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WWE Creative Told To Come Up With Return Plans For Major Star, Hogan Returning To WWE (Video Game), John Cena To Have Elbow Surgery, Blown Finish On Raw, HBK's WWE Future, Total Divas Renewed, WWE Star Inquires About SummerSlam Return To Told They Aren't

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WNW Premium Newsletter

Welcome to the Premium Newsletter. This is where you will find all of the big news and Ask WNW segments from the week neatly archived for your viewing pleasure.

This week's edition covers news from Saturday, August 10, 2013 to Friday, August 16, 2013 as well as all five Ask WNW segments from the week. Use this newsletter as your own personal tool to catch up on any of the news that you may have missed during the week. Below is a table of contents:

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

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

WWE News

- Gerald Brisco is scheduled to attend the August 23rd !BANG! TV Taping in Ocala, Florida where he will be scouting talent for WWE. For those interesting in attending, the show starts at 7 PM.

- Dolph Ziggler and Kaitlyn fight back in the latest episode of "Backstage Fallout" Smackdown online now at this link.

- Episode 5 of Daniel Bryan's Strange Beardfellows is online now at this link.

- Brian Fritz interviewed Dolph Ziggler to promote WWE SummerSlam and a major topic of discussion was Ziggler's concussion that he suffered back in May. Ziggler admitted the injury effected his storyline alliance with AJ Lee and Big E Langston. He also talked about people pulling him aside and telling him he needed to tone it down because he was putting his body through too much sometimes. You can listen to the interview in its entirety at this link.

- CM Punk and Victoria (formerly Tara) were at Mick Foley's comedy show in Chicago earlier in the week. Below are some photos:

Congratulations to John Cena & Nikki Bella

Attention "Total Divas" fans, John Cena and Nikki Bella celebrated their one year anniversary as a couple on Friday night.

- Sheamus remains in good spirits as he prepares for surgery next week to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. The following is from Twitter:

As we reported here at, Sheamus is expected to be out 4-6 months.

- Take a look at Kofi Kingston's finisher, Trouble in Paradise, in a new clip posted here on YouTube.

- Titus O'Neil Tweeted a cool photo with a WWE title belt that you can view below:

- Mark Henry joined The Undertaker at a charity event in Round Rock, Texas over the weekend. As part of the festivities, Henry pulled a semi-truck. You can watch footage at this link.

- CM Punk did a Q&A session at the Wizard World Comic-Con in Chicago over the weekend. Aside from bringing pizza for attendees, Punk revealed his favorite promotion to work for was Ring of Honor in 2004. He talked about working along side workers such as Austin Aries, Daniel Bryan and Samoa Joe. Punk said Kofi Kingston was one of his best friends and he would choose him as a tag team partner. Out of all the people he hasn't worked with, Punk expressed a desire to work with Dean Ambrose. He was asked about working an "Ultimate X" match (a TNA staple) and Punk was unfamiliar with the concept. When it was explained to him, he said he wouldn't want to work one of those bouts.

- The WWE creative team has been told to begin kicking around ideas for the return of Rey Mysterio. While he was shooting for a return at SummerSlam, that doesn't appear as likely with the show only a week out. One of the delays in his return could be due to the health of his mother, not due to his injury status. Rey's mother has been in poor health but we're told it's been improving. Mysterio is a guy that's hard to book because Vince McMahon often changes his mind on whether or not he wants to push him. However, despite McMahon's uncertainty, Rey is still a top merchandise seller [in WWE] even after a prolonged absence from television. WWE told Mysterio when his mother was believed to be in grave condition to take as much time away as he needed. He is expected to return some time this year and the planning stages of his comeback have been made a priority.

- WWE has uploaded the latest episode of "After Total Divas" to YouTube. The video is available at this link.

- Jim Ross has a new blog on his official website in which he discusses his memories of SummerSlam, his expectations for this year's event, and more. In the following excerpt, JR gives the latest on the injuredSheamus:

Had a great conversation with the injured Sheamus this week. He's really got things in perspective and will return better than ever, likely around the new year but that's TBD. @WWESheamus is a mature professional who will continue to forge out a distinguished career once he returns from shoulder surgery. The Irishman won't be one of those guys we read about who's destitute, down and out, etc once his career in the ring concludes.

Click here to read the full article.

- CM Punk played at Kerry Wood's Wiffle Ball Classic game on Saturday along with other celebrities such as Bill Murray and Jenny McCarthy. Rather than using a bat, Punk stepped up to the plate with a folding steel chair. You can view photos at this link.

While doing media for SummerSlam, Dolph Ziggler admitted that he is OCD about his ring gear. You can listen to the interview conducted last week at this link.

- Maria Menounos is being teased for an angle at Sunday's WWE SummerSlam, quite possibly a tag team match.

If the company follows-up on kayfabe Tweets, it will be Maria and Natalya vs. The Bella Twins (or someone to represent Nikki due to her current stress fracture in her right leg).

- WWE Champion John Cena did not work Saturday's WWE live event in Oakland, California as advertised. Instead, he was replaced by the returning Big Show who is now medically cleared (for real this time) from his hip injury.

- WWE has made a change to their taping calendar. The originally scheduled November 5, 2013 Smackdown taping from the Bi-Lo Center in Greenville, South Carolina has been moved to a Monday Night Raw taping on November 4, 2013. Click here for more information.

- WWE announced on Monday that WWE 2K14 will feature a game mode called "30 Years of Wrestlemania." The mode gives the player the ability to relive 45 classic Wrestlemania matches such as Hulk Hogan vs. Andre The Giant at Wrestlemania III.

- The upcoming WWE 2K14 video game will be a major part of this weekend's SummerSlam Fan Axxess event. In addition to Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler revealing the complete roster for the game with Damien Sandow, there will be numerous other events. They will all be streamed live on the 2K Sports channel. The schedule is as follows:

WWE 2K14 Gameplay Livestream
Friday, August 16 at 12 p.m. PDT

* Senior Game Designer Bryan Williams and Interactive Marketing Manager Aubrey Sitterson walk you through full WWE 2K14 matches

* Highlights new and improved gameplay elements like OMG Moments, Catching Finishers, the new reversal system and more

WWE 2K14 30 Years of WrestleMania Roster Reveal
Saturday, August 17 at 12:30 p.m. PDT

* WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross, WWE Hall of Famer Jerry "The King" Lawler and WWE Superstar Damien Sandow reveal the full 30 Years of WrestleMania roster in-ring at SummerSlam Axxess

WWE 2K14 30 Years of WrestleMania Symposium
Saturday, August 17 at 6:45 p.m. PDT

* WWE Superstars and Legends take a look back at some of their favorite WrestleMania moments.

- The Sunshine Coast Daily out of Australia has a new article online featuring quotes from The Miz. In it, he discusses his rise to prominence, the hectic travel schedule of WWE and when the nerves dissipate as a WWE superstar. Click here to read now.

- We reported earlier here at that WWE 2K14 will feature a game mode called “30 Years of Wrestlemania.” The mode gives the player the ability to re-live 45 classic Wrestlemania matches such as Hulk Hogan vs. Andre The Giant at Wrestlemania III. That announcement accompanied the obvious announcement that Hogan will be a playable character in the game.

We're told Hogan cleared it with Dixie Carter for his likeness to be used in the upcoming WWE title. According to a source, Hogan is doing this to help restore his relationship with WWE and Vince McMahon. This is seen as a way to "re-cement the bridge" in order to solidify future merchandising opportunities with the promotion that made him famous.

Hogan just turned 60 and knows that the best way to help rebuild himself financially (following the ugly divorce with Linda) is to make himself available to the WWE giant. We're told Vince doesn't feel Hogan has the drawing power that he once had, as has been evident in TNA's ratings, but does see him as "big money" in terms of merchandise, licensing and DVD sales. Hogan recognizes this as well and his inclusion in WWE 2K14 is part of the two sides working together again.

For people to look at Hogan's inclusion in WWE 2K14 as "no big deal," we're told they aren't seeing the bigger picture. Hogan is clearly getting himself back under the umbrella of the company he help build.

- Casting is now underway for the upcoming sequel to "See No Evil" starring Kane. Production is scheduled to begin this fall. We have more on the WWE Studios project at this link.

- features WWE Diva and "Total Divas" cast member Eva Marie in new bikini photos at this link.

- Justin Labar interviewed Roman Reigns for a new article posted on TribLive on Sunday. Below is an excerpt:

“I come from very strong family,” Reigns said. “My heritage is strong within this business. I was gifted with a certain set of genetics. I'm athletic. I like to think I'm not a bad looking guy. One of the jokes we always talk about, as long as I can put a little oil on my arms, wet my hair and I'll be alright.”

“It was pretty much unexpected,” Reigns said. “I heard some rumors we would possibly do something at Hell in a Cell. That kind of folded. We waited a few weeks to get to Survivor Series. Once we got the green light, we just kicked the door down.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- Dot com posted a new interview with Shawn Michaels where he talked about the inevitability of Daniel Bryan. Click here to read it.

- DirecTV posted a video interview with Kaitlyn that you can watch at this link.

- Check out this video of Dolph Ziggler working out at Muscle Beach Gym.

- Last week's episode of WWE Smackdown did an average viewing audience of 2,490,000 viewers on SyFy.

- WWE announced Monday on dot com that Jo Jo from "Total Divas" will sing the National Anthem at SummerSlam on Sunday.

"I really feel so so blessed. I actually want to scream!" JoJo told "I feel blessed to even be considered to sing the National Anthem, especially for such a big event like SummerSlam."

Click here for coverage by dot com.

- Shawn Michaels, Booker T & Natalya will host the WWE SummerSlam Kickoff Show, starting at 7:00 PM ET. The pre-show event will also feature Dean Ambrose defending his United States Championship. The show will be an hour long as opposed to the half hour Kickoff shows they've done in the past.

August 12, 2013 10:55 PM EDT Update: Ambrose will defend the title against Rob Van Dam, who won a number one contender battle royal on this week's episode of WWE Monday Night Raw.

End update.

WWE SummerSlam 2013 will take place Sunday, August 18, 2013 from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. We’ll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at

- WWE filed form 8-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday, outlining their loan and aircraft security agreement for their new corporate jet.

The aircraft is a 2007 Bombardier Model BD-700-1A11 and includes amenities such as a global office, a sound proof cabin, a 10-cup auto-fill coffee maker, a microwave oven and more. The airplane seats 15 passengers.

Below is an excerpt of some of the features:

Ops. at airports w/ MAX wt. restrictions of 75,000 lbs
Increased MTOW to 92,500 lbs
Increased fuel to 39,250 lbs for increased range
Lower cabin altitude at 45,000 ft
Additional R/H aft cabin window installed at FS788
Two (2) RHS Additional FWD Cabin Windows (in FWD Lavatory and Behind RH Galley)

Collins (3) channel Inmarsat SATCOM (SAT-6100) two high speed data HST’s with wireless access point
Aircell ATG 5000 High Speed Data system with wireless access point
(2) dual channel ICG Iridium SATCOM (Both SATCOM Systems Interfaced w/ ICG 3000 PBX)
(w/ one wired (cockpit) one wired & three wireless handsets (cabin)

Cockpit / Crew:
Dual CMC CMA 1100 EFB’s
Pilot and Co-Pilot EROS MF-IO Full-Face Masks
Protective Smoke Goggle in Pouch
Single Outlet Located Adjacent to Cockpit Seats

Cabin Amenities:
Factory sound proofing package
Cabin Elec. Sys. (CES) – Rockwell Collins 7.1.5
Two (2) Dual Multi-Region DVD Players
Two (2) Bulkhead-Mounted 21.3” LCD Monitors
High-Quality Cabin (10) Speakers/ (4) Subwoofers
Eight (8) Receptacles for Plug-In Monitors
Two (2) Plug-In 10.4″ Touch Screen Monitors
Airshow ASXi (Moving Map)

Global Office:
10/100 Base T Ethernet Wireless LAN & Hardwire RJ-45 LAN Interface
Plain Paper, Fax/Printer/Scanner
(10) Cabin 115 VAC GFI Electrical Outlets
Galley Miscellaneous Equipment:
10-Cup TIA Auto-Fill Coffee Maker
Chiller-Cooled Cold Food Storage
One Divided Ice Drawer with Overboard Drain
TIA High Temp and Microwave Oven

Fifteen (15) Passenger: Forward cabin 4 Single Seats, (Wide & Berthing). Mid-cabin 2 Place 16G Berthing Divan across from a 4 place conference
group with a manual high-low table. Aft-cabin Three-Place 16G Berthing Divan across form 2 Single Seats, (Wide & Berthing).
Forward Galley, Forward Vacuum Lav, Forward LH Sliding Pocket Door, Removable mid-cabin bulkhead RHS with pocket door, Aft Vacuum Lav,
Aft Baggage Compartment (Approx. 158 Cubic Feet).

Pressurized Potable Water System (PWS): Single 24.7 Usable US Gallons Water TankSingle Waste Tank (16 Usable US Gallons; FWD and Aft Lavatories)
LED Interior Lighting
Logo Lights

You can read all the details in the public filing at this link.

- Triple H was named the special guest referee for the WWE title match between John Cena and Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam.

- The "Ring of Fire" match between Kane and Bray Wyatt will operate as a normal singles match with the exception that the ring will be surrounded by fire to prevent outside interference from The Wyatt Family.

- Brie Bella vs. Natalya has been added to the SummerSlam lineup with the rest of the cast of Total Divas at ringside.

- Big Show returned to WWE television on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw. While not announced, it's believed he'll team with Mark Henry to oppose Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns for the WWE Tag Team Championship at SummerSlam. Show was originally scheduled to return to television on the July 22, 2013 episode of Raw but was held off due to continued problems with his hip. He actually returned to the ring at a WWE live event on Sunday night in Oakland, California and is medically cleared.

- To follow-up on an earlier item regarding John Cena missing Sunday's WWE live event in Oakland, we are hearing conflicting reports as to why he missed the show. While initial reports indicated Cena was absent due to transportation issues, Cena was in the area in plenty of time to make it to the venue. In asking around, I'm told the promotional department was under the impression he was working the show up until Justin Roberts made the announcement that he would not be working. This indicates Cena's removal was last minute in nature. We continue to hear Cena's elbow is in bad shape and it could have been that WWE did not want him working prior to SummerSlam. WWE held a battle royal to determine Alberto Del Rio's opponent [who was advertised to face Cena], which ended up being the returning Big Show.

- WWE Champion John Cena is set to undergo surgery on his left elbow following his match against Daniel Bryan at Sunday's SummerSlam pay-per-view. The procedure is already scheduled for the early part of next week. We're told doctors informed Cena last week his elbow is in bad shape and he is lucky an infection hasn't developed throughout his arm. Vince McMahon made the call and didn't give him a chance to work through it. This is also the reason why Cena was pulled from Sunday's WWE live event in Oakland, California.

- WWE referee Marc Harris took to social media to address critics following the blown finish to Natalya & The Great Khali vs. AJ Lee & Big E Langston on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw. Harris wrote the following on Facebook:

Funny how "amateur", "indie", and "unemployed former refs" think they know it all but have NO IDEA. There's a reason your where your at and I'm where I'm at, "a professional referee with the number one entertainment company in the world. I'm the now, your yester year. Keep your opinions to yourself cause I'm definitely not taking advice from someone with less experience and not at a level I am, so continue to hate and I'll continue to work tv's and pay per view. Enjoy your life cause I'm loving mine!

Click here to read his post in its original format.

We'll have more on what happened later in our backstage Raw notes.

- After this week's episode of WWE Monday Night Raw went off the air, Big Show, Mark Henry & Daniel Bryan beat The Shield in a dark match main event.

- Dolph Ziggler jokingly took a shot at Jack Swagger on Tiwter on Monday night. The following is from Twitter:

The Usos opposed Jack Swagger & Antonio Cesaro in a tag team match on this week's WWE Raw.

- Below is the updated lineup for SummerSlam following this week's episode of Monday Night Raw:

WWE Championship Match
Special guest referee - Triple H
- John Cena © vs. Daniel Bryan

Singles Match
- CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar

World Heavyweight Championship Match
- Alberto Del Rio © vs. Christian

Ring of Fire Match
- Kane vs. Bray Wyatt

Singles Match
- Damien Sandow vs. Cody Rhodes

Mixed Tag Team Match
- Dolph Ziggler & Kaitlyn vs. Big E Langston & AJ Lee

Singles Match
Natalya w/Cameron & Naomi vs. Brie Bella w/Eva Marie & Nikki Bella

Show Host:
- The Miz

Pre-Show US Title Match
- Dean Ambrose vs. Rob Van Dam

- The good news for Total Divas just keeps on coming. Sunday's episode did an average viewing audience of 1,671,000 viewers on E!, up from the previous week of 1,526,000 viewers and the premiere episode which did an average viewing audience of 1,300,000 viewers.

- This week's episode of Backstage Fallout Raw is subtitled "Snake Eyes on WWE Title" and is online at this link.

- The Funkadactyls were featured in JMG Magazine. You can check out the feature which includes a Q&A about Total Divas that you can read at this link.

- WWE has released a new iPhone App called John Cena's Fast Lane. You can download it at this link.

Backstage news & notes from WWE Monday Night Raw in Sacramento…

- Some were curious about Shawn Michaels being announced as a panelist for the SummerSlam Kickoff show on Sunday. Remember there have been ideas pitched to align him with Daniel Bryan with the premise that Bryan is one of "his guys" and they both have great beards. However, with Michaels being announced, it's unlikely he'll have any involvement on the pay-per-view itself.

- The big talk backstage at Monday Night Raw this week in Sacramento was the blown finish to Natalya & The Great Khali vs. AJ Lee & Big E Langston. Basically, AJ waited too long to tap and referee Marc Harris didn't call for the bell to make it more realistic (See also - WWE Referee Addresses Critics Over Blown Finish On Monday Night Raw). We're told that Natalya ended up getting upset then AJ waited awhile the second time. Many were surprised Natalya didn't "lock it in deep."

- We're told that Vince McMahon and Triple H have "conflicting opinions" on many angles. Basically, Triple H doesn't like the fact that SummerSlam is based around two main matches and they waited so late to fill in the blanks. Hunter has made it clear that he believes a good buyrate is generated when there are 5 solid matches with great build. Vince wants 1 or 2 "home run" matches and "nothing else matters."

- Many WWE officials do not understand why they're going with the gimmick match for Kane vs. Bray Wyatt at the pay-per-view on Sunday. While there is appeal in the Ring of Fire, there is no match that can top it so it makes zero sense not to blow off the program at the pay-per-view.

- Another questionable call came with The Great Khali laying out Big E Langston on this week's show. Officials backstage were wondering why they did it even after it happened.

- There is a chance that Damien Sandow cashes in at SummerSlam rather than Randy Orton as a swerve to avoid the obvious. Nothing is concrete but given how many feel it's "obvious" that Orton is cashing it, WWE could opt to swerve.

- The ending of this week's Monday Night Raw with CM Punk laying out Brock Lesnar is what we've been writing about for the past several weeks. WWE did it to show Punk is "capable of anything" despite the size difference.

- Chris Jericho is quoted by the Evening Times to promote the upcoming Fozzy show from The Cathouse Rock Club in Glasgow. In it, he discusses what we already know - WWE is his side gig. Below is an excerpt:

"My WWE schedule now is completely built around where Fozzy is," he says.

"I wouldn't wrestle if I didn't still enjoy it, and as long as I enjoy getting in the ring from time to time, I'll keep doing it.

"As far as being a full-time WWE performer, those days are gone though."

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- This week's episode of WWE Monday Night Raw, the go-home to SummerSlam, did an average viewing audience of 4,111,000 viewers on the USA Network. Below is how the numbers broke down by hour:

Hour 1 - 3,743,000 viewers
Hour 2 - 4,273,000 viewers
Hour 3 - 4,317,000 viewers

The show ended up with a 2.95 cable rating.

- Sheamus underwent arthroscopic surgery on Tuesday to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. The procedure was performed by Dr. Jeffrey Dugas, who practices orthopedics with the famed Dr. James Andrews.

The former WWE Champion chronicled his first surgery experience on Twitter to his 941,000+ followers. Below is recap:

- Deadline.comreported on Tuesday that WWE Studios and Anchor Bay Films have acquired the distribution rights in North America, the United Kingdom and Australia/New Zealand to a film called "Road To Paloma." The film is scheduled to be released in the United States later this year.

- WWE posted footage of CM Punk at Kerry Wood's Wiffle Ball game from over the weekend. You can watch it at this link.

- The Great Khali beat Jinder Mahal in a dark match prior to this week's Smackdown taping in San Jose, California.

- WWE's Dr. Michael Sampson provided a further update on Sheamus on his Twitter account. According to Dr. Sampson, Sheamus' surgery went well and he's set to begin physical therapy on Wednesday. The following is from Twitter:

As we reported here on, Sheamus underwent arthroscopic surgery on Tuesday to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. - Zap 2 It has a new Q&A with Daniel Bryan to promote Sunday's SummerSlam pay-per-view. Below are the highlights: The WWE audience embracing him after Wrestlemania 28:

It's hard to say. I don't know if you've ever read "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell. It essentially talks about how things catch on and how there's a point, and it's hard to tell what causes it or why it happens., but there's just this point where something becomes really popular. Like, for example, Vans shoes. They were a very underground thing and then a couple stars started wearing them and all of a sudden everyone had Vans shoes. I remember in high school, I had Vans shoes. I didn't skateboard, I didn't surf, I didn't do anything like that, but here I was wearing this skateboarding/surfing company's shoe, right? It was just this cascade. I feel like my popularity is kind of the same thing. I shouldn't necessarily be a popular character in a mainstream wrestling organization. But somehow those people in Miami at Wrestlemania brought it to other people's attention and it just cascaded off of that.

Returning [to WWE] with momentum only to stall:

When I came back at SummerSlam 2010 it was interesting, because it was the main event in a tag match. I thought "Wow, this is going to be huge! She sky is the limit!" And then it wasn't. [laughs] After that I won the United States Championship and performed on a couple pay per views in a row, but then I wasn't in a singles match on pay per view for a year. It's one of those things, when I'd gotten fired and then rehired and shortly after that you think "What can I do to get to the next level?" A lot of the guys on the undercard are thinking "How do I break through and get popular with the fans? How do I break through in the management's eyes? How do I break through and get to that next level?"

The next "big star of the future":

You know, it's hard for me to say because I haven't seen all those guys. Someone I have a soft spot in my heart for is Sami Zayn. He wrestled as El Generico in the independents. In the ring he's just phenomenal. I saw a couple of his matches with Antonio Cesaro and it's some of the best wrestling this year, as far as I'm concerned, even compared to the stuff you see on WWE TV. If he can get the personality to match his wrestling skills, I haven't seen any of his interviews, but he has loads of personality as a human being and I can only imagine if he's able to transfer that onto television he should be a big star, I'd hope. But you never know, because size might hold him back for a little bit, but talent always shines through.

Click here to read the Q&A in its entirety. - We reported here at that HBO Sports was filming at Diamond Dallas Page's "Accountability Crib" last weekend. We can now confirm that DDP will be featured on the next episode of "Real Sports" with Bryant Gumbel on Tuesday, August 20, 2013 at 9PM. In the piece, DDP is interviewed by Frank Deford where he talks about "the wrestlers that have embraced the serenity and rehabilitation found in yoga after years of living the fast lifestyle of professional wrestling." We'll have more on the segment next week. - It looks like there are plans for Maria Menounos to work SummerSlam weekend after all - just not on the pay-per-view itself. Brad Maddox wrote the following on Twitter:

- WWE taped next week's episode of WWE Superstars Tuesday night from San Jose, California. You can read full taping results at this link. The company usually tapes WWE Superstars prior to Raw on Mondays. - WWE will hold another set of NXT television tapings next Thursday, August 22 from the campus of Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida. Mark Henry is the scheduled guest. Click here for official event information. - Following his rant on Facebook, WWE referee Marc Harris Tweeted the following about the blown finish to Natalya & The Great Khali vs. AJ Lee & Big E Langston on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw:

It's worth mentioning that Harris deleted his rant and blocked us on Twitter. - Triple H did an interview with NBC Sports Radio following Tuesday's SummerSlam press conference. Like the press conference itself, Hunter remained in-character but he did mention Hulk Hogan being included in WWE 2K14. You can listen at this link. - E! has ordered six additional episodes of Total Divas following the successful viewership numbers the series has posted since its premiere late last month. The fall premiere of the show begins on November 17, 2013 at 10 PM ET/PT. The following press release was issued on Wednesday:

E! AND WWE EXTEND DEBUT SEASON OF NEW HIT SERIES "TOTAL DIVAS" WITH SIX ADDITIONAL EPISODES "Total Divas" Has Grown Each Week Since Its Premiere And Hit A Series High With 1.7 Million Total Viewers In Its Most Recent New Episode On Sunday Night Los Angeles, CA, August 14, 2013 - E! has picked up six additional episodes of its popular new series "Total Divas," which offers the first-ever look into the world of the WWE Divas both inside and outside the ring, bringing season one to a total of 14 episodes. The product of two entertainment giants, E! and WWE, teaming with reality hit maker Bunim-Murray Productions ("Keeping Up with the Kardashians"), "Total Divas" has successfully attracted infatuated pop culture enthusiasts who have made the series an instant hit after only three episodes. The series' sexy stars have let cameras into their glamorous private lives, their sometimes rocky romances and behind the scenes of their hectic sports entertainment careers. Building on its ratings success and enormous social media buzz, E!'s "Total Divas" will continue with new episodes airing Sundays at 10pm with a summer finale on Sunday, September 15 at 10pm. The six additional episodes will debut this fall starting Sunday, November 17 at 10pm ET/PT only on E! "Our audience has embraced 'Total Divas' in a big way and we're excited to build on the show's tremendous momentum with six additional episodes," said Jeff Olde, Executive Vice President, Program Development. "For many women, WWE Divas possess aspirational personalities because of their glamorous lifestyles and international stardom, but it's their genuine and dynamic personal lives that have truly captivated so many viewers." The series was an instant hit with audiences, delivering 1.3 million total viewers in its debut, and has built week-to-week since with its most recent episode on 8/11/13 delivering 1.7 million viewers. The third episode of the show on 8/11 was its strongest yet in all key 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54 targets including women and men as well as households. With only three episodes having aired, "Total Divas" has a lot more to share this season as the lines between the Diva personal lives and ring lives begin to get blurred. Nattie's (WWE Diva Natalya) relationship with her long-time fiancé WWE Superstar Tyson Kidd hits a rough patch as the flame that brought them together starts to flicker. What was supposed to be smooth sailing to a fairytale wedding has become a rocky road and a relationship in trouble. Meanwhile the devilish duo, "The Bella Twins," are separating for the very first time. Brie Bella is moving to a quieter home base in Phoenix with boyfriend WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan, which leaves her sister Nikki Bella and her boyfriend WWE Superstar John Cena living their life of luxury across the country in Tampa. The women also struggle to mend their strained relationship with their father, who was in and out of their lives growing up, and deal with body issues as Nikki gets dubbed "the fat twin" by "haters" on social media. Tag-team partners Trinity (WWE Diva Naomi) and Ariane (WWE Diva Cameron) who make up "The Funkadactyls" are at odds when they begin to question what each other bring to the ring and how it will further their individual careers. On their own, Trinity is at odds with her fiancé WWE Superstar Jimmy Uso when she refuses to wear her engagement ring so she is more appealing to male fans, and Ariane is considering a breast augmentation which requires her to stop wrestling for an extended period of time, thus taking "The Funkadactlys" out of the spotlight they have worked so hard to get into. Back at NXT, the WWE developmental system, the Divas-in-training are being put through the ringer at performance boot camp and while JoJo is questioning her dedication to becoming a Diva, fiery redhead Eva Marie is continuing to make herself known in the sports entertainment business for all the wrong reasons as she defies the rules set by WWE, flirts with veteran Superstars while hiding her engagement, bites off more than she can chew with performance promises she can't keep and bumps heads with the big bosses. Total Divas is produced by WWE and Bunim-Murray Productions. Jon Murray, Gil Goldshein, Jeff Jenkins and Russell Jay are Executive Producers for Bunim-Murray Productions. The fall premiere of "Total Divas" begins November 17th at 10pm ET/PT. And don't miss this summer's new episodes of "Total Divas" every Sunday at 10pm ET/PT on E!

- We're told Evan Bourne has put the word out that he's ready to return to WWE and inquired about a possible return at SummerSlam. According to a source, Bourne was told that he wasn't needed yet. At this point Bourne is hoping to make his WWE return next month and he's just waiting on the green light from the office. Bourne has been out since early 2012 after consecutive WWE Wellness Policy violations followed by a severe foot injury. He worked at a NXT live event last March to test his rehabilitation progress. You can read our coverage from that bout at this link. - WWE will use Google Glass for the first time at SummerSlam on Sunday with The Miz wearing the device during the events leading up to the show and at ringside for some of the pay-per-view matches. Miz will stream video and post photos directly to the social hub, giving followers a "close-up" view like never before. The Miz has already been announced as the event "host" for SummerSlam 2013. has more on the Google Glass integration at this link. - DirecTV has a new Q&A with Dolph Ziggler to promote Sunday's SummerSlam pay-per-view. In the piece, Ziggler is asked if he's achieved his goals in WWE. Below is his response:

Hell no! Are you kidding? 2 time champion with zero defenses. It’s killing me. I was handed one title, it meant nothing to me. And now I have another, and I get a concussion. Taken out, lost right away. At some point you got to stop going “oh wow the fans love, me, they know they are going to get a great show, they know I’m going to give it my all, and going to get hurt just a little bit.” That’s what drives me to keep going. I want a legacy because I have this giant chip on my shoulder to be better than everyone else. And all these WWE Superstars work so hard. Some are just naturally awesome. So really work to get there. I’d like to think I am a combination of both. And one of these days, somehow, I will be able to prove it on a bigger stage. Not just for the hardcore fans. I want everyone to say “he does this better than anyone else. We need to get behind him and he is going to be the best one day. And I will not rest until that happens.

Click here to read the interview in its entirety. - WWE Champion John Cena discussed what he would have done if he were attacked like Randy Orton was in Cape Town, South Africa. You can watch his comments at this link. - WWE confirmed Natalya & Maria Menounos vs. Brie Bella & a partner for SummerSlam Axxess as we wrote earlier. You can read the official match preview at this link. - WWE posted a video of The Miz preparing for his role as the host of SummerSlam at this link. - Jim Ross gave his predictions for WWE SummerSlam in a new blog entry posted here on his official website. - WWE pay-per-views will now be available for order through the new PlayStation 3 Live Events App. You can order SummerSlam this Sunday from the device. Click here for more. - We reported earlier here at that Maria Menounos will return to the ring at SummerSlam Axxess in a Divas tag team match. According to a post from the verified Tweet of the Bella Twins, Brie Bella will team with her Total Divas cast member Eva Marie to face Natalya & Menounos. The following is from Twitter:

WWE has confirmed the match and previewed it on dot com.

- caught up with Darren Young of the Prime Time Players at LAX in Los Angeles and he publicly came out as gay. When asked by a photog if a gay wrestler could be successful in WWE, Young said:

"Absolutely. Look at me, you know, I'm a WWE Superstar and to be honest with you, I'll tell you right now, I'm gay. And I'm happy. Very happy."

After Young made the statement, the photog talked about being surprised and Young said he didn't think it mattered. He reiterated he's "happy" and "comfortable" with himself. Young said he's living the dream and is in Los Angeles for SummerSlam. He is hoping to make a difference and that it's important that someone's sexual preference shouldn't matter.

TMZ, who first broke the story, has the video of the interview at this link.

- Following the news of Darren Young coming out, TMZ caught up with WWE Champion John Cena and asked him for his thoughts. Cena said that it will not affect the locker room, and praised Young for his work ethic and work in the ring. Cena then said he was proud of him for coming out. The video is available at this link.

- Stephanie McMahon wrote the following on Twitter:

- WWE issued a statement on Darren Young telling TMZ that he's gay:

On TMZ this morning, WWE Superstar Darren Young revealed to the WWE Universe that he is gay. WWE is proud of Darren Young for being open about his sexuality, and we will continue to support him as a WWE Superstar. Today, in fact, Darren will be participating in one of our Be A STAR anti-bullying rallies in Los Angeles to teach children how to create positive environments for everyone regardless of age, race, religion or sexual orientation.

Click here to read the statement in its original format. - Darren Young's tag team partner, Titus O'Neil, Tweeted the following about Young coming out:

- Triple H posted the following on Twitter regarding Darren Young announcing publicly that he's gay:

- The wrestling business continues to react to Darren Young announcing that he is gay. Today is a day of celebration and we should all be very proud to be pro wrestling fans. The following is from Twitter:

- The Los Angeles Times has a rare Q&A with Brock Lesnar to promote his match at SummerSlam against CM Punk. Below are the highlights: Did he leave UFC prematurely?

"You've always got that part in your mind," Lesnar said. "I do miss it, but I've got to keep myself in check. What I went through the last few years was quite traumatic, not being able to fight like I wanted. I got back on the horse way too soon. Coulda, shoulda, woulda. "That chapter in my life has come to closure, and I'm comfortable with it."

Why he originally left WWE:

"I left originally because I was a caged animal 300 days a year on the road and they knew that. That was the bottom line — I don't want to be that person."

His personality and his heel wrestling character:

"Inside, some days I feel like that," he said. "I am a private guy, and at the end of the day I only really do care about my family. That's the most important thing: my way of life, my family. Whoever is in front of that is going to get hurt."

Click here to read the article in its entirety. - WWE added Christy Hemme to the Alumni section of their official website. Click here to check out her profile. - Dolph Ziggler did an interview with the 4th & Pain guys to promote SummerSlam. You can listen at this link. - IGN interviewed Ziggler at this link. When asked if he was going to change his @HeelZiggler Twitter screen name due to his babyface turn, here's what he said:

Hilariously, the hottest question going in all my interviews as of late is whether or not I'm going to change it. It's too funny. I think - and because it's Twitter, which I also love to talk about - that in this day and age is that the reason I put "heel" in there is to let everyone know that I'm a jerk. So they get it. And so if they're going to start getting behind it like they have been, slowly, for about two years now, let 'em. I'm still going to be a heel. I'm still going to be me. I'm not going to be one of those guys who changes and all of a sudden I'm shaking hands and kissing babies. I'm going to go out there and be the jerk that I am, but be entertaining while I do it. So I'm staying heel. As far as I know.

Click here to read the article in its entirety. - Gordon Holmes has a new Q&A online with Paul Heyman. While Heyman is mostly in-character to promote SummerSlam, he does comment on Rob Van Dam's work since returning to WWE last month. Below is an excerpt:

I think anyone that has watched Rob Van Dam’s matches since he’s been back with WWE can clearly tell that he is motivated and determined to put on the best matches of his career.

Click here to read the Q&A in its entirety. - This week's episode of WWE Inbox, subtitled "The Biggest Inbox of the Summer," is online at this link. - SLAM! Wrestling has a new article online featuring quotes from Daniel Bryan to promote SummerSlam. In it, Bryan discusses getting fired from WWE in 2010 for choking Justin Roberts with his tie and spitting in John Cena's face, only for Cena to "bring him back" at SummerSlam that same year. Below is an excerpt:

"Actually, one of the reasons that I got fired in 2010 was for spitting in John's face; it was two things that got me fired -- it was choking Justin Roberts with a tie and spitting in Cena's face right before I kicked him in the head. It was those two things." "But then he's the one that brought me back for SummerSlam of 2010. I think all of those things would have been interesting to bring up," lamented Bryan.

Click here to read the article in its entirety. - Scott Fishman of The Miami Herald has a new article online featuring quotes from Mark Henry and Tony Atlas. In it, Henry discusses respect when he was breaking in and advice he gives to up and coming talent. An excerpt from Atlas is also included in the below highlights: Having respect when breaking in:

“I’m very big on respect and knowing who came before you,” Henry said. “A lot of these guys and girls are going to know more about the business and have more access than I did. I mean I got to talk to the Iron Sheik. I got to talk to Ernie Ladd and Junkyard Dog and Hulk Hogan. A lot of these guys will never get that. So they have to do it through school and going to the library looking at old videos.”

Tony Atlas speaks:

“He not only is an underrated wrestler but an Olympian,” Atlas said. “This man went to represent the United States of America not just against people in the South or North but all over the world. He is the most phenomenal individual that I have ever met in my life. There is nobody in WWE or anywhere else that can hold a candlestick to Mark Henry, when it comes to power and wrestling ability and knowledge. He is just very underrated.”

What Henry tells New Talent:

“I tell them to ask questions and to introduce themselves to everybody,” Henry said. “From the guy sweeping to Vince McMahon and the guy cleaning the building to the guy running the training facility, you have to know the guys behind the cameras. You have to know the sound guys. You have to know the lighting technicians. I want you to know everyone before you leave. You develop an appreciation for everything and everybody because everybody makes you better.”

Henry also says all his son wants to do is follow in his footsteps. You can read the article at this link. - The on sale date for WWE Hell in a Cell tickets has changed. Tickets for the October 27, 2013 pay-per-view from the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, Florida will go on sale at 10 AM on Saturday, August 24th at The Miami Herald first reported the change at this link. - Sam Roberts caught up with Titus O'Neil yesterday to discuss Darren Youngcoming out, what that means for The Prime Time Players, and more. The video is available at this link. Just after Young made headlines, O'Neil tweeted his support of his tag team partner. - Vince McMahon Tweeted on Darren Young's decision to come out. The following is from Twitter:

- Darren Young was on The Today Show on Friday morning to discuss coming out with Matt Lauer. Young said he felt like when the TMZ camera came up to him, it was the right time. He said he had been suppressing his feelings for a while. Young said he was terrified about coming out and it took guts to do it.

Lauer talked about the support for Young being overwhelmingly positive. Young said he has been very surprised how supportive everyone has been. He spoke with Vince McMahon personally, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. Young said he even spoke with NBA player Jason Collins (who came out earlier this year) Thursday night about how to handle the situation.

Young said he wants to be a role model for people. He talked about growing up with a speech impediment and how he was bullied as a result. Young said he is in love and living the dream.

You can watch the interview embedded in the video below:


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Young Tweeted the following about the interview:

- Trish Stratus has shared more details of her pregnancy with the folks over at Trish is due with a baby boy in September and they will call him Maximus (or Max for short). Click here for more.

- The Bella Twins and Natalya were on "Larry King Now" with Larry King to promote Total Divas. We're trying to get some video clips from the appearance but until then, check out one of them at this link.

- Perez Hilton has coverage of Darren Young coming out on his fitness blog. In it, he includes a statement from GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz:

"Darren Young's courageous decision to speak out about being gay gives countless young LGBT people, athletes, and fans of the WWE someone to cheer for and look to. With a demonstrated commitment to anti-bullying initiatives and LGBT inclusion, the WWE has paved the way for a gay Superstar to be welcomed and supported."

Click here for coverage by Perez.

Click here for coverage by GLAAD.

- Rob Van Dam was recently interviewed by, and discussed his favorite superheroes, how they've influenced his in-ring gear, and more. In the following excerpt, RVD explains how he feels about his latest run in WWE so far: What’s it like being back in WWE?

Rob Van Dam: It’s awesome. I predicted that this return to WWE might be the most impactful part of my entire career. It has a lot to do with timing, and a lot to do with being RVD because I have so many years of experience. But it’s all positive. All the time I’ve spent. There’s no downside. I don’t have that a.g.e. factor that seems to affect a lot of other people. Honestly, my body feels as good as it ever did. Sometimes my back bothers a little bit, but it bothered me even more when I was 23. Sometimes my knee bothers me a little bit. It bothered me even more when I was 30. I feel great. And obviously it shows when I’m in the ring. And the fan response has been off the hook. And, by the way, my position in the company, considering the other wrestlers that are there, versus the wrestlers that were there before, again, works in my favor because all the other guys that were ahead of me that were getting all the attention, all the TV time, well they’ve dropped off, they’re outta the scene; a good time to be the whole damn show.

Click here to read the full interview.

- Episode #38 of The JBL & Cole Show is online at this link.

- CM Punk recently spoke with Extra Mustard of about his upcoming match with Brock Lesnar, a potential match with "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, his thoughts on Total Divas, and more. Some highlights are below: You wrestled the Undertaker at WrestleMania. Were you happy with the match?

Punk: I think everybody is always selling me short and then I always prove them wrong. It keeps me pissed off and that’s where I need to be, I guess. I’m sick and tired of pulling main event matches and not being in the main event at WrestleMania. Eventually it’s just gonna get to the point of, “OK, I deserve to play with this toy, you’re not gonna let me play with it, then I’m gonna find some other toys to play with.” It gets me down when I really think about it and analyze it, but in the end it keeps me sharp and like I said, pissed off. But I don’t think I’m the guy you want pissed off forever. Do you voice these concerns to Vince McMahon?

Punk: Absolutely. All the time. We have conversations about it. Hell, if you’re in this business and don’t want to be in the main event at WrestleMania you shouldn’t be in this business. This past WrestleMania, I proved it to the one person that I needed to prove it to, that I should’ve been in the main event. I’ve shattered every negative stereotype people had about me. I proved to the one person that mattered that last year’s main event should’ve been mine and that person is me and I don’t give a sh-t about anyone else. Do you think Austin will ever wrestle again?

Punk: Yeah, my gut tells me that he will. Whether he makes the right decision or not to wrestle me is up to him.

Click here to read the full article.

- Big Show recently spoke with Sam Roberts about his fluctuations in weight, Darren Young's future, and more. In addition, Show noted that he signed a 5-year deal with WWE in February. The video is available at this link.

- Larry King will be at SummerSlam with his children on Sunday and they'll be filming for his "Larry King Now" show on Ora TV. We're told Larry will be talking to some of the Superstars and Divas at the show.

- Darren Young took part in a Be-A-Star anti-bullying rally with WWE in Los Angeles on Thursday. You can watch footage of the rally at this link.

- is reporting that Darren Young's boyfriend Nick was the "driving force" in his decision to come out. According to the publication, Young is "deeply in love" with Nick and they've been dating for two years. The couple lives together in Florida. Click here for coverage by

- Stephanie McMahon has confirmed she will be a playable character in the upcoming WWE 2K14 video game. You can hear from her at this link.

- Add Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger to next week's WWE NXT tapings from the campus of Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida. Mark Henry is also advertised. Click here for more information.

- This week's episode of The JBL & Cole Show is now online at this link.

- CM Punk spoke with Sam Roberts at Thursday's "Superstars for Hope" party. In the interview, Punk said all of his MMA friends tell him that pro wrestling is harder than MMA but he doesn't know because he's not a fighter. Punk said it's "great" that Tito Ortiz and Rampage Jackson are working with TNA Wrestling. You can watch the interview at this link.

- Sam Roberts spoke with Randy Orton at WWE's "Superstars for Hope" party on Thursday night. In the interview, Orton said it's been a couple of year since he's done anything that mattered [in WWE] to be where he is now. Sam asked Randy about Darren Young coming out and he said that he didn't know Young was gay and doesn't think anyone in the locker room knew prior to the TMZ video. You can watch the interview at this link

TNA News

- TNA Champion Chris Sabin has been doing media ahead of next week's Hardcore Justice episode of Impact Wrestling and the upcoming TV tapings in Little Rock, Arkansas. Below are the highlights:

Chris Sabin Promotes TNA in Little Rock

When speaking to The Flagship, Sabin is asked if he has anything to left to prove in TNA. Below is his response:

“I think there is a lot more to prove. Winning the championship is one thing, but holding on to the championship is another,” the champ said. “You’re just a walking target for everyone. You have what everyone else is working their butts off to get. I think that I have to be a fighting champion, to not just win the belt, but to hold on to the belt and defend it over, and over, and over.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- Dixie Carter Tweeted on Monday that there will be a Tables Match at this week's Hardcore Justice episode of Impact Wrestling for 20 points in the Bound for Glory Series. The match is as follows - Mr. Anderson vs. Magnus vs. Samoa Joe vs. Bobby Roode.

The bout joins the following announced matches:

Steel Cage Match for the TNA Championship
- Chris Sabin © vs. Bully Ray

Loser Leaves TNA
- Main Event Mafia vs. Aces & Eights

Bound for Glory Series Ladder Match
Winner receives 20 points
- Jeff Hardy vs. AJ Styles vs. Austin Aries vs. Kazarian

Knockouts Tornado Tag Team Match
No disqualification, no countouts.
- Mickie James & Gail Kim vs. ODB & Velvet Sky

Next week's Hardcore Justice episode of Impact will be taped on Thursday from the Constant Center in Norfolk, Virginia. Click here for official event information.

- Tito Ortiz was on HDNet's "Inside MMA" to discuss his new deal with Bellator/TNA Wrestling that will see him as the latest MMA/pro wrestling crossover star. He explains why fans will want to see he his fight against Rampage Jackson later this year. Click here to watch now.

- Dixie Carter posted the following on Twitter:

We posted the Hardcore Justice lineup earlier here at Given the fact that Kurt Angle is in rehab, it will be interesting to see how they will handle this match in the first place.

TNA will tape this week's Hardcore Justice episode of Impact Wrestling and next week's episode on Thursday night from the Constant Center in Norfolk, Virginia.

- Jesse Sorensen Tweeted the following on Monday:

Sorensen returned to the ring on July 27, 2013 at the NWA: Throwdown show in Tampa, Florida, which makes this Tweet all the more confusing.

You can watch Sorensen's return match from last month in the video embedded below:

Sorensen was controversially released from TNA Wrestling last month. He had been working behind-the-scenes following a severe neck injury that he suffered in February 2012 while working against Zema Ion at TNA Against All Odds.

- Canada's Cape Breton Post has a new Q&A online with Hulk Hogan to promote his upcoming "Hulk Hogan: Uncensored" event from the John Bassett Theatre in Toronto on August 23 and autograph session on August 24. Below are the highlights:

Rumors of a Hogan biopic:

It’s not really true. It’s a TMZ headline.... What happened was, I was going through LaGuardia Airport ... this guy asked me a bunch of dumb questions for TMZ and he goes, ’Eh, when are they going to do a bio about your life?’ And I said, ’It’s already in development.’ So now everybody’s rambling like it’s a feature film already. But the truth is ... two kids that are writers in L.A., hot young writers, they did a four-page treatment and I’m telling you they nailed it — they nailed it like they were living in my shoes — and I gave them the green light to go ahead and write the first pass. But that’s all it is.

How he feels about turning 60:

Pretty good, because I’m eternally youthful and I’m 60 years young. I’ll take my shirt off in front of any 25 year old and I guarantee I’m built better than they are.

If he's content being out of the ring:

I would love to be in the main event and running around the ring going crazy, but the truth is, I don’t want to break anything else. And I had my day, I had my time, I made a pretty good statement, and I think that just being able to be around it — working with Impact Wrestling, I’m still on TV every Thursday night, from 9 to 11 on Spike TV — I just get to live vicariously through the young guys.

Click here to read the piece in its entirety.

- A new Impact Wrestling Podcast with Christopher Daniels and Kazarian is now online at this link.

- A new episode of TNA Spin Cycle is online and features Kenny King, Eric Young, Petey Williams and Brian Hebner. You can watch it at this link.

- WhatCulture has an interview online with Robbie E at this link.

- TNA will tape Impact Wrestling from Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center in Cleveland, Ohio on Thursday, August 29. Click here for local event information.

- Tito Ortiz noted on Twitter that he's in Norfolk, Virginia, the site of Thursday night's Hardcore Justice/Impact Wrestling tapings. The following is from Twitter:

- Kevin Nash had some pointed words for TNA Wrestling on Twitter early Thursday. Nash lobbied for Jeff Jarrett to "become part of the process" and criticized the company for bringing in former UFC names. He said he works indy shows "every weekend" that out draw TNA and talked WCW comparisons. The following is from Twitter:

- TNA will address the fact that Kurt Angle is in rehab on this week's Hardcore Justice episode of Impact Wrestling. A segment with Dixie Carter was filmed where she reiterated her support and the company's support for Angle.

- For those that missed this week's Hardcore Justice episode of Impact Wrestling, Bully Ray beat Chris Sabin in the steel cage main event to win the TNA Championship. Tito Ortiz played a part in the title change, taking out Main Event Mafia member Rampage Jackson from behind, allowing Ray to hit the powerbomb on Sabin.

- As we reported here on, it was announced on TV that Kurt Angle is in rehab. Dixie Carter confirmed what we've already noted in that he entered the facility two weeks ago. It's unknown when Angle will be back to television.

- The next themed episode of Impact Wrestling will be No Surrender and it will take place Thursday, September 12 on Spike TV. The show will feature the final four of the Bound for Glory Series to determine who challenges for the TNA title at the pay-per-view in October.

- This week's Hardcore Justice themed episode of Impact Wrestling did an average viewing audience of 1,319,000 viewers on Spike TV.

- We are now able to confirm that Brooke Hogan has been released from TNA Wrestling. The story making rounds is that her release was budget related. Brooke was teased at this week's Impact Wrestling tapings but she didn't actually appear. You can read what happened at this link.

- Velvet Sky was noticeably absent from this week's Hardcore Justice episode of Impact Wrestling. I cannot confirm the reason as to why she wasn't there but Velvet's former tag team partner, Angelina Love, provided the following update on Twitter:

- As we reported here on, the next themed episode of Impact Wrestling will be No Surrender on September 12, 2013. That show will take place from St. Louis, Missouri and tickets are now available at You can watch a teaser for the show at this link.


With The Miz hosting SummerSlam, do you see a possible swerve finish in the WWE championship match where he costs either Daniel Bryan or John Cena the gold?

While I'm sure there are a lot of Miz fans that would love to see this scenario take place, I think if anyone interferes in the WWE title match at SummerSlam it will be Randy Orton. However, it's at least worth mentioning that anything is possible. The fact WWE has announced The Miz as the "host" of SummerSlam rules him out in my eyes for any type of "surprise" interference.

Is it true WWE was looking to bring back former Divas?

WWE was looking to bring back former Divas earlier this year and ultimately decided to bring back Nikki and Brie Bella. This has resulted in Maria Kanellis accusing the Bellas of blocking her WWE return, as she was also contacted. We heard WWE was interested in bringing Stacy Keibler back for Total Divas but who knows if that was ever even a realistic possibility.

Can you explain the WWE Performance Center to the casual fan?

The WWE Performance Center is a gigantic 26,000 square-feet facility in Orlando, Florida that is used to train developmental workers and give injured workers a place to rehab their injuries. In addition to a full-time training staff, WWE's doctors keep office hours where they can treat talent. The facility itself features seven wrestling rings, a promo room and more. The WWE Performance Center is seen as the lifeblood of the company as it is where new stars are literally created.

Is there anything that can be done to keep other websites from stealing content posted at

We keep a close eye on our content and contact website owners if we feel our content is published on other websites without permission. As with any business, it's impossible to stop thieves completely but I feel we do a very adequate job in controlling it. The reason people visit WNW outside of the many other websites is our content is 100% exclusive and I feel we offer a level of quality above any other website or application.

Do you think it's a waste to have Rob Van Dam on the SummerSlam pre-show?

I would rather see Rob Van Dam on the main SummerSlam lineup rather than relegated to the pre-show. WWE has been trying to make the pre-shows more meaningful by featuring high profile matches and even doing title changes. The problem is many fans still see them as a demotion and I am disappointed this bout is not on the main pay-per-view. However, it should be a good bout and will be worth watching. We'll carry the live stream right here at

Do you expect anymore appearances by Hulk Hogan in WWE?

Hulk Hogan will not appear on WWE television for as long as he is under contract with TNA Wrestling. While it is true Hogan's deal to be in WWE 2K14 is with Take-Two Interactive and 2K Games, let's not get it twisted. Hogan agreeing to be in the game is part of him re-establishing his relationship with WWE to open up future merchandising and licensing opportunities. We covered it in depth here on Premium.

What is the latest on Rey Mysterio?

Rey Mysterio was originally shooting to return to WWE by SummerSlam but that does not appear likely to happen. One of the delays in Mysterio's return has to do with the health of his mother as she was believed to be in grave condition at one point. WWE told Rey at the time to take as much time as he needed but we're told the creative team has been told to begin coming up with plans to bring him back to television. I'm happy to report Rey's mother is doing better and he is expected back soon. In fact, I'm told he's being advertised locally for the August 25th WWE live event in Ontario, California.

I remember seeing that talent were paid bonuses if they appeared on television. So when WWE does a segment with all talent appearing such as lumberjack matches, or recently when John Cena picked Daniel Bryan to be his SummerSlam, is this a way for WWE to reward some of the lesser televised talent for their services?

Yes, there are sometimes situations that WWE books talent to make sure they get on shows. When talent is used on WWE shows, they are paid a $500 show bonus. This includes lumberjacks or any live appearance on the show. WWE performers are paid with downside guarantees (money they get unless they are suspended) and a series of bonuses throughout their contract. They are stipulated as independent contractors, not employees and are not offered healthcare or retirement benefits.

Is it possible that Batista returns at SummerSlam because he was mentioned in John Cena's promo on this week's Monday Night Raw?

Anything is possible but Batista isn't returning at SummerSlam. Batista has been filming his role as Drax the Destroyer in the 2014 feature film "Guardians of the Galaxy." Let me be clear - this is a huge movie role for Dave. Prior to landing the part, I always said Batista would be back in WWE. While that could still happen, in his words, landing the role really justified his decision to leave WWE.

Who is the blame for the blown finish in Natalya & The Great Khali vs. AJ Lee & Big E Langston from this week's WWE Raw?

This was a talking point backstage at this week's Monday Night Raw and the talk only grew louder following the social media response of referee Marc Harris. There were three parties involved in the match finish - AJ Lee, Natalya and the referee. AJ didn't tap quickly enough but the referee should have called for the bell to cover. As you can see here on YouTube, the match ending was a disaster. Look, mistakes happen and I don't like to play the blame game. The blown finish was unfortunate but it should have ended there. It didn't. Harris drew more attention by blasting critics on social media and taking the time to continuously defend himself. This is where workers get themselves in trouble. Social media is a great thing at connecting with the fans but it can also be a bad thing if misused. In my opinion Harris took a bad situation and made it worse. He should have let it go in the ring and not taken the time to address it on social media.

What's going with John Cena's elbow?

Have you seen it? Cena's elbow is in bad shape and we're told there are plans to perform surgery on it after SummerSlam. I'm not clear on exactly what the procedure entails and if it will require Cena to take time off but I think everyone needs to be careful about assuming he's dropping the WWE title at SummerSlam. WWE is being cautious with Cena and pulled him from his scheduled match against Alberto Del Rio at last Sunday's WWE live event in Oakland as they didn't want him bumping before the pay-per-view. Many are predicting that Orton "cashes in,” especially with him noticeably absent from the card. We’ll see how WWE handles it on Sunday.

I always DVR Raw, Smackdown, etc so that I can fast forward the parts of the show that I don't want to see. How do the ratings work for instances like these? For example, if a large portion of the viewing audience fast forwards through a certain segment, will that be able to affect ratings to the extent that company officials would notice?

WWE gets the DVR viewership numbers a few days later but from the data I have seen, the majority of viewers in the United States watch Raw during its live airing or within two hours. The viewership/ratings numbers we post are the numbers compiled by Nielsen during the show's first run timeslot. Given the fact that viewers treat Raw as a "destination program" where it's watched in its first run time slot, these are the numbers WWE uses to analyze its performance.

Vince McMahon has been known to use legitimate situations and put them into WWE storylines. Do you see WWE doing this with Darren Young announcing that he is gay?

Regardless if WWE decides to incorporate Darren Young's sexuality in storyline they are going to have to be careful with how they book him. This story has picked up a lot of steam and Young's stock has raised considerably. Knowing how Vince McMahon thinks, I wouldn't be surprised if he capitalized on all the mainstream attention. However, let's not forget if Young gets pushed, it won't be based solely on his decision to come out. Young has worked very hard to get where he is and it wasn't him that made a big deal out of revealing his sexual orientation.

With the news of Darren Young coming out, how do you think this will impact WWE? By the way, major respect to him.

I only see good things to come out of Darren Young announcing that he's gay. The message it sends is that it's OK to live your life your way, like Triple H said Thursday morning. The response has been overwhelmingly positive and I think most people share my sentiment in that they are very proud of Darren Young. I'm proud of Darren as both a professional and as a person. He's worked extremely hard and it takes a lot of courage to come out as a public figure.

Do you see Earl or Dave Hebner returning to WWE?

I don't see either Earl or Dave Hebner returning to WWE but who knows, maybe Brian Hebner will get a look one day. However, the company seems to be loaded with talented referees and it's worth noting that former TNA senior official Rudy Charles is now in WWE developmental.

Do you ever see "Macho Man" Randy Savage being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame?

According to Lanny Poffo, WWE reached out to him about inducting Randy Savage into the Hall of Fame before Wrestlemania 28 in Miami. A deal obviously didn't get done but that tells me it's likely to happen at some point. You can read our initial coverage at this link.

I would love a CM Punk vs. Steve Austin match since Austin was arguably the best in his era while Punk has established himself in his own right. What are your thoughts?

I am all for a CM Punk vs. Steve Austin match at Wrestlemania. I think Punk and Austin would even like to do it but this is going to come down to how much WWE is willing to pay Austin to work. Austin has gone out of his way to say he's healthy for one more match so the ball is in WWE's court. Punk vs. Austin would be a top draw and you would be hard pressed to find someone that would not want to see it happen.

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