Backstage News From SummerSlam, Update On Big TNA Name To WWE, Original Plans For Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar & Who Made The Call To Change Them, Jericho Leaves WWE, What HHH Is Doing To Prepare To Take Control Of WWE, Rey Mysterio Suffers Concussion, Top 3

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

This week's edition covers news from Saturday, August 18, 2012 to Friday, August 24, 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!

Table Of Contents
WWE News
TNA News

WWE News

- Chaotic Wrestling posted the following on their Facebook page:

JUST ANNOUNCED in LOWELL, MA - Mercedes KV will be leaving Chaotic Wrestling as Women's Champion, to report to the WWE training facility, FCW/NXT in Florida. All of us at Chaotic Wrestling want to congratulate Mercedes and wish her luck!

ANOTHER HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT FROM LOWELL - Max Bauer, a core member of the Chaotic roster has been signed and is also reporting to WWE's NXT/FCW training facility in Florida! Chaotic Wrestling will not be the same without you, Max! Good Luck and Congratulations from all of us at Chaotic Wrestling!

- The Miami Herald posted a new article with quotes from Smackdown General Manager Booker T. In the article, he discusses his expectations for WWE SummerSlam, his goals as General Manager, and more. In the following excerpt, Booker rates himself as a Smackdown commentator:

“I give myself a C, maybe a C+, maybe,” he admitted. “That job is a job you’ve got to learn on the job and literally study on a weekly basis. You’ve literally got to stay in tune to what’s going on in life as well, just to stay fresh. Being a commentator is something I jumped into headfirst, not knowing exactly what I was getting myself into. I looked at it as a learning experience. I never tried to put myself over Michael Cole or Josh Mathews or tried to make myself the voice of SmackDown or anything like that.

He goes on in the excerpt below:

• So what is the greater challenge? Tag team wrestler, singles wrestler, trainer, promoter, commentator, general manager or artist?

“Commentator,” he laughed. “Everywhere else I’m comfortable. I actually don’t consider myself a trainer. I consider myself a teacher. Trainers are like Army drill sergeants. They train one way. They train everybody to do it the same way.

“I don’t do it that way. My guys go out and figure out the problem. As long as it’s right, it’s OK with me. About being in the ring, I was always comfortable performing in front of a crowd. That was something that didn’t bother me at all. Running my own business, being the promoter, the knowledge from all the years performing prepared me for that.

“Commentating was something I was stepping into blind. Even though I had performed for years, it doesn’t prepare you for being at the table. I loved it. I had a great experience with Michael Cole, Josh Mathews, King [Jerry Lawler], and I wouldn’t change it for nothing.”

Click here to read the full article.

- While I'm aware there are certain publications promoting otherwise, I'm under the impression that SummerSlam 2013 will return be returning to the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California next year. If I hear otherwise, we'll be sure and pass it along.

- "Stone Cold" Steve Austin did video promotion for THQ in Los Angeles on Saturday but was not seen by fans at the WWE '13 roster reveal. He made a CM Punk tease on Twitter, who was part of the unveiling of the roster. Below is the Tweet:

Punk asked fans in attendance at the event who would win in a match between him and Austin. Austin signed 25,000 copies of the special Austin 3:16 collector's edition of WWE '13.

As for Punk vs. Austin, I'm told the company is still hopeful of a possible dream match between the two at Wrestlemania XXIX. In fact, I was told that all Wrestlemania plans are on hold until they get an answer from Austin one way or the other.

I'm told Alex Shelley has not yet signed a WWE contract despite rumors indicating the contrary. There is mutual interest from WWE and Shelley but the last I heard, they were waiting for the TNA lawsuit to be settled and the feeling is he would sign at that point.

Shelley is taking some time off but is working occasional indy dates as he's booked for domestic shows this month and in Japan in September. I'm told he's also done really well selling memorabilia to collectors through his personal Twitter account and website.

Alex is also taking some college classes as he recently enrolled after finishing up his contract with TNA. As for Shelley's support in WWE, I'm told one top name in favor of the company signing him is WWE Champion CM Punk.

6:46 PM EDT Update: Alex Shelley has been telling people close to him he wouldn't be interested in getting "seasoned" in developmental but would be open to a short-term stint before headed to the main roster. Also regarding his college, Shelley is actually graduating but still has one class he is finishing up. Many in WWE feel it's only a "matter of time" before he is signed.

- Antonio Cesaro beat Santino Marella in the SummerSlam Pre-Show match to win the WWE United States Championship. As we reported here on Premium last Tuesday, this was done to put more emphasis on the YouTube show.

- The announced attendance of SummerSlam 2012 was 17,482. The show was a legitimate sellout from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

- Wrestling News World reader Brandon van Reenen sent in the following:

Starting with today's South African edition of WWE Raw, all Twitter references have been recognised on-screen as well as in commentary. This was previously excluded from the international version.

- Stephanie McMahon'scorporate profile has been updated. It's revealed she is a member of the BOard of Directors for both the USO Metropolitan Washington and the social media company, Tout, Inc.

There is a story going around that Fred Durst was tossed from SummerSlam for giving the camera the middle finger when he was shown on the pay-per-view broadcast.

Durst has emphatically denied the rumor on Twitter. Below are his Tweets:

There were other Tweets Durst has since deleted where he claimed he left early to beat the traffic and WWE was his family.

- The go-home sequence of John Cena hitting the Attitude Adjustment on Big Show only for CM Punk to throw Cena out of the ring and steal the pin was included on a script that I received information from late Sunday afternoon. The weird match restart that preceded it was not.

- The total time in all of the scripts I was told about called for the pay-per-view to be just under two and half hours. The feeling was filler would be added, however, it was also ultimately decided against.

- There was considerable talk within WWE about Dolph Ziggler "cashing in" his Money in the Bank briefcase on Sheamus after he beat Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam. Obviously WWE decided against doing it and I haven't heard the reason why. I will have my reaction to Ziggler going under to Chris Jericho later on Richard's Backstage Blog.

- Dot com has posted an "injury update" on Triple H claiming he suffered a broken arm as a result of Brock Lesnar's Kimura Lock in their match at SummerSlam. You can read the storyline update at this link.

- TMZ has apparently solved the Fred Durst/SummerSlammystery, reporting he was not thrown out for flipping off the camera. The publication reports Durst actually left the crowd to go apologize to the producers.

A WWE representative told TMZ that reports indicating Durst was kicked out are 100% false but condemned his actions in the following statement:

"We appreciate Fred’s apology. However, we take our family-friendly environment very seriously and this was a violation of that. We sincerely apologize to our fans.”

I heard Durst angered Kevin Dunn and the production staff for throwing up his middle finger, drawing a considerable amount of criticism backstage. You can read coverage by TMZ at this link.

- The WWE personalities slated for voice-over work in the new Scooby-Doo animated film began the work last week.

- Former WWE Diva Amy "Lita" Dumas was one of the many visitors at SummerSlam.

- Evan Bourne posted the following on Twitter:

- I'm told Vince McMahon wanted Triple H to beat Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam but Hunter made the call to switch the finish. While Vince would be content to have Brock put guys over for a year and then leave, Hunter would prefer to repair some of the damage done by the John Cena loss [at Extreme Rules] before eventually having Brock put someone over at Wrestlemania XXIX. One scenario I'm told Vince is in favor of is Brock putting Hunter over at Survivor Series but apparently Hunter has pitched losing to Brock again and having him not lose again until Wrestlemania.

- WWE is writing Brock Lesnar off television by using the Tout account of Paul Heyman. You can view it embedded below:

Obviously this is being used to explain his absence from WWE television as he's under a part-time contract and isn't expected back until Survivor Series.

- Dolph Ziggler beat Chris Jericho on this week's episode of WWE Raw, "terminating" Jericho's WWE contract. As the storyline goes, AJ Lee made the SummerSlam rematch in that if Ziggler won, Jericho's WWE contract was terminated. If Jericho won, he got Ziggler's Money in the Bank title shot. In reality, Jericho is being written off television as he is leaving the company to tour with his band Fozzy.

- Chris Jericho, who was written off of TV on this week's Raw, posted the following on his Twitter account:

- Yahoo! Sports has a new article up regarding Brock Lesnar's return to WWE. The article goes into detail about Lesnar's initial departure from WWE in 2004, as well as his return negotiations. In the following excerpt, Paul Levesque (aka Triple H) explains the process behind Lesnar's WWE return:

“Brock reached out to us when his UFC contract was done and I think he was just sticking his toe in the water to see if there was any interest,” Paul Levesque (aka Triple H), WWE executive vice president, talent and live events, told Y! Sports prior to SummerSlam. “We spoke and the rest is history.” There was a time where WWE fans thought they would never see Lesnar back with the company. “There had been some animosity a little bit in some ways between Brock and the WWE at various points, “ Levesque said. “Some of that was real, some of that was media.”

Rey Mysterio gave his thoughts on Lesnar's initial WWE departure as well:

“We were kind of disappointed when he left and just didn’t know what was going to happen with him trying out for the NFL and then shocking the world with the UFC,” fellow WWE wrestler Rey Mysterio told Y! Sports. “Overall, he did what he wanted to do and you can’t take that away from any man or human being who wants to accomplish something or prove themselves in a certain sport.”

Click here to read the full article.

- WWE will do an angle with Daniel Bryan on next week's Raw where he goes to anger management classes. AJ hyped "sending" Bryan to anger management here on Twitter.

- For those that missed it on this week's WWE Raw, Kaitlyn is the new number one contender for the WWE Divas Championship.

- Next week's "social media ambassador" for WWE Raw has been announced as Dominic Monaghan. Monaghan has a starring role in the upcoming WWE Studios film "The Day."

- We've written a lot about Triple H's disdain for John Laurinaitis, however, I'm told he's been changing his tune a bit lately. One source close to Hunter says he still thinks Laurinaitis was never qualified for the job of Executive Vice President of Talent Relations but now that he has gotten more involved in the day-to-day operations of WWE, he's come to appreciate some of the specific skills Laurinaitis has in regards to laying out a match. Triple H is looking to build his own team of guys for his eventual succession of Vince McMahon and is looking for guys that specialize in certain aspects of the business. I'm told Hunter is hoping Big Johnny can fill a bit of the void left by Pat Patterson's diminished (and sometimes non-existent) role over the last several years. Laurinaitis did take a bit of a pay cut with his new position compared to his job running talent relations, however, with his contract as talent for his TV character, he's now back to basically making what he was making before he started as an on-screen character. Speaking of Laurinaitis on television, expect him back before long. Triple H, in addition to Vince McMahon, actually loves his on-air character but felt he did a "terrible job" replacing Jim Ross in running talent relations.

- WWE Champion CM Punk is ranked #1 in Pro Wrestling Illustrated'sPWI 500 for 2012. I haven't seen the rest of the list but Punk was #10 last year. The Miz was ranked #1 in 2011.

- Beth Phoenix, who was absent from last night's Raw despite being advertised in a pre-match graphic, posted the following on her Twitter late last night:

Wrestling News World offers our sincerest condolences to Beth and her family.

- Alberto Del Rio defeated Randy Orton during this week's Smackdown taping to become the #1 Contender for Sheamus' World Heavyweight Championship.

- Josh Mathews and Santino Marella were the broadcast team for this week's WWE Saturday Morning Slam taping. This of course is notable because Mathews wasn't on Smackdown, because he was selling the kayfabe "injuries" he suffered at the hands of Kane and SummerSlam. This week's Smackdown broadcast team was Michael Cole and Teddy Long.

- The official WWE website has announced that Dominic Monaghan will be the Social Media Ambassador for next week's Raw on August 27. Monaghan is known for appearing in the "Lord of the Rings" film series, as well as the upcoming WWE Studios production "The Day," which will premiere in theaters on August 29. Click here to view the full announcement.

- WWE has launched a recruiting website at this link. On it, they reveal the following criteria they are looking for:

  • Athletic – Willing and able to engage in intense, physically demanding activities on a daily basis. WWE is a highly athletic style of performance that requires individuals be in excellent physical condition. All prospective Talent are required to pass a rigorous medical evaluation prior to joining WWE.
  • Charismatic – Do you have “IT?” Do you stand out in a crowd? Do you have a special or magnetic charm or appeal?
  • Determined – A strong conviction to succeed coupled with physical and mental strength. Gaining knowledge of WWE’s in-ring product requires the constant application of lessons taught both in and out of the ring. WWE is looking for individuals who are consistently willing go the extra mile.
  • Coachable – The ability to listen and learn. Successful superstars are good listeners, open-minded and adaptable.
  • Professional – Be held to a high standard of conduct at all times. As public figures, WWE Superstars are subject to the same scrutiny as other sports figures or celebrities and, as such, are expected to act accordingly both in and outside the ring. All prospective superstars are required to pass extensive background, nudity and criminal searches prior to joining WWE.

- WWE's Senior Vice President of International Operations Ed Wells told what many have long thought, WWE is actively seeking for a Chinese talent. Citing the company's double-digit growth in China since 2007, Wells said: "We'd love to have a Chinese star... And we're certainly open to working with Chinese talent."

- Tyler Reks' roster profile has been moved to the Alumni section on the official WWE website. In addition, his Twitter account has been moved from the "Superstars" list to the "Alumni" list managed by the official WWE Twitter account.

- Tyler Reks confirmed on Twitter he has indeed left WWE. According to Reks, he requested his release on Monday to spend more time with his family. Below is a snippet of his explanation:

I just want to say thank you to WWE, Inc. for allowing me to be part of an incredible entertainment experience. On Monday, I asked for my release and the company was gracious enough to grant my request.

I realized recently that being a Superstar means sacrificing certain things, including time with my family. As a new father, my heart broke every time I had to leave to go on the road. I didn't ever want to miss another moment with my daughter, so I made the decision to be a full time dad and hang up my boots.

I will miss everyone in the locker room tremendously as they have all become a second family to me. I want to thank my coaches and teachers that really helped me along the way: Fit Finlay, Arn Anderson, Edge, Christian, Kane, Jericho, Dr. Tom, Norman Smiley, and Billy Kidman.

I also want to thank my boys. You know who you are. Especially though, a huge thank you to Hawkins. You were like a brother to me the last year and I'll miss you and will always love you bro. I wish you the best and thanks for understanding that I had to go be a dad. When she's older, and able to realize what happened, I know Mia will thank you as well.

Thanks to all the dedicated fans of #ReksAndHawkins and to The #RekkingCrew. I would never have survived without you.

Click here to read what Reks had to say in its entirety.

- The official WWE website is reporting that Rey Mysterio suffered a concussion during his match with The Miz at WWE SummerSlam last Sunday. The article is citing The Miz's sit-down powerbomb as the probable cause, and continues in the excerpt below:

According to WWE physician Michael Sampson, Mysterio “had the first [test] on Monday, which showed us that he was below baseline. The physical exam was normal, but neuropsych testing was below normal. That’s the beauty of neuropsych testing,” he explained. “Based on reaction time and memory, we can measure on a computer, and he was below his baseline. That saves [Mysterio] from causing further injury from the concussion."

It was also confirmed that Mysterio will not return to in-ring action until he is at baseline and passes an exertion test. To be determined at baseline, Mysterio must pass the aforementioned impact/neuropsych test later in the week. Only then will he be permitted to undergo exertion testing.’s source estimated that the former WWE Champion “will probably be taking [the impact test today] if he’s still symptom-free, or later on this week.”

Click here to read the full announcement.

- WWE wished Tyler Reks the best in his future endeavors via a Tweet posted on iPad. Below is the Tweet:

- Mark Henry and Eve Torres are scheduled to appear at the Alaska State Fair in Palmer, Alaska Thursday afternoon. The appearances will take place from 1PM to 4PM. - has a new Q&A online with Rey Mysterio. Below are the highlights: Is in-ring retirement in sight yet?

No, not at all. After this surgery, it kind of set me back almost a year trying to get my knee back in shape and recovered. I have my limitations as far as what I can do in the ring, but I manage to be creative with my style. I think that is what keeps me still able to perform for my fans. As long as I keep doing that, I'm good to go.

Rey, who asked if he would be working Saturday's show in Peoria due to the concussion he suffered at SummerSlam, said the following:

As of right now, I'm just waiting and taking another impact test and finding out the results. Whether I'm there or not, there will be superstars there performing like John Cena, CM Punk, Big Show or Kofi Kingston. It’s going to be one hell of a show.

Click here to read the Q&A in its entirety. - The Green Bay Press Gazette has a new Q&A online with Brodus Clay. Below is an excerpt: On transition to the Funkasaurus:

To be honest, that’s more of who I am. I never was the silent angry type. I’ve always had a big mouth. I’ve always been loud. Some people would say obnoxious, other people say entertaining, charming, it just depends on who you’re around. This is just more of who I am. … It’s hard to be angry all the time I think.

How he got the job as Snoop Dogg's bodyguard:

Once again, at Saddle Ranch a fight broke out (laughs). Snoop’s manager was there and another guy. You have to understand these aren’t tremendous athletic accomplishments. Most guys that fight in clubs, it’s never Jean-Claude Van Damme or some licensed killer. They’re usually pathetic, drunk individuals. It doesn’t take a whole lot and I used to have fun with it, almost like (playing) cat and mouse with them, working on my promos and stuff like that. (Snoop’s management) saw that and they asked me if I needed a job and I was like, ‘Sure.’’’ Snoop and I just hit it off, because he liked my sarcasm, and honestly, (being a bodyguard) was great in terms of being able to cut promos and get personality. I was always the bad guy with Snoop. I was always the heavy, the one who would say no, and I enjoyed it.

Click here to read the article in its entirety. As the WWE creative team continues to work feverishly each week to fill the company's TV tapings and monthly pay-per-views, there continues to be much discussion about the Wrestlemania XXIX lineup next year. With things ever changing backstage in WWE, we have a new update with the thinking this week. The name Triple H has thrown out for Brock Lesnar's opponent is Sheamus. Vince McMahon prefers to do The Undertaker vs. Lesnar but Hunter would prefer to put a younger talent over Lesnar. As one source told me, "we'll see who wins that battle." There has been a lot of talk of The Rock winning the WWE Championship at Royal Rumble, most-likely against CM Punk, and go on to drop the title to John Cena in a rematch at Wrestlemania. With Rumble still far away, it's very possible Punk would drop the WWE Championship and re-gain it before the match at Royal Rumble. Plans for CM Punk [at Wrestlemania] hinge on the future of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. Vince and Hunter are both in agreement in trying to get Austin to return for "one last match" at Wrestlemania. While Austin hasn't said no, he hasn't said yes either. Therefore plans this week for Wrestlemania XXIX look like this:

  • The Rock vs. John Cena for the WWE Championship
  • Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker (or Brock Lesnar vs. Sheamus)
  • Steve Austin vs. CM Punk

Obviously if Austin doesn't agree to work, the combination will have to be blown up which is very likely to happy.

TNA News

- TNA Wrestling issued the following press release:

IMPACT WRESTLING LAUNCHES NEW TRISTAR TRADING CARD SET CELEBRATING TEN YEAR ANNIVERSARYIMPACT WRESTLING TENacious trading cards on sale now! NASHVILLE, TN - TNA IMPACT WRESTLING debuts new TRISTAR trading card set celebrating TNA’s tenth year anniversary. The newly release TENacious Trading Cards celebrate TEN YEARS of TNA Wrestling featuring cards that illustrate “Top TNA Moments”, and “TOP 10” Moments of TNA Wrestlers’ careers. The new IMPACT WRESTLING TENacious trading cards are being released this week at, in hobby stores, Target and other retail chain stores in the soon. For the complete TENacious checklists, go to Bring home TRISTAR’s exclusive-licensed, most explosive, IMPACT WRESTLING Trading Cards NOW! Other card segments include: “When I was 10…” (What your favorite TNA Wrestlers were like at 10 years old) “In 10 Years…” (What lies ahead for the TNA Wrestlers in 2022) “Looking Back at…” (TNA Wrestler’s thoughts on their favorite TNA memories) “From the Desk of Dixie Carter” (TNA President’s comments on historic TNA moments) Look For These Special, Randomly-Inserted Cards: • Hand-Signed Autograph Cards (numbered to 100 or less), including special autograph cards with 2, 3, 4 or 6 autographs oneach card! • “TNA 10” Event-Worn Clothing Authentic Swatch Cards (numbered to 100 or less). • IMPACT Celebrity Autograph Cards (numbered to 1 & 5) • Jeff Hardy “TNA 10” Art Cards. • Parallel Cards (numbered to 30 or less) & much more!

-'s Alex Barie sat down with Kurt Angle in Pittsburgh last week for a hard-hitting interview that has the entire Internet buzzing. Below are the highlights: Admiration for Vince McMahon:Kurt Angle: "I am very grateful what Vince [McMahon] did to me. He utilized me the right way. I believe if I would have went to WCW, it would have taken a heck of a lot longer to get to where I am now." Thoughts on the Chris Benoit tragedy:Kurt Angle: "…it was such a tragedy that I was more confused to what happened and tried to figure out how a tragedy like that could happen especially since Chris [Benoit] was such a nice and caring guy." WWE lacking leadership today:Kurt Angle: "…Undertaker, Triple H, Austin, The Rock… Those guys were such great leaders. I think that is what is lacking today. The Attitude Era there were so many great wrestlers." Who will carry the business in the future:Kurt Angle: "I’m trying to think of young talent because when you are talking about the CM Punks, the Randy Ortons, and the AJ Styles… they are all in their thirties. That is not young talent… doesn’t mean they are not new talent. There are guys… I’ll give you a guy that will be a huge star. He’s only 25 right now, but he will be a huge star in the next three or four years, whether it be in TNA or somewhere else and that’s Magnus." Click here now as Kurt opens up exclusively to - Kurt Angle posted the following on Twitter:

Last week, Angle spoke exclusively with Alex Barie on behalf of Make sure you check it out at this link.

- "The Pope" D'Angelo Dinero has been officially eliminated from the Bound for Glory Series due to injury, the official TNA website confirmed on Wednesday.

- Dixie Carter confirmed Wednesday on Twitter that Doug Williams will begin training TNA prospects in Ohio Valley Wrestling. OVW is the promotion's official developmental territory. Below is the Tweet:

- Kurt Angle has opened the Health Up Cafe in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, coffee and cold drinks daily. Click here for coverage by WTAE Pittsburgh.

- Preliminary estimates are that TNA Hardcore Justice didn't crack 10,000 buys.

- Gunner married Jayme Hachey in Hawaii last week.

- Earlier this month we reported here on Premium that Jeff Jarrett was actively trying to bring on new investors to TNA Wrestling and was talking with a restaurant chain. I'm now being told the name of the company Jarrett is talking with to purchase part or all of TNA is called Royal Capital Corporation and are actually based in Georgia (we originally reported they were Nashville-based but that was because one of their subsidiaries is Shoney's North America Corp.). My source, speaking to me under the condition of anonymity, says Jarrett is hopeful they'll end up with controlling interest which will lead to him re-gaining power of the company. However, I'm told that "could be a long shot." As things currently stand, Dixie Carter won't want to give up control but if things don't turnaround, Janice could be tempted to sell. The Carter family is currently looking for a minority partner.

- Dixie Carter posted the following on Twitter:


With CM Punk retaining at SummerSlam; does this virtually assure he'll remain champion for the rest of the year given the emphasis that has been put on his title reign?

Nothing is a sure thing in WWE and the only thing that is 100% is that The Rock will challenge for the WWE Championship at Royal Rumble. There are still four pay-per-views that CM Punk would have to successfully defend the belt before a possible match against Rock so it's very important not to assume too much. I will give my full thoughts on Punk retaining at SummerSlam on Richard's Backstage Blog later today.

Do you believe the fact Daniel Bryan trained at Shawn Michaels' wrestling school influenced his in-ring ability in any significant way or do you think it's all down to raw talent?

I absolutely think Shawn Michaels training Daniel Bryan played a part in his in-ring ability, however, Bryan is one of the most talented individuals in the history of the wrestling business. Sometimes there are guys that just "get it" and Daniel Bryan is someone that not only has the athleticism to perform in the ring at a very high level but he also understands how to portray his character. Bryan is over like rover and is a clear case of the cream rising to the top. The knock on Bryan was, everyone knows he can work, but can he make the WWE audience care about him? The mission has been accomplished and Bryan is over more than anyone (including me) thought he could be.

I was just wondering if you were offered a full time position at WWE would you accept it ? You seem to have a vast knowledge of the wrestling business.

I appreciate the compliment. I have always maintained I am happy with my career as a pro wrestling journalist and while I would be flattered by any offer, I would most-likely decline. There is no way WWE would hire me and allow me to continue doing what I do best in running this website and I have a responsibility to all the loyal readers to provide the most accurate detailed information possible.

Now that Brock Lesnar has made Triple H tap, what or who is next for him?

The word going around for the last couple of weeks is that Brock Lesnar won't work again until Survivor Series in November. There are plenty of dates left on his contract and with The Rock confirmed for Royal Rumble, it's possible Lesnar sits the January show out. I haven't heard plans for a potential opponent but anyone in the top of the card remains a possibility. Lesnar is confirmed to open this week's Raw to address his victory against Triple H.

Don't you think the premise that Brock Lesnar is the conqueror, with nothing left to prove in the WWE, would have been WAY more effective if Lesnar had beaten John Cena?

WWE is basically in damage-control mode by portraying Brock Lensar as the dominant conqueror that "accomplished everything" in a very short period of time. The problem is Lesnar is 1-1 since returning and is hardly a dominant force by beating Triple H who is 0-2 for the year. The company expects logic to be thrown out the window with fans ignoring match outcomes and basing it on Lesnar's "destructive tendencies." The fact of the matter is WWE made a monumental mistake by putting Cena over Lesnar at Extreme Rules and are paying for it with every Lesnar match going forward. I have more on the original plans for Lesnar vs. Triple H at SummerSlam this link.

Where was Kelly Kelly in the Divas Battle Royal on this week's WWE Raw? They showed her on the graphic for the match but she wasn't in it.

Both Kelly Kelly and Beth Phoenix were shown in the graphic for the number one contender battle royal but neither were in the match or backstage at the show. I cannot confirm where either Diva was as of this writing.

What is your opinion of Chris Jericho "passing the torch" to Dolph Ziggler on WWE Raw rather than SummerSlam?

While Chris Jericho vs. Dolph Ziggler on WWE Raw may have had more eyes on it than their bout at SummerSlam, I still find Jericho over Ziggler on the pay-per-view as an inexcusable outcome. From making the outcome to their Raw bout obvious to Ziggler getting no payoff from the company's second biggest show of the year, I said the only way I was for Ziggler going under at the pay-per-view was only if he "cashed in."

What is Evan Bourne's status?

Evan Bourne continues to recover from a career-threatening foot injury he suffered in a car accident in March. Bourne checked in with a new update on Monday that you can read at this link.

In the past WWE has booked Kane in some questionable situations and matches, I think we can all agree. Why were Kane and The Undertaker booked so differently but they are both somewhat similar?

Kane and The Undertaker are similar based on the "Brothers of Destruction" angle and the fact they're both "mysterious monsters," however, the similarities end there. Undertaker is one of the top WWE superstars of all time, possessing a rare set of in-ring abilities compiled with the personality characteristics to be "the guy." Kane is a reliable veteran, has decent in-ring work, but he's nowhere near Undertaker in terms of the top WWE superstars of all time. I don't hate Kane, I respect him for his work, but a lot of his fans overemphasize the success he's had when he's never been "the guy" despite one World title reign (in addition to his one-day WWE Championship reign).

Do you think Triple H and Stephanie McMahon have what it takes to run WWE in succeeding Vince McMahon?

Both Triple H and Stephanie McMahon have the personality traits and the thick skin that should make them fine in succeeding Vince McMahon but this question can't be answered until it actually happens. Vince is grooming both Hunter and Stephanie for their roles by increasing their responsibilities behind-the-scenes and while I don't agree with everything they do, I've been a fan of some of the changes thus far.

What is Beth Phoenix's status within WWE?

Beth Phoenix is still with WWE but was not at TVs this week due to a death of a loved one. You can read more at this link.

WWE has had a couple Social Media Ambassadors recently. Do those celebrities really sit and watch Raw and Tweet throughout the show?

The Social Media Ambassadors are hired by WWE to promote the show via their social media platforms. I'm not sure what the deal entails but I would assume some type of monetary value for using their millions of followers to help the company. As for the celebrities sitting through the broadcast, I'm assuming either they or someone that works for them watches the show to participate in the discussion. WWE cares more about making topics trend on Twitter because it results in more people tuning in.

Do you think we have seen the end of Chris Jericho's career or will he come back in the future?

I feel like Chris Jericho will return to WWE at some point. He has a lot on his plate with another lengthy Fozzy tour and another autobiography scheduled, but by his own admission, we haven't seen the last of Y2J.

Now that Tyler Reks has been granted his release, what will happen to Curt Hawkins?

Curt Hawkins said he's in WWE to stay. He's a talented guy but just hasn't got much of an opportunity yet. While I thought Tyler Reks had potential, I'm not the least bit surprised he requested his release. Leaving the business to spend time at home is admirable but his in-ring career wasn't going anywhere.

Has there been any word on the next time The Rock will appear on Raw?

The Rock is confirmed for Royal Rumble 2013 so it's likely he'll appear on shows leading up to the pay-per-view next January. He wasn't planned to return to WWE until 2013 but they were able to get him to appear on the 1000th episode of Raw.

Is there any truth to Steve Austin returning at Wrestlemania?

The NEWZ sites pumped some rumor about Steve Austin not being ready to return to the ring but it was completely bogus. The truth is WWE wants to do Austin vs. CM Punk at Wrestlemania XXIX next year but nothing has changed in terms of the match going past talk.

Can you explain the booking of Alberto Del Rio and Sheamus? It is very boring and uninspiring.

The lack of interest in Alberto Del Rio vs. Sheamus has to do with fans not sold on either as main event stars. Not everyone feels this way but I've noticed several readers have voiced their displeasure over the program. I was talking with one of my WWE sources yesterday and they commented about Sheamus is one of Triple H's guys who he sees carrying the company at the top. My source and I don't see it and understand Sheamus isn't terrible but he also doesn't have the same "feel" as someone like John Cena, CM Punk or Randy Orton. WWE is sticking with it because these are two stars tapped to fill the main event void in the company.

How long do you think it will be until Triple H and Stephanie McMahon full takeover for Vince McMahon in running WWE?

Vince McMahon turns 67-years-old today (Friday, August 24th) and he's not slowing down. Vince has given Triple H more power with Stephanie running creative but at the end of the day, he makes the final call on everything. Vince McMahon is "hands on" and is a workaholic that hardly sleeps. I honestly do not believe Vince is the type of guy that can just "retire" and his tenure will end either when he dies or can no longer physically or mentally perform the duties necessary to run WWE's day-to-day operations. However, with Vince closing in on 70, he's been smart enough to make changes so if something would happen to him the company will continue,.

Do you feel the increasingly obvious failure of the Tensai gimmick is the fault of the WWE or Matt Bloom?

The catch-all scapegoat is to blame a gimmick's failure on WWE creative but I don't think it's that easy. Tensai just didn't work. Matt Bloom is a veteran in the business with a unique look that had great success overseas in Japan. However, at the end of the day, the fans didn't buy Tensai as a main eventer and haven't really bought into the character at all. This is the business were in and some have success while others do not. It comes down to being over and the fans haven't connected with the gimmick.

With Ryback still going up against mid card talent and jobbers, how long if ever, until he's main eventing or at least going against main event talent?

Vince McMahon loves the Ryback character but it's almost as if he's on an island by himself at times. The response from the WWE audience has been better than that of Tensai but I'm not sure it's drawn a real connection either. When Goldberg had success mowing through enhancement talent in WCW, the fans bought it. The fans still remember Goldberg and haven't done the same for Ryback. There's probably a feeling of putting him in the main event too soon could be disastrous and they need to give the gimmick time to evolve. With that being said I do not know of any time frame other than Vince would probably push him in the main event tomorrow if there weren't people in the company advising him otherwise.

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