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Ted DiBiase Gone From WWE, Goldberg Returning?, Big WWE Star In The Doghouse, The Next World Champion, 3 Names Discussed As The Next Paul Heyman Guy, Ric Flair Drops A Pipebomb on TNA, Top TNA Star Plays A Role In Hogan's Release, Why Orton Makes Ziggler

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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 24, 2013 to Friday, August 30, 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

- Promoting Night of Champions, WWE has released this video counting down the top victories in the history of the event. Among those include Triple H defeating John Cena in 2008, Daniel Bryan forcing The Miz to tap out and Mark Henry claiming the World Heavyweight Title from Randy Orton.

- Footage of what led to Naomi and Cameron's physical altercation on Total Divas has surfaced online. Tune into tomorrow night's episode on E! to see the aftermath.

- WWE has issued a poll on its website asking visitors who should be the face of the company. John Cena currently leads the poll with 32% of over 13,000 votes cast. He is trailed by CM Punk (22%), Daniel Bryan (21%), WWE Champion Randy Orton (18%), Triple H (4%), Mr. McMahon (2%), and World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio (1%).

- On this week's edition of "Backstage Fallout" for SmackDown, Big Show and Mark Henry send out a message to The Shield. Plus, Dolph Ziggler says he is done with Big E Langston.

- Brooklyn Brawler, who currently works for WWE in a backstage capacity while still occasionally competing says he's very thankful for the opportunity. He wrote the following on Twitter on Saturday.

- Brodus Clay recently took part in an interview with Arda Ocal, discussing his role in No One Lives, his minimal role in Total Divas, and more. The interview is available at this link or embedded below:

- Evan Bourne spent his week at the WWE Performance Center, tweeting out the following update:

- Randy Orton will defend his WWE Championship against Daniel Bryan at this year's Night of Champions pay-per-view. The match, a result of Bryan invoking his rematch clause, was made official after this week's Smackdown.

- Tickets for this year's WWE Hell in a Cell pay-per-view went on sale this morning at 10 AM ET. Tickets can be purchased at the box office or through Ticketmaster, available at this link. WWE Hell in a Cell 2013 will take place Sunday, October 27, 2013 from the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. We’ll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at

- Hulu tweeted out the following announcement earlier this week:

It is unclear is this is permanent or simply a limited-time promotion, but as of this writing, all seven seasons of the show, from its debut on SyFy to its current incarnation at Full Sail University, are available to watch on Hulu, free of charge. Prior to this announcement, NXT was exclusively available through Hulu Plus, a paid subscription service.

Click here to view the episodes.

- Earlier this week, Chris Jericho took part in the Inside The Ropes podcast and discussed the challenge of working with Fandango at WrestleMania and his surprise return at this year's Royal Rumble. In addition, he named The Shield, Antonio Cesaro, Daniel Bryan, and Bray Wyatt as Superstars with great upside in WWE. Click here to listen to the interview.

- In the latest Total Divas bonus clip, The Bella Twins visit Shawne Merriman's house for a barbeque. Merriman, an NFL linebacker, has made waves in recent years by teasing a run in WWE and having a public feud with CM Punk. The clip is available at this link.

- TMZ recently posted footage of Triple H & Stephanie McMahon in a boxing ring for WWE & MilkPEP's new "Protein Fight Club" campaign. Famous trainer Hector Roca, who joined them in the ring, had the following to say about their training efforts:

Roca tells TMZ … HHH and SM trained for about an hour doing basic training techniques – with Stephanie showing some real flashes of promise in the ring.

As for HHH -- "Boxing is not really his sport."

The clip of the session is available at this link, or embedded below:

- Goldberg appeared at the Legends of Wrestling Night in Miami, Florida, and took some time to answer some big questions regarding his potential future in WWE. When asked about a WWE return at WrestleMania, Goldberg responded:

I don't know where that rumor came from. Have I spoken to [WWE] at times? Absolutely. Is my DVD coming out? Yes. Am I going to the WWE to be at WrestleMania? No. But there’s 8 months till WrestleMania, right? So at this moment I can tell you I am not planning to be there by any stretch of the imagination. But you never know, things could change.”

On whether he is interested in a potential WWE Hall of Fame induction:

I don't know. To me, does it mean that I've accomplished great things in wrestling? Absolutely not. Is it something that, before I die, I have to strike off my bucket list? Absolutely not. If it was offered to me, I'd seriously consider it. But is it something that I'm longing for? You know, my life is not complete until I'm in the WWE Hall of Fame? You know, I love Pete Rose to death, but Pete Rose is in the Hall of Fame. He didn't put asses in seats like I did. Maybe on the baseball field - for sure - but you know. So the answer's no.

He also shows remorse for the infamous kick to Bret Hart, talks wrestlers trying out MMA, and more. The interview is available at this link.

- Ted DiBiase announced Monday morning that he has left WWE.

In a video posted on his official YouTube channel, DiBiase said that he's not saying "this is forever" but there are other dreams and passions that he would like to pursue. He said one of those is being a dad and everyone knows "the life we live is very hard." DiBiase said he's going to miss the fans and the guys in the locker room. You can watch the video at this link or embedded in the video below:

DiBiase, who has been recovering from a left hand injury, had been used sparingly on WWE television all year long. - John Cena, who is currently out with an injury, posted the following injury update to Twitter:

- CM Punk & Kofi Kingston were in New Mexico for a WWE live event and decided to stop by the the home of Walter White, the main character of AMC's Breaking BadTMZ ran a photo of the two Superstars outside the home, available at this link. - Last week's episode of WWE Smackdown did an average viewing audience of 2,572,000 viewers on SyFy. - Alberto Del Rio will defend the World Heavyweight Championship against Rob Van Dam at this year's WWE Night of Champions. The match was made official after Van Dam, with help from Ricardo Rodriguez, defeated Del Rio in a non-title match on this week's Monday Night Raw. - Rosa Mendes returned to WWE on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw. She appeared in a segment with The Miz while impersonating Fandango and Summer Rae. Mendes has been off television for the past several months where she has been dealing with personal issues. She appeared at an NXT taping back in June. - Ted DiBiase'sWWE departure does not come as a surprise (See also -Ted DiBiase Gone From WWE). His contract was up and he chose not to re-sign. DiBiase never understood why WWE nixed his push and was frustrated about his position in the company. While DiBiase understood the importance of "waiting for his time," he grew burn out from the travel schedule only to not be placed in storylines. DiBiase is hoping that one day things will work out for him to return to the company but he wanted to try something else that would allow him to spend more time at home. He's a new father and didn't like life on the road. He was well liked and respected in the locker room and got along with a lot of the boys in the back. - On this week's Monday Night Raw (full results available here), Brad Maddox made CM Punk vs. Paul Heyman & Curtis Axel in a Handicap Elimination match official for WWE Night of Champions. - Following AJ Lee's promo on Monday Night Raw (recap here), Mick Foleytook to Facebook to defend The Bella Twins. The defense is posted below in its entirety:

It's been a memorable Raw; an intense and disturbing physical encounter between Paul Heyman and CM Punk, a tremendous match-up between Christian and Randy Orton..and the looming danger to Orton's new Escalade (which, as of this writing, is still unscathed.) So why is it that I'm writing this post about the Divas division, feeling as if if I need to intervene and stick up for Bri and Nikki Bella - two young ladies who seem more than capable of sticking up for themselves? First, before I speak up for the Bellas, how about I acknowledge that AJ Lee delivered one of the finest promos - male or female - that I've seen on Raw in quite a while. That's really saying something, considering that Paul Heyman and CM Punk have been doing some of their finest mic work on the show on a regular basis, and that Daniel Bryan has been (wait, the Escalade just got spray-painted) an absolute joy to watch, as he finds new depth in his persona on an almost weekly basis. Yes, that was an amazing promo by AJ - primarily because she believed every word of it to be true..or at least it seemed that way to this 28 year wrestling veteran. After all, going back to the lessons I learned from Michael PS Hayes, a heel is always at their most believable and frightening and believable when they absolutely believe in their own words and actions. AJ's words were convincing and seem to be the ones being embraced by the WWE Universe. I know many people look at Bri and Nikki and see two beautiful women who have been given their spot in the company due to their beauty and choice in boyfriends. That's not what I see when I look at Bri and Nikki. I see two strong, proud women who walked away from WWE in April 2012 following a legitimate business disagreement with the company. Bri and Nikki wanted to have more say in what they could and could not do outside of WWE. The company disagreed. I know that feeling. I've been there. The Bellas took a stand and walked away. I know that feeling too. But they didn't do it the Mick Foley way - whining and complaining, and (ask Layla about this sometime) even yelling a little bit. They did it the right way. They took a stand, did everything they were asked to do, and left with their heads held high; earning a heightened respect from everyone they dealt with on their way out. And when they returned, they came back with a piece of the puzzle that had been missing from the Divas division. They returned with "Total Divas" - the vehicle the entire Divas division has driven to new heights of acceptance and mainstream recognition. I've often wondered why AJ wasn't part of the show. Obviously, she's a unique character and an an extremely talented wrestler. I would have really enjoyed the opportunity to see her outside the ring - to see how much AJ the performer and AJ the character had in common. I could completely understand any hard feelings she might harbor against the Bellas in that regard. But the idea that the Bellas haven't worked for everything they've received is just plain wrong from this Hall of Famer's perspective.

- After WWE Raw went off the air last night, The Big Show, Mark Henry, and Rob Van Dam to the ring and defeated The Shield in a 6 man tag team match. - Catch the latest episode of Backstage Fallout from last night's WWE Raw. It features The Miz and many of the divas in the division. The video is below: - This Sunday's Total Divas episode got an average viewing audience of 1,460,000. The show gained viewership even though they were up against the highly popular Video Music Awards while last week they lost viewership as they were up against WWE Summerslam. - Following this week's episode of Monday Night Raw, below is the updated lineup for WWE Night of Champions: WWE Championship Match - Randy Orton © vs. Daniel Bryan World Heavyweight Championship Match - Alberto Del Rio © vs. Rob Van Dam Elimination Handicap Match - CM Punk vs. Paul Heyman & Curtis Axel WWE Night of Champions 2013 will take place Sunday, September 15, 2013 from the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. We'll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at - The latest episode of "After Total Divas" is online at this link. - The latest vignette for Los Matadores, that aired on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw, is online at this link. - AJ Lee got very high marks for her promo on this week's episode of WWE Monday Night Raw. There were a lot of people raving about her delivery and how realistic it came off. CM Punk called it a "#pipebombshell" on Twitter. - Speaking of CM Punk, his back was busted up following his match against Curtis Axel. Backstage news & notes from WWE Raw in Phoenix… - We're told Dolph Ziggler is in the WWE doghouse. He was put under to Antonio Cesaro in a match taped for WWE Superstars and it's rumored that he recently got into it with Randy Orton. - Paul Heyman got "major props" backstage for what was described as one of the best in-ring action promo angles ever on this week's Monday Night Raw. When he got to the back, Triple H put him over and called his work "magic." - The plan as of this week is for a new Paul Heyman guy to "save him" at Night of Champions next month. We're told this is the current course of storyline progression. - Do not be surprised if WWE straps Rob Van Dam at the pay-per-view next month. He's expected to get a huge pop in Detroit and if WWE wants a title change for a few weeks or even a transition to Damien Sandow, this could be the opportunity. - Seth Rollins is officially out of the doghouse. Randy Orton told a producer on Monday night that he enjoys working with The Shield. - This week's episode of WWE Monday Night Raw did an average viewing audience of 4,190,333 viewers on the USA Network. Below is how the numbers broke down by hour: Hour one - 4,129,000 viewers Hour two - 4,291,000 viewers Hour three - 4,151,000 viewers The show ended up doing a 3.07 cable rating. - Former WWE Superstar Rikishi attended Tuesday's SmackDown taping at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The father of Jey and Jimmy Uso posted the following snapshot of himself with The Great Khali. - WWE announcer Scott Stanford is leaving his post as weekend sports anchor for WNBC, the NBC affiliate in New York City, to join rival WPIX, the area's CW affiliate. He will co-anchor the 5 and 10 p.m. newscasts beginning on September 16. Details on his jump are available here. - Alberto Del Rio recently took part in an interview on Power 98.3, and gave his thoughts on working with Christian, Rob Van Dam, and Ricardo Rodriguez. In addition, he notes that although he doesn't hate anybody, he doesn't like 70% of the guys in the company, and claims his black eye was the result of an accident at a WWE live event. The video is available at this link. - Santino Marella, who has been sidelined much of this year due to a neck injury, revealed in a rare out-of-character interview with Live Audio Wrestling that he is targeting a return to WWE by early September. Highlights of the WWE Superstar's interview promoting his Battle Arts Academy that is set to open in Ontario are as follows:

His return that he's pegging for next month: "September, early September. Whether it’s the 2nd or the 9th, I don’t know. I’m hoping it’s the 9th, because it’ll be a homecoming for me, born and raised in Mississauga. I would love to hear my music start, and just see the faces of these Torontonians going berzerk. One, because they appreciate the comedy. Two, because there are actually a lot of Italians in Toronto. Plus, I’ll have family and friends in the audience, and that will be a real special moment for me." His neck injury and full explanation of why he's been gone: "My neck was bad in March; I had a procedure done called a facet rhizotomy, where they do these injections, and there’s a little axillary nerve that comes off. I basically had several things wrong with my neck; bulging discs, herniated discs, stenosis, degenerating discs, but the one thing that was bugging me at the time was arthritis. Out of all that, arthritis doesn’t even sound cool. "My neck has been fine basically since that procedure, and I did the whole European tour in April and it didn’t hurt at all. But then when I renegotiated my contract a year ago, I wanted a little bit of time off just to heal my entire body, spend a little time with my family and live a little bit of life. When you’re successful and you’re doing well, you’re really five days a week, six days a week. Sometimes you won’t be home for two or three weeks. I missed a lot of things; I missed a lot of birthdays and baptisms and weddings, and all that kind of stuff. I just wanted to be home a little bit. I tell my friends, “You know what’s better than being Santino Marella around the world? Being Anthony Carelli in Mississauga. Background of Boris Alexiev character: "I got to OVW. Rip Rogers, on my second day, calls me “Boris.” And I’m like, “Boris?” Some guy looks at me and goes, “Yup, that’s your new nickname.” I’m like, “Boris? He just called me Boris, and now I’m Boris?” So then everyone called me Boris, and I had this epiphany while I was falling asleep one night. I’m like, “Wait a second, I’ll be Boris. I can be this Russian special forces trained fighter. I get to do all my Battlarts style wrestling, and I could incorporate my Judo, and stuff like that. So then Boris was born. Paul Heyman was the guy that took me aside and said, “Hey, we want you at OVW TV next week.” I was freaking, I’m like “Oh my God, this is happening. I’m gonna be on OVW TV!” I couldn’t sleep for days. And then, Boris was this animal killer. I brought the character to life, beyond a shadow of a doubt. When my music hit, there was absolute terror and fear in the OVW arena. Somebody was gonna get their butt whipped, and I came out and I delivered on a daily basis. I even had to apologize to people beforehand, “Sorry, brother. This is not gonna be fun.” It was just a demolition of whomever was in the ring." "That was the character that got me hired, got me noticed. The agents came to OVW; I wasn’t signed, and they saw this character, like, “Wow.” It was something new, something fresh. Of course, being 5’10”, 220 lbs, it wasn’t something that could translate to the big leagues with guys like Chris Masters, Kane, Umaga and everybody." The audio interview is available here.

- Stephanie McMahon has weighed in on AJ Lee's scathing tirade from Monday's Raw on the stars of Total Divas. reports that Lee's remarks will be a featured storyline on an upcoming episode of the reality series. On this Sunday's show, the ladies hit Las Vegas for Natalya's bachelorette party. Here is a video previewing the episode. - After announcing his departure from WWE earlier this week, Ted DiBiase has plans to work for an e-commerce website targeting college students. According to, the son of "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase has accepted an executive position with the Jackson, Missouri-based “I loved my career in the WWE and I will forever be thankful for the opportunity to work in that industry,” DiBiase said in a statement. “Leaving a job you love is not easy, but I believe so strongly in the future of that I knew it was time to change my focus.” - The next episode of Total Divas features an awkward conversation between Nikki Bella and John Cena after Nikki says that Natalya (who she calls by her real name Nattie) has only slept with Tyson Kidd (who she calls by his real name of TJ). The conversation leads to Nikki and John talking about her sex number. You can check out a preview of next week's episode at this link. - Eric Bischoff made headlines on Tuesday when he ripped dirt sheets for reporting that Hulk Hogan had a deal with 2KSports to be included in WWE '14. While we quickly dismissed Bischoff's claims, WWE Games creative director Cory Ledesma did an interview about the game that pretty much completely contradicted Bischoff's claims. Below is an excerpt from Ledesma talking about how critical Hulk Hogan it was to get him in WWE 2K14:

The first hurdle we had was Hulk Hogan. Hulk Hogan is currently not with the WWE. We knew that if we couldn't get Hulk Hogan, we weren't going to have a "30 Years of Wrestlemania" mode. It's just not possible… Once we could overcome that hurdle and Hulk Hogan was able to get into the game, we knew it was going to be kind of downhill from there.

You can watch the interview at this link. - was taken offline on Wednesday for around 45 minutes. There is a user on Twitter taking credit for the outage:

For what it's worth it's unclear what caused the outage, however, everything is up and running just fine as of this writing.

- There is currently a creative situation taking place in WWE where they are trying to determine the next "Paul Heyman Guy."

One of the top candidates is Ryback, with many feeling he could benefit from Paul as a tutor and mouthpiece. There is also talk about it being someone new from developmental. However, we're told with Curtis Axel "being kind of a dud so far," it would make more sense if they went with a name the WWE audience is already familiar with.

Another name that Heyman is rumored to be in favor of aligning with is Big E Langston. The idea here is Big E would provide some muscle backing up Axel, while also giving him a the rub.

At this point the talks are all in the preliminary stages but the next step in the Punk/Heyman saga seems to be the introduction of a new "Paul Heyman Guy."

- WWE Hall of Famer "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase released a statement on his statement on his official website concerning his son's decision to leave WWE.

DiBiase wrote, "As many of you know, my son, Ted Jr. has decided not to re-sign with the WWE. His decision is not based on dissatisfaction with the WWE, but a decision based on not wanting to spend so much of his life away from his family. I applaud that decision. As much as I loved the wrestling business, being away from my family and the temptations that come along with it, nearly destroyed me and my family. I never wanted my sons to be in the business for that very reason. But I knew that I had to let them find out for themselves. The birth of Ted’s first son, did just that. Yes, I still love wrestling and so does Ted Jr. But, “Everything has a price!” My son learned more quickly than I did, that the price of fame is often far greater than the rewards!!"

- Ring of Honor wrestler Harlem Bravado revealed in a Twitter exchange with Nick Jackson that he is participating in this week's multi-day WWE tryout in Orlando, Florida.

- As reported earlier today, Ring of Honor wrestler Harlem Bravado revealed in a Twitter exchange with Nick Jackson that he is participating in this week's multi-day WWE tryout in Orlando, Florida. He is not the only talent from the organization participating in the tryout as former ROH World Champions Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards will also be on hand for the session, according to

- In this WWE App video, Fandango reacts to The Miz impersonation of him on Monday's Raw.

- TVTechnology has published an article on WWE's major upgrade and expansion of its technical operations center in Stamford, Connecticut that included "HD ingest and edit rooms, QC and transmission, core router replacement and upgrade, and Audio Post 3, the newest 5.1 surround sound audio suite."

WWE commissioned a company in Mahopac, New York to design the acoustics, noise control, ergonomics, and aesthetics.

“WWE brought me in to do my thing, within the budget, not to give them more than they needed, but not undershoot either,” said Francis Manzella. “They gave me complete freedom in the design of the new room. I was told not to duplicate the old room [that Audio 3 replaced] nor the other audio post rooms in the facility.”

For additional details on the upgrade, click here.

- WWE has posted this five-minute video recapping last week's slate of action, including a recap of SummerSlam, and Daniel Bryan's quest to become WWE Champion again.

- Sami Callihan will be known as Solomon Crowe going forward in WWE NXT. The wrestling standout issued the following message tonight on Twitter announcing the name change.

- CM Punk attended tonight's UFC event at Indianapolis, Indiana. The show aired live on FOX Sports 1 as he shown seated next to UFC head Dana White.

- John Cena updated on his torn triceps injury Thursday morning on Twitter. The following is from his verified account:

Cena underwent surgery last week under Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Alabama. He's expected out 4-6 months.

- Kaitlyn discusses Goldberg, Kharma and more in the latest episode of WWE Inbox. You can watch it at this link.

- The official promotional poster for WWE Battleground features Ryback and is online here at WWE Battleground 2013 will take place Sunday, October 6, 2013. We’ll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at

- ESPN'sBill Simmons advocated for a WWE offseason in a new podcast at this link. Simmons said it's hard to believe WWE talent didn't need two months off at times to recuperate from the physicality of the business.

- Integrity Bookings is representing Ted DiBiase for post-WWE gigs. He's accepting bookings for "Autograph signings, Conventions, Question & Answer sessions, Seminars, DiBiase Posse tailgate parties and the like." Click here if you're interested.

- While I feel like we're beating a dead horse here, Kane has no plans to run for political office. However, he does plan on getting more involved in state and local politics in his home state of Tennessee. Click here for more.

- A fan on Twitter asked Stephanie McMahon for her response to those that say WWE is going against their anti-bullying campaign when they feature characters that are bullies. Below is her response:

While the hypocrisy is evident, there is a difference between what is storyline and what is real-life. I do not have a problem with Hunter and Ryback playing the role of antagonists that bully, however, there are certain lines that should not be crossed. One that I found particularly disgusting was the infamous Piggy James angle.

- Adam Carriker and Chuck Carroll interviewed Titus O'Neil on "4th & Pain." In it, O'Neil discussed Darren Young's decision to come out and the friendship between the two. O'Neil said he's known about Young's sexual orientation for awhile but it didn't matter. He said he and Darren are good friends outside of the ring and he considers him part of his family. O'Neil said his children even call him Uncle Darren. You can check out the interview at this link.

- In addition to Sami Callihan now working as Solomon Crowe, Matt Silva is working as Buddy Murphy and Ryan Drago as Simon Gotch.

- Natalya breaks down the first-ever Divas tag team tables match in a new episode of "Behind the Match." You can watch it at this link.

- A bonus clip from Total Divas featuring Brie and Nikki Bella celebrating Daniel Bryan's birthday at a cupcake shop is online at this link.

- Mike Jones (who?) interviewed Dolph Ziggler to promote Sunday's WWE live event from the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. While Ziggler was clearly working in the interview, his comments about Randy Orton could be more legitimate than one may think. Below is a paraphrased excerpt:

If you've been familiar with WWE for the last 10 years or so you would understand that without Triple H coming out front and coming out and saying, 'this is our face no matter what, we're behind him.' If you've been watching the last 10 years or so, you would already know they [WWE] already made their mind up about him [Orton] a long time ago. No matter what he does. Good or bad they're behind him and they will go out of their way to cut people's legs out from underneath them to make sure Randy comes out looking great. So the fact that's now out in the open and I'm allowed to comment on it, it actually kind of makes me sick. I'm really happy for Randy. He's awesome, he's so good at this it makes me mad how good he is. But the opportunities that he gets over and over again make that chip on my shoulder seem that much bigger to me.

This comes after our report from earlier this week that Ziggler is in the WWE doghouse due to a rumored incident/confrontation with Orton.

Click here to listen to the interview in its entirety.

- Florida based Figures Toy Company filed a lawsuit against WWE in Connecticut federal court on Wednesday. They allege that WWE tried to back out of their agreement and purchase products directly from their Chinese manufacturer instead.

WWE has worked with Figures Toy Company for the past 12 years as they've manufactured licensed championship belts for them. As part of the suit, Figures Toy is seeking a ruling that their agreement with WWE is still valid and they have not infringed on WWE's intellectual property rights by continuing to sell belts.

LAW 360 has more at this link.

- WWE issued an official statement on the departure of Ted DiBiase on Friday. According to their statement, DiBiase's contract is up as of September 1, 2013. Below is the statement in its entirety:

As of Sept. 1, Ted DiBiase Jr. will no longer be under contract with WWE. Opting not to renew his contract, DiBiase has chosen to pursue other endeavors outside the sports-entertainment world.

WWE wishes Ted DiBiase the best in all his future endeavors.

Click here for coverage by dot com.

- Joel Allen interviewed Chris Jericho about a myriad of topics and sent along the following videos of it. It should be noted Jericho does not have an active WWE contract and has worked through all of his dates with the company:



- Samuray Del Sol's ring name is WWE NXT is Kalisto.

- Solomon Crowe, formerly known as Sami Callihan, worked his WWE NXT debut match Thursday night at a live event against Xavier Woods. He went under the bout that emanated from Tampa, Florida.

- WWE is set to return to Mexico in October. Below are the dates:

October 16th in Querétaro
October 17th in Guadalajara
October 18th in Mexico City
October 19th in Monterrey

- Jim Duggan is set to undergo surgery for a torn rotator cuff on September 9th in Florida. We wish him well in his recovery.

- The Las Vegas Informer has an article online on Naomi and Jimmy Uso at Ghostbar at Palms Casino Resort on Wednesday night. You can read their coverage at this link.

- iDigital Times covered the apparent hacking of at this link. The publication noted it was an Indonesian group, known as Anonymous, that hacked the website to raise awareness about the Syrian Civil War.

- With fall right around the corner and The Rock still insisting that he's not wrestling at Wrestlemania XXX next year, Vince McMahon has put the edict out for the creative team to begin figuring out the top matches for the show under the assumption that Rock won't be involved.

We're told both Dave Batista and Bill Goldberg are potential targets. Vince feels there may not be one guy out there than can fill Rock's shoes other than Steve Austin and so far, WWE and Austin are still "very far apart" on money.

Vince right now is looking to potentially bring in two guys. One observer noted the longer this drags on, the more leverage Steve Austin is going to have.

- Dolph Ziggler wrote the following on Twitter:

The Tweet is in reference to an interview Ziggler did promoting this weekend's live events where he said he was sick of WWE always backing Orton. Be careful here - this is likely all a work to play up current storylines but given that we heard Ziggler has heat due to a real-life issue with Orton, it is worth noting.

- This week's episode of The JBL & Cole Show is subtitled Why is Teddy hollerin' at Aksana? and is online at this link.

TNA News

- Last night's Impact Wrestling received an average of 1,246,000 viewers. TNA Wrestling tried to advertise the show as Hardcore Justice Part 2. The show, however, saw a decline in viewership from last week. We will let you know the rating of the show when it comes in.

- Two talents have been removed from TNA's official roster page as Devon and SoCal Val are no longer listed.

Devon was removed from storylines on Thursday's episode of Impact as the program concluded with the accomplished tag team wrestler being forced out of the organization. He was pinned in a 10-man tag team match between the Main Event Mafia and Aces and Eights carrying a stipulation that the wrestler who took the fall would be prohibited from appearing on television.

Val announced her departure from the company on Thursday evening via Twitter, writing, "Thank u #ImpactWrestling ,the lockerroom & esp the fans for 9 wonderful years. No longer w the company. Really excited 2 see what's NEXT!"

Meanwhile, Brooke Hogan remains listed on the website despite reports that she was released from her contract with the company.

Following numerous talent departures this year, TNA now has a roster size of 49—including announcers and non-wrestlers.

- Most people have been quiet about the departure of So Cal Val from TNA Wrestling. Her departure occurred last Thursday night (Click here for the article). Eric Bischoff, on his official Twitter account, tweeted about So Cal Val and what it was like working with her through the years. His tweet is below:

- Eric Bischoff was recently interviewed by Slam! Sports. In the interview, Eric discussed a number of topics. Below are the answers to some of the questions:

His Role In TNA Wrestling:

“My role doesn’t extend to the hiring and firing or recruiting,” he clarified. “That’s the business side of TNA’s business, and I’m not involved in that.”

“My partner Jason Hervey and I are the Executive Producers of Impact. Essentially, my role is: to oversee the creative side of the production; to be involved in post-production as is necessary; to execute the creative direction and vision of each episode; to work closely with the network to make sure the TNA side of the equation understands the network's goals; and to the liaison for TNA on the production side of things so that the network understands what our challenges are, and where we're going, and what we're trying to do. My involvement is really limited to the show itself. I’m not involved in many aspects of the business that the internet would suggest I’m involved in.”

His thoughts on TNA Wrestling currently and in the future:

“As someone who is very clearly associated with and very much invested in it emotionally,” he said, “I want to see it succeed, obviously. I think the business, and the television business, is an extremely competitive one. It's a very difficult one for a lot of people and for a lot of networks - we're competing with general entertainment, we're competing for extremely valuable real estate on a very important television network that's owned by a very important media conglomerate.”

“But I think there is a ton of potential in TNA. It’s uniquely positioned to grow, and to become much larger in many ways than it is right now.”

What he thinks of his son, Garett Bischoff, being in the wrestling business:

“I'm extremely proud of him,” he said, warmly. “I'm very, very proud. It was a goal of his, something that he'd wanted to do since he was extremely young, as a child growing up - which I didn't really find out about until just a few years ago when he broke into the business. I'm very proud of him for working hard to do what he's needed to do. Clearly he (had) an advantage in getting into the business, I think everybody understands that, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't think that was a factor. But he also has had to overcome a lot because of who he is, and because of who I am. And he's handled that really well. But there's a part of me that knows - and I tell him this - that this is an extremely difficult business, more difficult now than it's ever been. There's really only one big place to work, and TNA is what TNA is and where they are. It's a tough career choice when there are really only two car manufacturers and one's in mass production.”

He also speaks very clearly of what he thinks of the IWC, how his other business is doing, and his future. The full interview can be found here.

- Devon is finished with TNA Wrestling and will not be retained as a road agent. He has been responding to followers on Twitter, informing them they will see him again, just not with TNA. The company wrote Devon out of storylines on last week's episode of Impact Wrestling where he was pinned in a "Loser Leaves TNA" match.

- I reported here a couple days ago that Impact Wrestling scored a 0.85 cable rating. However, that was false information. The actual rating for last week's show came to be a 1.03 cable rating with 1,246,000 viewers. I deleted the false post for better clarity. I apologize for the inconvenience.

- Eric Bischoff wrote the following on Twitter regarding Hulk Hogan's inclusion in WWE 2K14:

Yes, it's true WWE is utilizing trademarks they already own but there's more to it. There is an agreement to use Hogan and his likeness in the video game. Hogan gets royalty checks from WWE when his name and likeness are used. He would not be included without a deal and there is very much a monetary component to the agreement.

The Ultimate Warrior has a deal with 2KSports where he is used to help promote the game. To insinuate the aforementioned names have NOTHING to do with a game that will sell in the millions is fairly asinine. However, Eric will be Eric and we do love him.

- Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff traveled to Toronto, Canada this past weekend where they did their special Q&A at the 2013 Fan Expo. They talked about the infamous "Finger Poke of Doom" from WCW, gimmicks in wrestling today, and how Hulk would have dealt with the Chris Benoit tragedy. He also goes on to talk about his career from what he would have changed to who he would fight. On an interesting note, both give their ideas on what they think TNA Wrestling needs to be more successful, and lots more! The videos can be seen below:

- The Impact Wrestling Podcast is new this week on TNA Wrestling's official Youtube account. The podcast features an exclusive interview with Eric Young. Catch it below:

- Ric Flair was recently a guest on the Steve Austin Show with Steve Austin. In part two of the interview posted on Tuesday, the talk shifted to TNA Wrestling. Below is a paraphrased excerpt:

Ric Flair:I let Hogan talk me into going to TNA and I tried that for awhile.

Steve Austin: How was the dynamic in TNA after coming from WWE? And like I told you last night in the green room, when I think Ric Flair, my picture in my mind is NWA, in the Carolinas, in that Crocket promotions. And I don't want to define it purely as that but that's what I think. And that's what I think big time, great, real wrestling. So what was the atmosphere in TNA?

Ric Flair:Um, well. You just hit the nail on the head. After you work with Vince McMahon, it's totally different. But I will tell you this - I loved the guys there and they've got some really good performers there. With Kurt and Sting…

Steve Austin: Yeah, I meant from an atmosphere standpoint because…

Ric Flair: From a business standpoint?

Steve Austin:Yeah just because there's been so many people who are having hands in booking but from a leadership prospective there's not really a wrestling brain there.

Ric Flair:Well they had Bruce Prichard and just fired him.

Steve Austin: I don't understand that. Bruce is a very smart cat.

Ric Flair: A very smart guy and he came from 20 years of being up here. And you would think but they beat to their own drum. I don't get it.

Steve Austin:Who's booking that thing now?

Ric Flair:I have no idea. I think Eric and Hulk.

Steve Austin: How was Dixie to work with?

Ric Flair: Dixie was great.

Steve Austin: How long can they keep that ship afloat?

Ric Flair:I don't think much longer. They're making live TV now.

Steve Austin: I'm just saying it's expensive.

Ric Flair: I don't know, her father's tremendously wealthy but at some point in time you got to say man…

Steve Austin: A write off becomes a loss. But they do have some good young talent there.

Ric Flair: Ah, tremendous.

Steve Austin: I've been pleasantly surprised with what Bully Ray has done.

Ric Flair: Yeah, I like him too. He and Devon have a wrestling school there and do that. He caught his niche, it took him awhile to figure it out. But here's the deal. Typical of TNA. So he's getting ready to "marry" Brooke Hogan and she goes out and gets engaged to one of the Dallas Cowboys.

Steve Austin: Kayfabe brother, you got to protect the business.

You can listen to the complete interview at this link.

As we reported exclusively here on Premium last week, one of the reasons that Brooke Hogan was let go was due to a tremendous amount of backstage heat for ruining the Bully Ray angle with her very public engagement.

- TNA Wrestling's World Heavyweight Champion, Bully Ray was interviewed by Chris Van Vliet for WOIO-TV to promote this week's Impact Wrestling in Cleveland, Ohio. Chris mentioned that Bully was "open and honest" with him throughout the entire interview. Thanks Chris for sending this to us! Below is some of the answer to the questions:

On TNA not being competition for WWE:

Because there are only two major wrestling companies in the United States, so of course the public's perception is that we're in competition with each other. But I don't know how you can really, truly compete with a gigantic mega machine like the WWE when TNA's been around for 11 years. And in 11 years they're very, very successful and they're growing leaps and bounds and there's a tremendous amount of light at the end of the tunnel. But you can't compete. That's like, you know, an up and coming company's little bank trying to compete with Chase Manhattan or whatever. I like to look at it as two separate companies and two separate brands of entertainment that wrestling fans can thoroughly enjoy.

On Sting going to WWE: "

You have to make the smartest business decisions for yourself, for your family and for your career. And if Sting thinks that he has accomplished everything that he possibly could in TNA and he wants to go do that, more power to him"

On not being a fan of technical wrestling:

"Who gives a crap about technical wrestling? Listen, technical wrestling doesn't put asses in seats. Nobody wants to see technical wrestling. Technical wrestling is boring. People want to see car crashes and big explosions and they want to see guys fight and bleed and have sex with the other guy's girlfriend."

On Devon's recent departure from TNA:

"As of right now, Devon is unfortunately not with TNA Wrestling. Here's the thing about Devon being gone, in my eyes it's a temporary thing."

On watching WWE:

"I am a business man and I am a student of the game. I watch anything and everything that I can get my hands on so I can see where the trend in pro wrestling is going, so I can see what people are reacting to, so I can see what new moves guy might be doing. A good businessman always knows his competition and a good businessman always knows what's going on around him so I would never sit here and lie to you and tell you 'Oh no, I can't watch anything else'. I watch everything. Whether it's WWE or Japan or smaller independents or whatever."

On CM Punk:

"I'm a big CM Punk fan. The reason I appreciate Punk is
because he's fearless and because he reminds me of me back in the day
because is so comfortable on the microphone and he will say what comes
to mind and deal with the repercussions later"

He also talked about a number of other topics including bringing MMA guys into TNA, his own retirement, admitting that he never wanted to be a singles wrestler, and who his dream match would be with (he said The Road Warriors if it was a tag match, and Terry Funk it was a singles match. He also does a spot on impersonation of Funk). The full interview is below and I really recommend it!

- Hulk Hogan discussed his addiction to the wrestling business in a new interview with Bull & Fox. You can listen now at this link.

- Among all the chaos behind the scenes in TNA Wrestling, we're told Bully Ray continues to cement his position as not just a top guy on the card but a major political force backstage.

We're told when TNA was considering releasing Brooke Hogan that Ray was consulted. He was in favor of getting rid of her and felt there was nothing that could be done to salvage the marriage angle following her public engagement to Phil Costa of the Dallas Cowboys. We're also told it was Ray's idea to be aligned with Brooke Tessmacher.

On a side note regarding the cuts, the feeling is that none of them have had any effect on the ratings and the "hardline negotiations" are expected to continue.

- TNA Wrestling just posted on their official website, in regards to tonight's Impact Wrestling show, that Magnus will not be appearing due to an "unforeseen issue". He was suppose to face Jeff Hardy tonight, but that had to be changed. The following is an excerpt from their site, but you can read the full thing at this link:

Magnus, due to an unforeseen issue, will not be appearing on tonight’s Impact Wrestling on Spike TV. Magnus currently has competed in 5 matches and was scheduled to face Kazarian on Xplosion this week and Jeff Hardy on Spike TV tonight. Due to the circumstances, TNA officials have met and made the following decision:

Magnus will stand with his current total of 39 points. Jeff Hardy and Kazarian will face each other tonight on Impact Wrestling on Spike TV to make up their originally scheduled match with Magnus. Also the originally scheduled Kazarian vs. Hernandez match will move to Xplosion this week.

Make sure you join us right here on for our live coverage and discussion of the show starting at 8:30PM EDT.

- Michael Hutter, who is best known as Derrick Bateman for his time during WWE, worked a dark match prior to this week's Impact Wrestling taping in Cleveland, Ohio. Hutter went under to Jay Bradley.

- TNA posted an Inside Impact clip of Devon after last week's episode of Impact Wrestling. You can check it out at this link.

- For those that missed this week's Impact Wrestling (results can be found here), Hulk Hogan has announced two matches for next week's show. While Hulk did mess up the last match by saying it was going to happen, "This week," it will be occur the following week.

12 Man Gauntlet Match - Winner Receives 20 points in the Bound for Glory Series
- Magnus, Austin Aries, Bobby Roode, Jeff Hardy, Christopher Daniels, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Mr. Anderson, Kazarian, Joseph Park, Jay Bradley

Bully Ray vs. Sting in a non-title match.

- Below is the updated list of the Bound for Glory Series:

1. Magnus - 39 points
2. Austin Aries - 35 points
3. Bobby Roode - 34 points
4. Jeff Hardy - 31 points
5. Christopher Daniels - 30 points
6. AJ Styles - 29 points
7. Samoa Joe - 26 points
8. Mr. Anderson - 24 points
9. Kazarian - 22 points
10. Joseph Park - 17 points
11. Hernandez - 7 points
12. Jay Bradley - 7 points

As mentioned above, there will be a 12 men Gauntlet Match next week. That match is the last match to receive points in the Series. The top 4 will go on to compete at No Surrender.

- Magnus arrived late to this week's Impact Wrestling taping from Cleveland due to an apparent issue with paperwork. He is scheduled for this weekend's live events that we posted the schedule to at this link. Magnus' late arrival caused a last-minute lineup change.

- Devon remains under contract with TNA Wrestling through October 2013. Bully Raysaid that in his eyes, Devon's departure from TNA is a temporary thing.

- AJ Styles has agreed to a short-term contract extension with TNA that runs through Bound for Glory in October. The two sides will continue to negotiate something longer-term.

- This week's episode of Impact Wrestling did a 0.99 cable rating with an average viewing audience of 1,243,000 viewers on Spike TV.


With TNA's lawsuit over and now that it's been a while, is WWE looking to sign Alex Shelley or even Devon now?

WWE has had interest for several months in Alex Shelley but no deal has been offered as of this writing. From what I've been told, Shelley is in great shape and continues to work in Japan. He was back in the United States a couple of weeks ago. I have not heard of interest in Devon but was told there have been informal talks with Matt Morgan.

What's the latest with AJ Styles and his contract status with TNA Wrestling?

AJ Styles' contract with TNA Wrestling is up next month and he's currently negotiating a new deal. Perhaps in a move to improve his leverage, an interesting question was posed on his Facebook page. The question was as follows:

Where do fans want AJ Styles to be? TNA? WWE? ROH? Japan? Lots of options. Tough decisions.

Since then, speculation has been rampant regarding his future. TNA is looking to cut costs and are probably hoping to secure the services of AJ Styles at a lower rate.

What exactly happened that got Dolph Ziggler in the WWE doghouse?

To catch everyone up, we reported here on Premium that Dolph Ziggler landed himself in the WWE doghouse. We do not have full details as to what happened but were made of a rumor going around throughout the WWE locker room. The rumor is that something happened between Randy Orton and Ziggler. Since it's only a rumor I don't want to speculate but there is heat on Ziggler.

Why was Big Show afraid of getting fired on the closing segment of Raw if he has an iron clad contract? I think it's just another case of WWE thinking their viewers have short term memory.

The huge illogical gap on this week's episode of WWE Monday Night Raw was WWE neglecting Big Show's "ironclad contract." It's been mentioned multiple times, including here in Raw is Blogged. WWE relies on their audience to have short-term memories to progress storylines but this was bad because they recently played up Show's contract to explain his absence this summer.

Do you see Kurt Angle being released by TNA Wrestling considering he's always injured and now in rehab?

No, TNA Wrestling is not going to release Kurt Angle. Dixie Carter and company have been behind him 100% since entering rehab earlier this month. He has one year remaining on his current TNA contract and is expected to work through it. Speaking of Angle, he is advertised for Team 3D Wrestling Academy's show on September 14 in Melbourne, Florida.

What does Daniel Bryan have to do to overtake John Cena to become the face of the WWE?

Becoming the "face of WWE" is something that happens, there's not a checklist to become it. Everything depends on popularity and how the crowd reacts. I'm a huge Daniel Bryan fan and believe he's the best in-ring worker in the company. I am also very high up on his current chase for the WWE title but I still think it is going to be very difficult to overtake Cena as the face of the company. John is still in his prime and WWE is going to ride him for as long as they can. The fact he's out for 4-6 months presents opportunities for others but I expect him to return just as popular if not more popular given that absence tends to make the heart grow fonder.

Is there any truth to rumors that Goldberg is in talks with WWE?

We're told the desire to have Goldberg at Wrestlemania XXX is there, however, no agreement has been reached. Goldberg stated as much at Legends of Wrestling Night in Miami, Florida earlier this month. Dialogue between WWE and Goldberg is open. He'll be featured in WWE 2K14 and they're releasing a DVD on him. However, these licensing and merchandising deals are different from an in-ring return. I am not holding my breath but I can tell you the desire is there.

Now that Bellator has three of their active fighters working as talent in TNA, do you see any possibility of TNA sending a couple of their wrestlers to fight for Bellator? The first name that jumps at me is Samoa Joe. I actually think he would do pretty well in the cage. What are your thoughts?

This is interesting and to be honest, something I haven't given a whole lot of thought. Viacom, the parent company of Spike TV and Bellator, loves the crossover with TNA Wrestling. While the partnership is something scorned by most of the IWC, it could be the very thing that sustains TNA in the long-term. I definitely think a TNA wrestler in Bellator is a possibility but like is the case with fighters in the ring, it would take a lot of training and preparation. I haven't heard any names that have inquired about a cross-over but it's an interesting thought.

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