Welcome to the WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium Newsletter. This is where you will find all of the big news and Ask WNW segments from the week neatly archived for your viewing pleasure. This week's edition covers news from Saturday, December 21, 2013 to Friday, December 27, 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
- Tensai spoke about his "deteriorating" relationship with Brodus Clay in a WWE App segment prior to their match on this week's Smackdown. You can watch it at this link.
- WWE cameras followed Vince McMahon, Big Show, R-Truth, Eva Marie and Alicia Fox as they visited troops overseas this week. The crew is now home as highlights of their visit will be featured on the Tribute to the Troops 2013.
- This week's episode of The JBL & Cole Show is now online at this link.
- WWE posted footage from a Mick Foley comedy show at this link.
- News broke Friday night that Dave Batista is advertised to return to WWE at some point next year (See also -Batista Advertised For Special Return To WWE Next Year). While the one confirmed listing is the February 16, 2014 live event in Las Vegas, Nevada, there are others expected to surface.
These listings seem to indicate some sort of deal has been reached between WWE and Batista for him to return the company in time for Wrestlemania XXX. Details regarding Batista's standing with WWE are still unknown but there are things we do know.
Batista was at the November 22, 2013 WWE NXT taping in Winter Park, Florida. As we reported at the time, the former World Heavyweight Champion met with Triple H back in March [at the NXT tapings] to discuss a short-term contract for him to return. I still haven't heard why he was there last month but one could assume a deal has been reached.
- WWE continues to make ribs regarding the new Sin Cara. You can watch him featured on the "WWE Smackdown Slam of the Week" at this link. The character, once portrayed by Luis Ignascio Urive Alvirde (a/k/a Mistico), is now portrayed by Jorge Arias (a/k/a Hunico).
- WWE featured Brie Bella on their App after her match with Tamina aired on this week's episode of Smackdown. In it, Brie said every week she keeps getting better and better. You can watch the segment at this link. While the segment was kayfabe, the sentiment shared backstage at this week's Monday Night Raw was that Brie has significantly improved in the ring. One observer commented how it was obvious she had been working with Daniel Bryan. You can read more backstage Raw notes at this link.
- The Bella Twins are featured on this week's episode of Backstage Fallout Smackdown. You can watch it at this link.
- Michael Cole interviewed Jay Inslee, the Governor of Washington, to discuss the significance of WWE Tribute to the Troops. You can watch it at this link.
- Former WWE Tough Enough contestant Martin Casaus attended WWE's three-day tryout camp at the WWE Performance Center last week. There were many prominent independent names that attended as WWE looks to sign more names to developmental contracts to get the facility operating at 100%.
- TheWhig.com has a new article online featuring quotes from Cody Rhodes. Cody discussed attempting an acting career in Hollywood before deciding to pursue pro wrestling. Rhodes admitted it was the work of Randy Orton that made him realize he shouldn't fear pursuing the business. You can read the piece at this link.
- The official ticket vender for the Thomas & Mack Center, UNLVTickets.com, is no longer advertising Batista for the February 16, 2014 WWE live event from the venue. This can be taken one of two ways.
Either Batista was never supposed to be advertised and it was an incorrect listing or WWE found out the surprise return leaked without their blessing. Based on my own assumption, I would guess the latter. If Batista was in fact not returning, he probably would have debunked rumors via social media. So far, he's Tweeted nothing.
- WWE officials were infuriated that Dave Batista's return to the company leaked online Friday night. The leak happened when WWE sent promotional information to venues of upcoming live events that said Batista would in fact be returning.
When the information began to get published and make its way onto social media, WWE contacted the sources and told them to pull it. As we reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, all mentions of Batista for the February 16, 2014 WWE live event have been removed.
I sought comment from a WWE spokesman about the leak and was told they had "no clue" about Batista's status with the company.
How this impacts the inevitable return of Batista to WWE remains to be seen but it sure looks like "The Animal" will be around for Wrestlemania XXX next year.
- Did you hear about the Tweet heard all around the world? IAC public relations executive Justine Sacco sent the following Tweet before boarding a flight to Cape Town, South Africa on Friday:
"Going to Africa. Hope I don't get AIDS. Just kidding. I'm white!"
Unbeknownst to Sacco, who didn't have Internet access on the flight, the Tweet went viral with the hashtag #HasJustineLandedYet providing a running commentary. Sacco deleted her Twitter account on Saturday but the damage was already done. On Saturday, IAC announced they have "parted ways" with the executive and said there was "no excuse" for her harmful statements.
Sacco was formerly employed by WWE as she left the company prior to going to IAC in 2011. We actually have a statement from her when she was in WWE at this link.
CNN.com has the story at this link.
- There is an interview circulating with former WWE NXT worker Knuckles Madsen where he said there are a lot of vultures flying around in the company's development system that will take a move if they like it. Madsen put over his experience, specially calling Norman Smiley a surgeon in the ring.
- WWE officials are high up on NXT worker Enzo Amore. Amore is 5'11 200lbs from Hackensack, New Jersey. He's described as someone that lacks size but makes up for it with his "tough guy mentality and reckless abandon." You can read his official profile at this link. Amore is currently sidelined with a broken leg.
- WWE developmental trainer Nick Dinsmore appeared at NXT live events last week as Eugene. This is the character he portrayed on WWE television several years ago.
- Chris Jericho and Sheamus are advertised to appear at the 53rd Annual World of Wheels event January 24-26 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The interesting thing to note is this is on Royal Rumble weekend as the show will emanate from the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh on January 26, 2014. Sheamus is scheduled to appear on Friday from 6-8 PM, while Jericho is scheduled to appear on Saturday from Noon to 3 PM. Sheamus is billed as a "WWE Superstar," while Jericho is billed as a "Wrestling Superstar." More details are available at this link.
- WWE posted some rare and never-before-seen photos from WCWhere on dot com.
- Seven WWE stars share their worst travel stores ever here on dot com.
- Jim Ross said in the Q&A section on his official website he would consider broadcasting for WWE again. However, he said it "takes two to Tango and most companies aren't looking to hire 61 year old guys with Bells palsy." Ross explained he never let his facial paralysis define him but "some companies do along with the stigma that being a long time 'pro wrestling guy' has to some narrow minded, uncreative decision makers."
- JBL was at WWE headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut over the weekend where he was doing voice over work and post production.
- Dot com published a new 4-page interview with Chris Jericho. In it, they get his take on the unification of the WWE and World Heavyweight titles as the former Undisputed Champion. The piece concludes asking if Jericho is getting the itch to return with Wrestlemania season approaching.
Jericho said he doesn't have the itch and is super busy with Fozzy, his podcast and his third book. However, he'd be open to it because it is Wrestlemania and anybody that's been in WWE wants to be involved.
Click here to read the piece in its entirety.
- Batista will return to WWE on the January 20, 2014 episode of Monday Night Raw. WWE made the announcement on this week's episode of Raw, days after a leak spoiled his eventual return. You can watch his return vignette at this link.
- Last week's episode of WWE Smackdown did an average viewing audience of 2,724,000 viewers on SyFy.
- Dave Batista is in fact returning to WWE as the company will bring him back on the January 20, 2014 episode of Monday Night Raw. We're able to confirm he has a part-time contract with WWE and there are plans for him to be involved at Wrestlemania XXX. One of the early creative plans was to program him against Randy Orton.
Additionally, below is the new working plan for Wrestlemania XXX next year:
John Cena vs. Triple H
Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker
Shawn Michaels vs. Daniel Bryan
Michaels returning is still not definitive and more or less something that Vince McMahon desires. With Batista's deal done, it's likely Vince will feel better about the show even if they aren't able to reach agreements with Hulk Hogan or Bill Goldberg. However, as of press time, those are names still being targeted.
Vince McMahon sees Wrestlemania XXX as a show where all hands will be on deck. Wrestlemania XXX will take place on Sunday, April 6, 2014 from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.
- Triple H and Bruno Sammartino will be featured in Part 2 of the five-part MSG series “The Garden Transformed: Year Three” on Saturday at 10:30 PM. Newsday's Josh Stewart has an article on the episode with the complete series schedule. Click here to read it.
- Batista Tweeted the following about his return to WWE:
Batista will return to the company on the January 20, 2014 episode of Monday Night Raw, which will emanate from Dayton, Ohio. Batista has been in negotiations with WWE all year but they announced his return after it leaked online last Friday. We have the updated plans for Wrestlemania XXX that include Batista at this link.
- For those that missed this week's Raw Christmas, Fandango beat Dolph Ziggler in a Christmas Present on a Pole Match to win the number one contendership to the WWE Intercontinental Championship. Fandango will challenge Big E Langston for the title on next week's episode of Monday Night Raw. Next week's show will emanate from The Richmond Coliseum in Richmond, Virginia.
- This week's episode of Backstage Fallout Raw is subtitled "2014 is CANCELLED" and is online now at this link.
- The Washington Times has a new Q&A online featuring quotes from Dolph Ziggler. Below are the highlights:
Ziggler told the publication he's wanted to pursue a career as a professional wrestler since he attended his first live event at 5 years old.
He said Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels and Mr. Perfect were a few of his favorite workers growing up.
Dolph put over his relationship with WWE producer Arn Anderson He said Arn has taken a liking to him because of his work ethic. He said AA pulls him aside and gives him a lot of pointers. Ziggler also put over Pat Patterson.
Ziggler talked about the concussion that gave him problems earlier this year. He experienced a consistent 24-hour headache through three weeks and wondered if he would ever be able to work again. Dolph said slowly but surely everything came back into order.
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
- The first episode of Monday Night Raw for the new year will be an "Old School" themed show. While full details are not available as of press time, the theme was revealed in local promotional information. The advertised dark match main event for the taping is WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton vs. John Cena with Booker T as special guest referee.
The show will face stiff competition as it will air opposite the 2014 VIZIO BCS National Championship Game.
"Old School" Monday Night Raw will take place on Monday, January 6, 2014 from the Baltimore Arena in Baltimore, Maryland. Make plans to join our "Open Thread" to discuss the show as it airs live right here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- CableFax.com featured quotes from Rob Bernstein, VP, Editorial Director of Digital & Print for WWE in a new article talking about the company's App. In it, Bernstein explained the WWE App is no longer a second screen experience but is considered "adjunct programming."
Each week at Monday Night Raw there are 10 staff members dedicated to the App, including writers, a producer, a cameraman, a talent wrangler and full technical support. Bernstein said WWE sees their highest engagement during their live shows and they want viewers to be able to "bend the story."
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
- Darren Young was listed as one of the most powerful celebrities to come out as homosexual in 2013. You can view the complete list at this link.
- Ricardo Rodriguez noted on Twitter that he'll be teaming with Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal on the holiday WWE live events that begin on Thursday. Heath Slater is currently away from the company.
- Jim Ross posted a new blog entry on Christmas Eve that you can read here on his official website.
- Jake Roberts continues to be bombarded with questions from fans asking if he'll be a surprise entrant in next month's 30-man Royal Rumble match. Roberts recently issued a statement, acknowledging that was a goal he set about a year ago, however, it probably wasn't the best idea because it is in someone else's hands. Roberts said if it happens, he'll do his best to put on a memorable performance. If not, he'll still have plenty to look forward to. He continued to reiterate that he's had no contact from anyone in WWE.
- "The Damn Good Wrestling Podcast" recently interviewed JBL where he heavily put over WWE NXT worker Adrian Neville. He said that Neville is phenomenal and could perform on any card and help that card. JBL admitted he would love to see him on the main WWE roster but he doesn't know when that will be. You can listen to the podcast in its entirety at this link.
- This week's episode of WWE Main Event is available in its entirety here on dot com. The show didn't air on Ion Television in its normal timeslot due to Christmas. The same is true for next week on New Year's Day.
- Lisa Marie Varon, formerly Victoria in WWE, is sending a party bus from her restaurant in Chicago to Thursday night's live event in the city. Varon will be in attendance as well.
- The 100th episode of WWE Inbox features bloopers and epic fails and is online now at this link.
- The Masked Man of Grantland.com has a new Q&A online with Daniel Bryan. Below are the highlights:
Bryan credited the Team Hell No tag team with Kane as to helping reveal his personality. He said that WWE fans have always appreciated his wrestling but it was the tag team that gave fans more of his personality.
He recalled a conversation that he had with John Cena when asked if he felt like he made it. Bryan said that John told him of a conversation he had with Steve Austin. Austin asked John how things were and pointed towards the upper deck of an arena being tarped off. Steve told him when he was there, those seat were full. Bryan said that motivated John. He also said if he got hurt today, he'd be satisfied with that he's done, however, he would have said that before he even got to WWE.
Bryan admitted that seeing footage of him younger is embarrassing. He talked about WWE showing footage of him competing at Shawn Michaels's old promotion. Bryan said he didn't just start out like this and had to work hard to get good.
He said the differences between Bryan Danielson and Daniel Bryan are many. At the end of his career with Ring of Honor, he was expected to win because of what he had accomplished as the master wrestler. In WWE, he's the underdog and with the size difference being so much greater, it wouldn't make sense not to be that way.
Bryan said he came up with the "Yes!" chant as well as the idea to grow out his beard.
He worked 219 shows last year and admitted he's anti-caffeine. Bryan said the best part of the night when he performs is taking a shower after a really good match where the crowd was on their feet the whole time. He said then "you feel completely satisfied."
Click here to read the Q&A in its entirety.
- Dot com posted a new article on Thursday questioning if the Intercontinental Championship and United States Championship should be unified. Both Big E Langston and Dean Ambrose, the current respective title holders are quoted in the piece. Click here to read it.
- The Flagship has a new Q&A online with Roman Reigns that you can read at this link.
- Alberto Del Rio noted on Twitter that he's in New York City for Thursday night's WWE live event and will be performing. Del Rio hasn't worked since suffering a concussion in a match against Sin Cara on the December 9, 2013 Slammy Awards episode of Monday Night Raw. It appears the note on Twitter is indication he has been medically cleared to compete.
- There is currently a report going around being attributed to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Vince McMahon said in a recent creative meeting there were no longer heels and babyfaces because no one is completely bad or completely good in real-life. While I have no idea what Meltzer actually wrote or if Vince did or did not say this, the idea is nothing new.
The belief within WWE is characters are more complex today than they have been in years past. Just take a look at how Daniel Bryan answered the question in a recent Q&A with Grantland.com:
If you look back at the history of the top stars in the WWE, Hulk Hogan was a hero and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin was an antihero. What kind of hero is Daniel Bryan?
Wrestling's so much more complex than that now, but if I had to describe myself in those terms, I'd say I'm a reluctant hero. If it were up to me, I'd be happy just to go out and do my job. My passion is the wrestling. I never pictured myself in the role I'm in now, but that's the position I've been put in.
Bryan answered the question with the exact philosophy that's in WWE, which isn't a new revelation.
- Chris Jericho posted the following on Twitter early Friday:
This news comes days after Jericho said he would be open to working a match at WrestleMania XXX.
- This week's episode of The JBL & Cole Show is available at this link.
- Jim Ross discusses the future of The Shield, how to become a wrestler, and more in his latest blog. Click here to read it.
- This week's WWE Raw received an average viewing audience of 3,821,000. The show was hitting above an average of four million for the past two weeks. Not only were they against stiff competition, NFL game receiving over 13,000,000 viewers, but Raw was also taped a week before. Below is the hourly breakdowns:
Hour 1 - 3,959,000
Hour 2 - 3,893,000
Hour 3 - 3,610,000
We will have the final cable rating once it becomes available.
- Chavo Guerrero Tweeted the following after receiving the "fired" briefcase on this week's episode of Impact Wrestling:
TNA issued a press release on Friday, announcing that Guerrero is no longer a member of their roster.
- Magnus Tweeted the following kayfabe comments after his TNA Championship win aired on this week's episode of Impact Wrestling:
- Jeff Jarrett wrote the following on Twitter:
Jarrett co-founded TNA Wrestling with his father Jerry in 2002. When Panda Energy purchased majority control of the promotion, Jarrett was retained as a minority shareholder.
His role with the company has varied over the years but he was believed to regained many roles and responsibilities recently after the departures of Hulk Hogan and Bruce Prichard.
The possibility of this being a work exists simply because of the nature of the business, however, the timing would suggest otherwise. Jarrett couldn't have made the announcement at a worse time as this will be more difficult to confirm due to the Christmas holiday. We'll continue to update with the latest information as we receive it.
- TNA Wrestling touted on Monday that Magnus is the first ever Brit to win a World Heavyweight Championship for a major American wrestler promotion. This was all done to promote the company's European tour next month that you can read about at this link.
- Speaking of Magnus, he was with Rockstar Spud and Jeremy Borash at the TNA Wrestling Fan Party in the United Kingdom over the weekend.
- AJ Styles remains in negotiations with TNA Wrestling but has not signed a deal. This, according to Styles' agent Bill Behrens. Styles is booked all over the independent scene to ring in the new year.
- TNA released a new commercial for their "One Night Only: Old School" pay-per-view taping in Poughkeepsie, New York. You can watch it at this link.
- Samoa Joe had some interesting comments regarding Ring of Honor on Twitter over the weekend. They are as follows:
Whoever runs the ROH Wrestling Twitter account says Joe would always be welcome back:
- The news of Jeff Jarrett resigning from TNA Wrestling caught a number of people off guard, us included. Had this happened six months ago no one would have thought anything about it but following the departure of Hulk Hogan in the fall and Eric Bischoff being sent home, Jarrett's role in the company had seen a resurgence.
We reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com on November 1, 2013 that Jarrett was once again "very active backstage" in the company and was working with the creative team comprised of John Gaburick, Dave Lagana and Matt Conway.
The latest we heard about Jarrett was he was in the process of facilitating a deal between TNA Wrestling and a group financed by country music star Toby Keith. We're told if Jarrett is indeed gone, which is believed to be the case, that deal most certainly is off.
We've reached out to Jeff Jarrett's camp and representatives from TNA Wrestling's public relationship department in an attempt to get a comment but haven't heard back as of press time.
- TNA Wrestling issued an official statement on the resignation of Jeff Jarrett. By all accounts this is legitimate and not part of a storyline. Should something change, we'll pass along the word. The official statement is available in its entirety below:
TNA Entertainment, LLC announced today that it has accepted Mr. Jeff Jarrett’s resignation from the company effective January 6th, 2014. Dixie Carter, President, commented “On behalf of TNA, we would like to thank Jeff for his contributions to the Company. We wish him the very best and look forward to his continued participation as an investor in TNA Wrestling."
The statement does answer the question about Jarrett's ownership stake in the company.
You can read the statement in its original format at this link.
We're told for legal reasons he won't be saying much of anything for the next two weeks. Once that time period is up, Jarrett will be free to speak about his future. TNA believes the Toby Keithdeal is dead and there is internal fear Jarrett might be looking to start a new promotion with the group.
However, much of that is speculation from sources as no one outside of Jarrett knows the reason for his departure. We're told Jarrett isn't telling even his closet friends why he chose to resign. As of press time he remains a minority owner in TNA Wrestling, a fact the company cleared up in an official release.
Jarrett's camp has yet to respond to our request for comment.
- This week's Impact Wrestling viewership has increased compared to last week. This week's show received an average viewing audience of 1,354,000. We will post the cable rating for the show once it becomes available. To check out Impact Wrestling's competition and where it stacked up, click here.
- Bully Ray recently spoke with Weei.com to promote this weekend's One Night Only: Hardcore Justice show that will be taping this Sunday in Boston. Bully talks about why he stays with TNA Wrestling, his dream match, and his thoughts on Paul Heyman. Check out the interview here.
- TNA released a video of Jeff Hardy on their YouTube addressing his announcement that he is "leaving" Impact Wrestling. The video is at this link.
- For those asking, Jeff Hardy is not done with the company yet. To find out the full details, click here.
- TNA is advertising a YouTube FreeView weekend as they are giving classic compilations for free to view. The list ranges from the Best of the X-Division to The Best of Kurt Angle. You can check out the full list at this link.