanellislaunching into the personal life of Kelly Kelly. In her comments on AfterBuzzTV.com, Maria was not only referring to photos that surfaced on the Internet of Kelly hanging out with CM Punk when Punk and Maria were dating but a photo of Kelly and John Cena that was posted online about eight months ago. Remember, as we've noted numerous times, the story is Kelly was taken off the road with WWE due to the fear of her name being mentioned in the Cena divorce as there was an alleged relationship between the two while John was married. There is also a photo online of Kelly kissing Chris Jericho.
- WWE has settled all of their legal proceedings with the World Wildlife Fund which is why they no longer have to blur out the old WWF logos. This includes the old Attitude Era "scratch logo."
- Lucas Di Leo, another independent worker out of France, has signed a developmental contract with WWE. Di Leo received a tryout with the company while they were in the United Kingdom late last year. Unlike Tom La Ruffa, who is also French and was recently signed to a developmental contract, Di Leo trained exclusively in France. La Ruffa was a graduate of Lance Storm's Storm Wrestling Academy.
- The Los Angeles Times is reporting that WWE will begin airing a new show, titled WWE Saturday Morning Slam, August 25th on The CW. The weekly half-hour show will feature one pre-taped match per week, as well as behind-the-scenes segments. The show will be targeted at the young boy demographic, explained in the excerpt below:
Saban and WWE are hoping to capitalize on research data that show children, including a healthy contingent of boys younger than 12, make up 22% of the audience for the wrestling group's core franchises, "Monday Night Raw" and "SmackDown," which run on the NBCUniversal cable channels USA Network and Syfy, respectively.
"Children make up a huge, huge component of our audience," said Eric Pankowski, senior vice president for WWE creative and development.
In an average week, the audience for WWE's national programs includes more than 2.5 million viewers younger than 18, Pankowski said, and about 40% of the people who attend live WWE events bring their kids.
As previously noted on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, WWE recently conducted a survey to determine the name of the show. WWE Saturday Morning Slam beat out WWE Jakked, WWE Amp'd, WWE Supercharge, and WWE Turbocharge.
Click here to read the full article.
- WWE Champion CM Punk is not a fan of UFC's reigning light-heavyweight champion Jon "Bones" Jones getting a global endorsement deal from Nike as he Tweeted the following:
Click here for more on the deal.
- Randy Orton was asked on Twitter why he was not featured in the promo for SummerSlam. Below is his reply:
- For those that missed this week's Smackdowntaping results, one of the reasons WWE is programming Antonio Cesaro and Christian is to see what kind of in-ring work they can get out of Cesaro. I'm told the company looks at him as a "now or never" prospect and he could do himself a huge favor if the matches are worked well and clean. Christian is seen by many as one of the best in-ring workers in the company so the feeling is he has a very nice opportunity.
- As for WWE programming Damien Sandow and Brodus Clay on Raw, I'm told it's a situation where the company wants Sandow to bring out the best in Clay.
- Unlike the positive reaction from Raw on Monday, I'm told there was a considerable amount of criticism for the way this week's Smackdown was laid out. One of the more critical points was having Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio face one another this close to SummerSlam.
- Daniel Bryan, who has a reputation for not talking trash and minding his own business, was said to be very critical of Kevin Nash for his comments in the Grantland.com article.
CM Punk recently took part in an interview with the Southtown Star, promoting his appearance at Wizard World Chicago Comic Con this weekend. In the following excerpt, he names the highlight of his career:
QUESTION: What was going through your head when you won the WWE champion belt last November?
CM PUNK: It was the highlight of my career. It’s like college graduation, your wedding, winning the Super Bowl and a retirement party all in one.
He also discusses who he admires in the WWE today, in the excerpt below:
Q: And of your contemporaries, who do you admire now?
CMP: I admire just about anybody for various reasons. Everyone has traits that I admire.
You’ve got to admire John [Cena] for all the work he does with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, though. The WWE likes to broadcast his involvement with Make-A-Wish, and they should.
“I know how many of their events I do and how many John does, and there is no comparison.
Click here to read the full article.
-Sabu has been added to the Alumni section of the official WWE website. Click here to view his page.
- WWE issued the following press release on their new weekly half-hour show called WWE Saturday Morning Slam that will debut on Saturday, August 25th at 10 AM on The CW Network. Below is the release in its entirety:
STAMFORD, Conn., August 9, 2012 – WWE (NYSE: WWE) and Saban Brands today announced a new, weekly half-hour show, WWE Saturday Morning Slam, that will debut on Saturday, August 25 at 10 a.m. WWE Saturday Morning Slam will be part of the television premiere of Vortexx on The CW, a Saturday morning kids’ television block, reaching 114 million U.S. television households. This marks the first time, since 2001, WWE will have a program in a kids’ time slot and reinforces WWE’s commitment to kid-friendly entertainment.
WWE Saturday Morning Slam packs the riveting in-ring action, the larger-than-life WWE Superstars, and the WWE’s entertaining brand extensions into the fastest, most energy-filled half-hour on television. WWE Superstar profiles, behind-the-scenes footage and an exclusive WWE match every week will all combine to make WWE Saturday Morning Slam the perfect destination for the youngest viewers in the WWE Universe. The show will also include highlights from WWE’s Be a STAR anti-bullying campaign and other community initiatives.
“We are extremely excited to partner with the WWE to bring their world-class brand of entertainment to Vortexx,” said Joel Andryc, Co-President, Vortexx. “With a focus on action, adventure and comedy, Vortexx is the perfect home for WWE Saturday Morning Slam and will definitely excite our fans.”
“WWE has a long history on Saturday mornings, and we’re thrilled to make our action-packed return on Vortexx with WWE Saturday Morning Slam,” said Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman and CEO. “The new program enables us to further engage kids and families, a vital component of WWE’s passionate and multi-generational fan base.”
- Justin Credible noted on his Twitter account that he's been contacted by WWE for work on the WWE Network.
- WWE Champion CM Punk is scheduled to appear and compete at the next set of WWE NXT tapings from the campus of Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida on August 23, 2012. We'll have full results from this week's taping online shortly exclusively here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- WWE Champion CM Punk and Eve Torres filmed a cooking special with celebrity chef Graham Elliot. Elliot posted a photo with the WWE stars on Twitter calling it a "culinary/wrestling smackdown." You can view it embedded below:
- Remember our coverage from the Linda McMahoncampaign trail? How about Vince McMahonbeing close to firingAbraham Washington? In an interesting twist, AW has come out and publicly supported McMahon for Senate:
- Some found it interesting that the parent company of New Japan Pro Wrestling, Bushiroad, co-sponsored this week's WWE Smackdown live events in Japan.
- Vince and Linda McMahon have released their 2011 tax returns, which reports earnings of $24.1 million, which is down $6 million from the amount they earned in 2010. The McMahons paid $3.6 in federal taxes and $1.72 million in state taxes. Much of the federal taxes were paid on dividend income, which is taxed at a 15.05 percent rate. They donated nearly $2.3 million to charity with $2 million going to the Vince and Linda McMahon Family Foundation. Click here for an article on GreenwichTime.com written by The Associated Press.
- ESPN.com has a new interview online with AJ Lee. While she talks a lot about gaming, she made some interesting comments regarding the progression of her character. Below is an excerpt:
In terms of your television character, why do you think you’ve been able to connect with fans almost instantly, while so many other performers just seem to come and go and never stick? I think the important thing is that I’ve never tried to be someone I’m not. People can read right through that. There’s a place for people who are unattainable where you want to have their poster on your wall because they’re larger than life, and that’s fine, but that’s not me. I’m not the coolest person in the world. I’m not the sexiest Diva or the strongest Diva. I know who I am. I’m not the most popular person and I’m kind of dorky and I’m someone you can see at your school or as your neighbor, and I think people like that. I think I’m a girl that represents someone you might know or would like to hang out with, and I think people just relate to me. I also look like I’m about 14, [laughs] so maybe I look like I do go to high school with everyone. I just think it’s cool that people have taken to me. Before I was on the show, I was a fan, and I think people can see that. Every time my daughter sees you, she starts skipping around the room. It’s pretty funny. That is so awesome. I love that. That really means the world to me. It’s a responsibility I’m becoming more aware of, because when I first started, I was always trying to be the prettiest I could be and I wanted to do my hair all big and was putting all this makeup on, but then I just stopped. I’m not the girl who has perfect hair or wears makeup. I want to represent that. When you see me on TV against one of the other girls, they look 10 times better than me, and I’m OK with that. I make a conscious effort not to wear that much makeup and not have my hair so perfectly groomed. That’s just not me. I’m not going to be perfect. I’m not that person, and I think little girls and people in general can appreciate that. I want to represent something that people can look up to, and hopefully I can do that even better now that I’m in a position of power. When did you first decide that you wanted to be a wrestler? Were you a big fan as a kid? Oh my gosh, I’ve been a fan my whole life. Miss Elizabeth was my first idol growing up, and I was just obsessed with it. I was a huge fan of Molly and Lita and Stephanie. I was just watching for so long, and at 12 years old, I just decided this was something that I wanted to do. I started at 18, and it’s been a really long journey, but it just all feels like a dream to be here now. What’s it like hearing those comparisons people make between you and Miss Elizabeth, considering that she was your idol growing up? I think I have a long way to go. She is out of my league, but I appreciate the comparison. I think it’s the innocence people see in the two of us, and having something that’s more of an understatement. A woman who appears to be more of a gentle creature on TV. It’s amazing to me to be compared at all to her, or anyone in the past. I hope I can be someone people look at in the future and compare other people to me. It’s a big deal, and I appreciate it.
Click here to read the interview in its entirety.
- WWE Champion CM Punk was on 670 The Score in Chicago on Friday. In the interview, Punk said as the company's champion, he's the leader. He said he thinks he's more comfortable as a heel. When asked about Jon "Bones" Jones, Punk said he has nothing against him but you got to love Twitter. You can listen to the interview at this link.
- Terry Taylor is still having issues with his back and may need another surgery. As a result, his progress as the new head of WWE developmental is moving very slowly. I'm told Triple H strongly believes that Taylor is the right guy to help fix developmental and "polish-up" guys to get them ready for television. In addition to those responsibilities, Taylor will also be depended on to help structure the company's new developmental program and assist with hires for other positions. Taylor has been unable to work full-time while recovering from his last surgery so a lot of things are on hold. He was unable to make the last set of WWE NXT tapings but was backstage at the tapings on Thursday night. Speaking of the tapings Thursday night, not only was Taylor "walking around OK" but Triple H was said to be "very pleased" with how things went. The vibe amongst the crew is that all the changes are really going to payoff.
- NBC issued the following press release on Friday:
WRESTLEMANIA 28 – ROCK VS. CENA’ TO AIR ON NBC SATURDAY, AUGUST 25 AT 9 PM ET NEW YORK, NY - August 10, 2012 – For the fourth consecutive year, WWE® and NBC are joining forces to bring “WrestleMania” to network television. “WrestleMania 28 – Rock vs. Cena” will air on Saturday, August 25 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC, allowing WWE fans to relive moments from the most watched “WrestleMania” of all time. The one-hour broadcast will take viewers inside the event as two of the most celebrated superstars, The Rock® and John Cena®, battled each other in a main event that exceeded all expectations. “WrestleMania 28 – Rock vs. Cena” will chronicle the yearlong, epic journey to this faceoff, including exclusive, never-before-seen footage and will showcase the entire Rock vs. Cena match for the first time ever on broadcast television. “WrestleMania XXVIII,” held this past April 1 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, set new records for pay-per-view buys and gross sales. The event brought together 78,363 fans from all 50 states and 36 countries and garnered 1.3 million pay-per-view buys with global gross sales in excess of $67 million. The world’s biggest pop-culture extravaganza was seen around the world on pay-per-view in more than 105 countries and 20 languages. For more information on “WrestleMania 28 – Rock vs. Cena” please visit NBC.com's "Movies & Specials" site: http://www.nbc.com/specials Please like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/NBC and follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/NBC
- Abraham Washington has been released from WWE. Below is the official statement posted on dot com:
WWE has come to terms on the release of WWE Superstar A.W. as of today, August 10, 2012. WWE wishes A.W. the best in all his future endeavors.
Washington had a tremendous amont of backstage heat last week after while wearing a live mic at ringside he said during a match on the July 30th episode of WWE Raw that Titus O'Neil was “more unstoppable than Kobe Bryant in a Colorado hotel.” The dated joke, which referenced sexual assault allegations brought against Bryant in the summer of 2003, prompted an immediate apology by WWE via Michael Cole. Washington later issued his own apology for the joke but it didn't stop the mainstream media from picking up on it.
We reported Vince McMahon was livid over the joke last week and was very close to firing him but later talked out of it by someone in his inner circle. The thinking was releasing him would only cause more mainstream media attention as it had died down almost as quickly as it got started. It appears as if WWE gave it a week to cool off then decided to go ahead and make the release. While there were several high up on the AW gimmick, McMahon ultimately wanted him gone for the irresponsible remark on live television.
It appears AW decided to rib his Twitter followers by apparently endorsingLinda McMahon for Senate with the hashtag "#VoteOrDie4Linda." Since the news of his release has been made public, Washington has been on a Twitter barrage with comments on his release.
Thanks to Wrestling News World readers Josh Faulkner, Kris B, Alex Black, Justin Schroeder, Braxton Worley, Steven Anthony, Corey, Ernest Bethea, David, Robbie Newman, Christopher Allen, Jamie Apps, Fernando, Hitman 310, Sean Weatherly, Gage Penngelly, Jitters84 and Shannon for notifying us of the release.
- For those that missed it on this week's Smackdown, Chris Jericho vs. Dolph Ziggler will face one another at SummerSlam. This is nothing new as Jericho was expected to work through SummerSlam before leaving to tour with his band Fozzy.
- WWE has announced that WWE Champion CM Punk vs. Big Show will open next week's Raw broadcast from the American Airline Center in Dallas, Texas.
- TMZ has coverage of Abraham Washington'srelease from WWE, recapping his Tweets and providing an interesting statement from a WWE spokesperson. Below are the highlights:
"It was the #WWE that made me bold and now it has turned it's back on me." "Just be normal shut up and be a yes man so you can collect your check and feel like your special. #SELLOUTS!!" "I remember a time when the WWE didn't care about breaking the mold but now everyone is so afraid of their own shadow. #RemeberTheFans" "Thank you WWE for creating me and then killing me because I only portrayed what I grew up watching... The #WWE!!"
WWE Rep Speaks:
"Unfortunately, Brian Jossie, playing the character of A.W. was terminated because he continued to exhibit poor judgment by making offensive and inappropriate comments on live television and on social media."
Click here for coverage by TMZ.
- As expected, the 2013 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony will take place on Saturday, April 6, 2013 from Madison Square Garden in New York City. Wrestlemania AXXESS is scheduled to take place beside Metlife Stadium, which will host Wrestlemania XXIX, inside the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The venue will also host WWE Raw the night after Wrestlemania on Monday, April 7, 2013.
The Sun recently conducted an interview with AJ Styles, in which he discusses his desire for TNA to do pay-per-views in the United Kingdom, his feelings on pessimistic fans, his status as a locker room leader, and more. In the following excerpt, Styles explains his current plans for retirement:
I would love to stop around 40. That’s my goal. It all depends. I don’t want to wrestle forever, I can’t. My body won’t hold up. It’s starting to break down already. When you hurt yourself chasing your kid, you’re getting a little bit too old. “I want to be there for my family. I don’t want to look back and go, ‘I wish I’d been there’. My family is more important than my job. “But I hope to be able to say that I was the first signed, and that I retired from TNA. “I would love to continue to be part of TNA somehow (after I retire). I don’t know whether that is as an agent, or in the office, or handling talent relations. I would love to get the opportunity to sit down and talk to guys and say, ‘I know you want this, but this is where you’re at’ and be real with them.”
Click here to view the full article.
- Kurt Angle and Jeff Jarrett are scheduled to work AAA'sTriplemania XX in Mexico City on Sunday night. They will team together to face Electroshock & LA Park.
- Dixie Carter posted the following on Twitter:
TNA announced that beginning May 31, 2012 that Impact Wrestling would begin airing live on Spike TV and would "continue through the summer."
- The wedding of Gail Kim and The Food Network'sRobert Irvine is featured in the latest Food Network Magazine. Dixie Carter Tweeted photos of the feature that are embedded below:
As we noted last month here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, The Food Network will air a special called "Wedding Impossible" featuring their own Robert Irvine and TNA Knockout Gail Kim.
Below are the show times for the special:
- Saturday, August 18 at 10 PM ET/PT
- Sunday, August 19 at 1 AM ET/PT
- Wednesday, August 22 at 10 PM ET/PT
Kim and Irvine were married on May 10, 2012.
I've noticed WWE bringing up Tensai's initial WWE run before he went to Japan. Has WWE given up on trying to pretend the past didn't happen?
WWE has acknowledged Tensai's initial run in the company as Albert (and A-Train) since he was brought back in the revamped gimmick earlier this year. I don't know what made them decide to acknowledge it other than the hope that fans would move past the "shave your back chants." Whatever the reasoning was, Tensai has failed to get over and has seen his push significantly scaled back. It's widely believed the monster push of heel Big Show was originally slated for Tensai. As for this being the new WWE precedent, I don't see that as being the case as the company clearly makes up the rules as they go along and it all depends on the situation.
Could you see Panda Energy selling TNA to Vince McMahon?
From time-to-time we have readers that email in and ask about the possibility of Vince McMahon acquiring TNA Wrestling. I could see Vince being interested in the tape library but do not see him being interested in investing in a company that isn't close to competing with him. Jeff Jarrett is trying to bring on a new investor as we have full details at this link.
Has Jack Swagger been released from WWE?
Jack Swagger was on the road with the Raw crew this weekend and has not been released from his WWE contract. Swagger, who the creative team has no plans for, put over WWE United States Champion Santino Marella.
When is Ted DiBiase going to be returning to WWE television?
Ted DiBiase's return to WWE television is considered imminent as he returned to the ring at live events last month. I haven't heard if he is booked for this week's WWE Raw, however, he is in town and will be signing autographs with Kaitlyn in San Antonio today from Noon until 2 PM at the National Guard Armory.
I feel ever since John Cena did not successfully cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase the match has lost prestige. What are your thoughts?
If it would have been an up and coming worker that did not successfully "cash in" the Money in the Bank briefcase by winning the title, I would have been very critical of WWE's booking of the match stipulation. Given the circumstances, along with the fact it was John Cena, I do not feel the prestige of the gimmick was hurt. Cena is going to be a main event star and as you can see, will still be challenging for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam.
Was Alex Riley's win on Raw a one time thing or is this a turnaround for his career?
The way WWE booked Alex Riley over Dolph Ziggler on this week's Raw was more that Dolph lost the match than Riley won it. Chris Jericho even mentioned on commentary how long it's been since Riley has gone over in a match. A win certainly doesn't hurt Alex Riley, however, I'm not sure his win was meant to be anything other than Jericho distracting Ziggler.
This week's WWE Raw was advertised as "Shawn Michaels Appreciation Night" but he was hardly featured. Why was this?
The real "Shawn Michaels Appreciation Night" took place after this week's WWE Raw went off the air as we have a live report here and footage available here. The entire gimmick was done as a way to get Shawn Michaels involved in Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam as WWE is always looking for ways to use Shawn in non-wrestling capacities. There was actually talk about Lesnar taking out Shawn on Raw 1000 but it was cut during one of the many re-writes.
Do you think Chris Jericho's current program with Dolph Ziggler is going to be his last before taking another hiatus from WWE and who do you see going over who in the storyline? My money is on The Showoff.
Chris Jericho's program with Dolph Ziggler is his final before taking another hiatus to tour with Fozzy. The correct way to book it would be for Ziggler to go over as a "passing of the torch" but I'll also be the first to admit that I am not high up on Jericho as a babyface. Jericho is talented enough to play both but I have a hard time buying him as a babyface given how great he is as a heel.
With growing concerns from WWE talent about the pay and compensation they are receiving; can you see a union for professional wrestlers forming in the future?
We get questions from time-to-time about a pro wrestling union with the issue really being brought the the forefront after the Benoit tragedy, however, I don't see how it would be possible. Performer's contracts in WWE are signed as independent contractor agreements, where the workers agree they are not classified as employees even though the company stipulates very specifically when and where they can work. Former workers have challenged the contracts in court, however, they are iron clad in terms of validity and enforcement.
When will Dolph Ziggler "cash in" his Money in the Bank briefcase?
WWE is currently programming Dolph Ziggler with Chris Jericho, which will hopefully culminate with a SummerSlam bout between the two with some type of "passing of the torch" from Jericho to Ziggler (as Jericho is slated time off to tour with Fozzy). I would look for WWE to play up Ziggler as the Money in the Bank winner before any real attempt to "cash in" takes place despite continuing teases due to how quickly they had John Cena "cash in." I'm hopeful Ziggler is able to get over as a top heel in the program with Jericho that will lead to a World title reign in the future.
What's the latest on Alex Shelley? Many believed he was supposed to sign with WWE but there haven't been many updates on him for a while. Is he still set to go?
Alex Shelley to WWE fell apart with TNA's lawsuit they filed against WWE and Brian Wittenstein where they alleged contract tampering. The last I heard, Shelley was looking to take time off from the wrestling business and had enrolled to take some college classes.
What are your thoughts on CM Punk as a heel? In my opinion CM Punk is a good heel but a great babyface and role model.
I have noticed quite a few readers already crapping on CM Punk's heel turn, however, it's far too early to judge. I'm going to give it some time to see how it plays out before I judge one way or another. Punk is a talented guy capable of working as both babyface and heel so my advice to you (and anyone else ready to judge) is to have patience with it.
Can you explain TNA's lawsuit against WWE and what it means for both companies?
TNA Wrestling filed the lawsuit against former employee Brian Wittenstein and WWE, alleging that Wittenstein provided WWE with confidential information and trade secrets while he was an employee earlier this year. Prior to the lawsuit being filed in late-May, WWE contacted TNA to let them know that Wittenstein had provided them with confidential information. TNA believes WWE was using the information to obtain Ric Flair (and other wrestlers with expiring deals) and that WWE delayed Wittenstein's termination by three weeks after obtaining the information. As for what it all means, do not expect WWE to hire anyone that worked for TNA while Wittensten was an employee there until the lawsuit is over. WWE has the money and resources to tie the case up in court for years so who gets hurt is anyone that has worked for TNA that would like a shot in WWE. TNA's objective is to not only show their roster is of value but that it cannot be poached by WWE when more money is offered.
Do you see WWE going back to being WWF now that the lawsuit World Wildlife Federation filed (now World Wildlife Fund) has been settled?
I do not know the formalities behind WWE's settlement with the World Wildlife Fund other than WWE no longer has to blur out the old WWF logos. I do not see WWE reverting back to their old name, even if they are allowed to use it, due to the amount of money and resources spent on brand awareness.
What were your thoughts on Kevin Nash's disrespectful comments about Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero?
Kevin Nash has the right to say whatever he wants although I, along with most, disagree with what he said about Benoit and Guerrero as champions. It's funny how upset Nash has the ability to make people but I think it all boils down to the fact he's bored. Nash is sitting around with plenty of money in the bank, looking for something to entertain him. Remember in June when Nash Tweeted he was running Raw only to say social media was his PS3? Nash's comments keep the emails, Tweets and texts coming and he finds them extremely entertaining.
Which match would you like to see go on last at SummerSlam? - Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar or CM Punk vs. John Cena vs. Big Show?
Given the fact CM Punk vs. John Cena headlined SummerSlam last year, I'm in favor of Triple H w/Shawn Michaels vs. Brock Lesnar closing the show. We could argue about the titles holding precedence over the part-timers but the fact of the matter is Lesnar vs. Hunter is a bigger match and I'm more interested in it than anything else on the card.
Why was John Cena the first to not win the WWE Championship after winning Money in the Bank? Was it for the future, so the writers are no longer obligated to make the winner the champ? By having Cena be the first, it seems it would be easier for them to have others lose in the future.
I can't give you a firm explanation as to why WWE made John Cena the first Money in the Bank winner that failed to successfully "cash in" but it will be interesting to see if the company puts him over for the title at SummerSlam. If that's the case, the fact he didn't successfully "cash in" at Raw 1000 is a moot point. WWE clearly tried something different with the Money in the Bank match this year, having one comprised of all top stars and former title holders. Traditionally the match has been used to elevatelavate mid-card talent like many are hoping with Dolph Ziggler.
Is Randy Orton not on SummerSlam because of his Wellness suspension or is there just not a spot for him?
Randy Orton claimed earlier in the week he won't be working SummerSlam. It's one of those things I'll have to see to believe, however, if he is a SummerSlam snub it's certainly punishment for his second documented WWE Wellness Policy violation. SummerSlam is treated as WWE's second-biggest pay-per-view of the year and carries one of the heaviest paydays for the workers on it. Taking the big payday from Orton could be the final part of his punishment for the failed test.
Reflecting on Kevin Nash's Grantland.com comments I looked over the WWE roster. Big Show, The Undertaker, Kane, The Great Khali and Mark Henry are all the wrong side of 39 and there aren't many "big men" left on the roster. Is the era of the big man drawing to a close?
The wrestling business has clearly changed with more of an emphasis put on Wellness and the lack of stars with the "bodybuilder" look carrying the company. It also seems the WWE is like the NBA in that it has shrunk with fewer big men than years past. My view on it is, give me someone entertaining over someone with shock value any day. I would much rather Daniel Bryan or CM Punk, who are both capable of working great matches and carrying a feud, than someone that has an extraordinary look but is painful to watch do anything. I am not reading too much into Nash's comments because I honestly think he was looking for shock value to get people talking about him.