Chris Jericho Returns To WWE; How Long Will He Be Back?, Lesnar Gets Big New WWE Contract, Trish To HoF, Why Undertaker Working Wrestlemania 29 Doesn't Have To Do With His Health, Impact Going On The Road, WWE Star With Wellness & Injury Issues To Be Rele

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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, January 26, 2013 to Friday, February 1, 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

College Times has a new Q&A online with Ryback to promote Sunday's Royal Rumble pay-per-view. Below are the highlights:

Are you looking forward to the Royal Rumble in Phoenix?
I am definitely looking forward to it. The last time I was there, I was actually in a two-on-one handicap match with Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins. I’d like to think that was what made Tyler Reks quit wrestling, was wrestling me. This time around it’s the Royal Rumble. It’s the beginning of our “Road to Wrestlemania.” It’s one of our big four pay-per-views. Ever since I was a kid this has always been one of my favorites.

How much say did you have in the evolution of Ryback?
I was very vocal in that, actually. A lot of people don’t know that I was Ryback before I was Skip Sheffield down in the developmental territories. It was a name I came up with and created, as far as when I was away from the WWE. “Skip Sheffield” was presented to me by Dusty Rhodes. It was something I don’t regret ever having happened because it did happen [and] that’s what got me to the WWE initially. I cannot tell you enough how glad I am to not be doing that right now. What you see now is me. I’m a very intense individual in real life in everything I do. I set goals and I attack them with the intensity you see on TV.

Who do you count among your friends in the WWE?
I get along with everyone to some degree. I travel alone, though, and Stone Cold Steve Austin always said, “Don’t trust anybody.” He didn’t just say that to say that. I always say, there are sharks swimming with dolphins. There are a lot of sharks in the WWE. You gotta be wary of everybody. Wade Barrett, though, still to this day is one of my friends that I keep in contact with and talk to a lot up there, and Daniel Bryan, believe it or not, I tend to get along pretty well with. I’m not there to make friends. Razor Ramon/Scott Hall used to always say, “You can make money or you can make friends.” I’m here to make as much money as possible and put out a great product for WWE and that’s my goal.

Click here to read the Q&A in its entirety.

- Ric Flair didn't work Saturday's All Japan Pro Wrestling show at Tokyo’s Ota Ward Gym due to a leg injury. Flair's son, Reid, worked in his place as the tag team partner of Keji Mutoh (The Great Muta) against Tatsumi Fujinami & Seiya Sanada. Flair and Mutoh went under in the match.

- The leg injury that prevented Ric Flair from working Saturday in Japan was a blood clot. Flair refused hospitalization to make the appearance at the All Japan Pro Wrestling show and should be en route back to the United States. We have more details available at this link.

- Road Dogg was asked about the Voodoo Kin Mafia storyline he participated in while employed by TNA Wrestling at Saturday's Royal Rumble Fan Fest superstar panel. He said Vince Russo was writing and he got paid weekly. He referred to it as a bad time in his life.

- UFC president Dana White is making headlines on wrestling websites after claiming that Brock Lesnar nearly returned to fight Fedor Emelianenko at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The MMA world speculates this is what Lesnar's "meeting" with White was about when Lesnar showed up at UFC 146 in May.

I'd love to play along here, but I'm not. Check the links below to catchup on what happened in May regarding Lesnar, WWE, Vince McMahon, UFC and Dana White:

More Details On Brock Lesnar’s Meeting With Dana White Regarding A UFC “Return” Last Saturday; Why The Meeting Wasn’t Completely Bogus & There Was A Slim Chance That He Would Take Another Fight With WWE’s Blessing, What Paul Heyman Pitched To Vince McMahon

Full Details On Brock Lesnar Meeting With Dana White Backstage At UFC 146 – Is Lesnar Really Leaving WWE To Return To The UFC Or Did He & Vince McMahon Work Dana White In An Angle That Has Grown To Massive Proportions?

Only in pro wrestling.

- Mark Henry recently did an interview with Eurosport Turkey while doing promotional work for WWE. The interview, available here, is in Turkish but below are the highlights:

  • Mark claimed his WWE contract runs through Wrestlemania 29 and he plans on honoring it. He said he "thinks" he'll be cleared on Sunday (Royal Rumble day) but feels it will be too late to work the pay-per-view.
  • He said Mick Foley and Bob Backlund are very underrated and deserved to be in the WWE Hall of Fame much earlier than this year.
  • Henry said the best wrestler in WWE is CM Punk, followed by John Cena and Big Show. He said after them there's a group of 10 or so that includes Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, Ryback, Christian and himself followed by guys like Cody Rhodes and Kofi Kingston.
  • He said his favorite theme music is that of CM Punk and Alex Riley and his least favorite is Sheamus' theme.

You can read the full interview with photos at this link.

- The announced attendance for Sunday's WWE Royal Rumble pay-per-view was 15,103. The show was a legitimate sellout from the US Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

- Carlito isn't returning to be a surprise entrance in the 30-man Royal Rumble match.

- Bret Hart made a cameo at Royal Rumble in a backstage segment with World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez. Hart told Del Rio he reminded him of a "Mexican Bret Hart." Del Rio said Hart reminded him of a "Canadian Alberto Del Rio."

- Chris Jericho returned to WWE in the 30-man Royal Rumble match on Sunday night. Jericho was announced as entrant number two as a surprise. Dolph Ziggler was entrant number one.

- Dustin Rhodes, working as Goldust, was a surprise entrant in the 30-man Royal Rumble match as he entered at number eight.

- Santino Marella returned from a neck injury as entrant number five but was quickly eliminated by Cody Rhodes.

- Below are full results from the 2013 30-man Royal Rumble match:

Order of Entrants:

1) Dolph Ziggler
2) Chris Jericho
3) Cody Rhodes
4) Kofi Kingston
5) Santino Marella
6) Drew McIntyre
7) Titus O'Neil
8) Goldust
9) David Otunga
10) Heath Slater
11) Sheamus
12) Tensai
13) Brodus Clay
14) Rey Mysterio
15) Darren Young
16) Bo Dallas
17) The Godfather
18) Wade Barrett
19) John Cena
20) Damien Sandow
21) Daniel Bryan
22) Antonio Cesaro
23) The Great Khali
24) Kane
25) Zack Ryder
26) Randy Orton
27) Jinder Mahal
28) The Miz
29) Sin Cara
30) Ryback

Order of Eliminations:

1) Santino Marella (by Cody Rhodes)
2) Drew McIntytre (by Chris Jericho)
3) Titus O'Niel (by Sheamus)
4) David Otunga (by Sheamus)
5) Goldust (by Cody Rhodes)
6) Brodus Clay (by multiple people)
7) Tensai (Kofi was involved)
8) Darren Young (by Kofi Kingston)
9) Kofi Kingston (by Cody Rhodes)
10) The Godfather (by Dolph Ziggler)
11) Heath Slater (by John Cena)
12) Cody Rhodes (by John Cena)
13) Rey Mysterio (by Wade Barrett)
14) The Great Khali (by Kane)
15) Kane (by Daniel Bryan)
16) Daniel Bryan (he landed on Kane on the outside, Kane dropped him)
17) Zack Ryder (by Randy Orton)
18) Antonio Cesaro (by John Cena)
19) Jinder Mahal (by Sheamus)
20) Wade Barrett (by Bo Dallas)
21) Bo Dallas (by Wade Barrett, who was already eliminated)
22) Damien Sandow (by Ryback)
23) Sin Cara (by Ryback)
24) The Miz (by Ryback)
25) Chris Jericho (by Dolph Ziggler)
26) Randy Orton (by Ryback)
27) Dolph Ziggler (by Sheamus)
28) Sheamus (by Ryback)
29) Ryback (by John Cena)

Winner - John Cena

- Chris Jericho has had open communication with WWE since leaving last year. His name was brought up a couple of times but a deal couldn't be reached to return. They hid him well in Phoenix so no one would know and got him out quick before it could leak.

- Mark Henry was backstage at the pay-per-view and obviously wasn't used.

- There was a scary spot in The Rock vs. CM Punk as the plan was for Rock to give Punk the Rock Bottom on the Spanish announce table. The table collapsed and Rock appeared to have tweaked his knee. He ended up having to sell and gave Punk the Rock Bottom on the outside. No word on how bad he hurt his knee was but he got through the match.

- After Royal Rumble went off the air, The Rock got on the mic. He said referee Mike Chioda told him to position himself in front of the Wrestlemania 29 sign for a camera shot. He said, "excuse me but I'm talking to Phoenix." The crowd erupted as he thanked everyone. Rock closed by saying it felt good to be WWE Champion… if you smell what The Rock is cooking!

- Barring a major overhaul in plans or an injury, The Rock will defend the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania 29 against John Cena. This is the direction Vince McMahon has been leaning in for months and was all but confirmed here on January 14, 2013.

- Ted DiBiase was backstage at Royal Rumble as were a number of talents that haven't been on television lately. DiBiase has been off with a hand injury.

- Bret Hart gives his thoughts on the Royal Rumble match here on dot com.

- The word coming out of Royal Rumble is that Chris Jericho has a deal that will keep him around at least until Wrestlemania. We should have more later but it clearly looks like they are picking up on his program with Dolph Ziggler.

- In other big news coming out of the pay-per-view, Brock Lesnar is believed to have a new WWE contract. The deal, which WWE has been trying to accomplish for the last couple of months, is believed to be part-time for the next two years. His original contract was up after Wrestlemania 29.

- Kevin Nash and Sean Waltman were backstage at Royal Rumble on Sunday night. Shawn Michaels left before the pay-per-view started.

- Darren Young may have been injured in the 30-man Royal Rumble match as he took a bad bump after being eliminated and the "X" signal was thrown up.

- Adam Jones from Tool asked his girlfriend, Korin, to marry him ringside at Royal Rumble. Dot com posted video of the proposal at this link.

- We're told Kofi Kingston was supposed to jump from the announce table back to the ring during the 30-man Royal Rumble match, however, the table wasn't sturdy enough to make the big jump. This is why Kofi used the chair to limp back to the ring. As mentioned in Richard Reacts, the spot came off as far too contrived for me.

- As reported earlier, Chris Jericho is signed through Wrestlemania 29. Preliminary plans have him working Ryback at the show but are obviously subject to change.

- As of Sunday night, Undertaker still wasn't a "sure thing" for Wrestlemania but from what I understand, they want CM Punk to challenge "the streak."

- Goldust worked under a per shot deal to work for the 30-man Royal Rumble match and is scheduled to work Jay Bradley at GLCW's show on 2/14. Click here for more information.

- Trish Stratus is the latest name to join the rumor mill as a possible inductee into the 2013 WWE Hall of Fame. As of last week there was a still a major push to get Bruno Sammartino. We have the full details here on Premium.

- Alberto Del Rio's father, Dos Caras, was at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view on Sunday.

- Tyson Kidd posted the following:

- The go-home to Royal Rumble episode of Smackdown did a 2.08 cable rating with an average viewing audience of 3,029,000 viewers on SyFy.

- The Rock posted the following on Twitter after winning the WWE Championship:

- Jim Ross posted his thoughts on Sunday's Royal Rumble pay-per-view at this link.

- WWE has announced a March 22, 2013 live event from the John Paul Jones Arena at the University Of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia.

- The Rock will defend the WWE Championship against CM Punk in the main event of WWE Elimination Chamber next month in New Orleans, Louisiana. WWE Elimination Chamber 2013 will take place Sunday, February 17, 2013. We'll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at

- John Cena will face the winner at Wrestlemania 29 as he confirmed on WWE Raw he would use the title shot he won in the 30-man Royal Rumble match on the WWE title.

- WWE officially announced Trish Stratus as a 2013 WWE Hall of Fame inductee on this week's Raw. We reported earlier her name had surfaced as an inductee and all plans have been finalized. The 2013 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony will take place Saturday, April 6, 2013 from Madison Square Garden in New York City. Other inductees of the Class of 2013 include Mick Foley and Bob Backlund.

- Brock Lesnar returned to WWE in the final segment of this week's episode of Raw. Interrupting Vince McMahon's "firing" of Paul Heyman, Lesnar came to the ring and gave Vince the F5. He didn't speak.

Lesnar hasn't been seen on WWE TV since the August 20th episode of Raw where he "quit" after beating Triple H at SummerSlam.

WWE posted the following photo on Twitter less than 10 minutes before he came out:

- Trish Stratus Tweeted the following after being announced as an inductee for the WWE Hall of Fame:

- Booker T is scheduled to make an "announcement" on the future of the World Heavyweight Championship on this week's Smackdown. WWE will tape this week's Smackdown Tuesday from the Valley View Casino in San Diego, CA. - Tennis legends Andre Agassi and his wife Steffi Graf were in attendance at Monday's WWE Raw from the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Justin Roberts Tweeted the following photo:

- WWE is running an injury angle with Mr. McMahon, claiming that he suffered a "broken pelvis" after receiving an F5 from the returning Brock Lesnar on this week's Raw. Footage of the Chairman being stretchered out of the arena, accompanied by WWE doctors and Stephanie McMahon, is available here. Click here to view full results from this week's Raw, including Lesnar's return. - Tensai defended his horrible segment on this week's WWE Raw that featured him dancing in lingerie:

The segment was awful and I don't mind speaking up about it. These guys need to learn the dignity of saying "no" when asked to something like this. Matt Bloom is a talented worker, whose Tensai character hasn't worked out. However, agreeing to dress in lingerie on live TV does nothing but hurt the outlook of his career and how he is perceived amongst wrestling fans. There are gimmicks that people can't recover from and regardless of it being "scripted entertainment," I qualify this as such. The segment on this week's WWE Raw with Brodus Clay wasn't funny, not even to the most immature PG fan. I don't know if it's Vince's own immaturity or the fact the creative team is too burnt out to give the undercard relevant material, there's just no excuse for the monstrosity viewers were forced to consume. - After WWE Raw went off the air and Vince McMahon was assisted out of the ring, John Cena came back out. Cena announced that it was Sheamus' birthday and he came out for a rendition of Happy Birthday. Dolph Ziggler interrupted but ended up getting an Attitude Adjustment. Cena asked the crowd what do you get a guy that has everything? A guy to kick in the face. Sheamus hit the Brogue Kick on Ziggler. They brought out a cake that ended up in Ziggler's face to end the taping. - Comedian George Wallace and bodybuilder Jay Cutler was at this week's WWE Raw in Las Vegas. We noted earlier that Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf were there. - The referee that worked the Royal Rumble Pre-Show WWE United States Championship match between The Miz and Antonio Cesaro was Darrick Moore. Moore is a developmental talent active in NXT Wrestling. - Many have wondered about John Cena's on-air gaffe on this week's WWE Raw where he challenged The Rock or CM Punk for the WWE Championship before the rematch was officially announced. This happened because Cena was originally scheduled to follow the setting up of the rematch at Elimination Chamber. In the final rewrite, Cena's segment was pushed up, pushing back Punk/Rock and no one noticed. - One plan pitched for the outcome of the WWE title match at Royal Rumble was for the match to end with it appearing like The Shield attacked The Rock (with the arena going black), costing him the WWE Championship but with it actually being revealed as Brock Lesnar. Punk would keep the title until Elimination Chamber, but they ultimately decided on The Shield interfering and the restart. - We're told there was talk backstage at Raw of doing CM Punk & Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H & The Undertaker at Wrestlemania. This was the first time of a tag match being mentioned and was said to be brought up due to the uncertainty over Undertaker's health. Perhaps the most interesting part was Punk pinning Hunter and claiming he ended "the streak." Obviously this was just something brought up and not set in stone. - There was also talk about doing The Shield vs. John Cena, Sheamus & Ryback in an Elimination Chamber match at the pay-per-view next month. Again, something pitched but not finalized. - It's worth noting the proposed Wrestlemania feud of Ryback vs. Chris Jericho is already being second-guessed, depending on the direction they go with The Shield, Paul Heyman, Brock Lesnar and CM Punk. There are also a lot of outs available if Vince decides to break away from doing Cena vs. Rock II. No matter how likely something may seem, it's always subject to change. As we saw with Survivor Series, the company doesn't care to alter plans, even after they have been announced. - We're told Brock Lesnar's new WWE contract includes four pay-per-views a year, a title run and a main event match at Wrestlemania 30. The overall dollar amount is reportedly in the "millions." - This week's WWE Raw did an average viewing audience of 5,020,000 viewers on the USA Network. Below is the breakdown by hour:

  • Hour one - 4,860,000 viewers
  • Hour two - 5,270,000 viewers
  • Hour three 4,930,000 viewers

The show did a 3.68 cable rating. Obviously this does nothing but raise the stock The Rock. Brock Lesnar wasn't advertised but WWE leaked a photo on Twitter to get people to tune in for the final segment. - According to Ad Age, YouTube will begin to introduce paid subscriptions for individual channels this spring. With WWE ending their current YouTube programming, many have speculated a WWE Network tie-in on YouTube. We reported here on Premium in May 2012 that YouTube offered WWE a substantial amount of money, believed to be $12 million per year, to launch the WWE Network as an exclusive on the platform. Given the clearance problem WWE has had with their network, this wouldn't surprise me. - Stephanie McMahon was backstage at WWE Raw this week in Las Vegas, Nevada. She isn't at TVs every week but her and Triple H are known to like to visit Sin City when they get the chance. - Jim Ross has a new blog entry with thoughts on this week's WWE Raw online here on his website. - WWE is officially advertisingBrock Lesnar for next week's WWE Raw from the Philips Arena in Atlanta, GA. WWE Champion The Rock is not advertised as of this writing. - Trish Stratus, who is known for handling herself with class, seems elated over her WWE Hall of Fame induction. The following is from her Twitter account:

- Jack Swagger made his return to WWE TV during this week's Smackdown tapings. Swagger, who last appeared on the September 3, 2012 edition of Raw, attempted to insert himself into the Elimination Chamber match. - In addition, it was announced that the winner of this year's Elimination Chamber match will face the World Heavyweight Champion at WrestleMania XXIX. -In addition to next week, Brock Lesnar is officially advertised to appear on the February 25 episode of Raw, which will be held at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. - Tom Dotterer, a 77-year-old liquor store owner in New York, was shot in the eye during a robbery last week, and is already back to work. As he was being questioned on the incident, he said that getting shot didn't ruin his week, but The Rock beating CM Punk at the Royal Rumble did. CM Punk responded to the story on Twitter:

Click here for more. -WWE has more on the kayfabe "injury" of Mr. McMahon. The official website is now reporting that McMahon suffered a broken left hip at the hands of Brock Lesnar, and will require surgery. Click here to read the full article. - Zack Ryder made the following announcement on his Twitter account today:

- Early projections for the WWE TLC 2012 buyrate are in at this link. The show did an estimated 170,000 buys, down from 179,000 the year prior and 195,000 the show did in 2010. WWE TLC 2012 was headlined by The Shield vs. Ryback & Team Hell No after CM Punk vs. Ryback for the WWE title was changed due to Punk's knee surgery. - Goldust discussed being nervous at Royal Rumble and his ultimate goal of a Wrestlemania match against Cody Rhodes at this link. As noted, Goldust worked under a per shot and is not under a new WWE contract. - WWE has backed off touring in Mexico due to a declining economy, TV ratings and piracy. Their tour of the country in May 2012 was considered a failure with low attendance and the company is looking to penetrate other, more prosperous international markets. - El Generico (real name Rami Sebei) is scheduled to report to NXT Wrestling in February 2013 as he's past his physical and baseline testing, making his developmental contract official. - The Kansas City Star has a new article online featuring quotes from Shawn Michaels where he talks about his outdoor TV show. Below is an excerpt:

“I miss being in the ring,” Michaels said. “But I enjoy my ‘new’ life, too. “The way I look at it, I’m making up for lost time when it comes to my hunting. I didn’t get started until relatively late in my life. But I am making up for it.

Click here to read the article in its entirety. - WWE Divas Champion Kaitlyn wrote the following on Twitter:

- Big Show cut a heel promo following this week's Smackdown taping. Alberto Del Rio came out and used a steel chair on him, ending the show. - Wade Barrett just posted the following announcement on Twitter about the Intercontinental Cup:

For insight on who may be feuding with Barrett, be sure to check out this week's Smackdown spoilers, available here. - There has been a lot of chatter lately about whether or not The Undertaker will wrestle at Wrestlemania 29 this year. Obviously he's pretty banged up and WWE is trying their best to steer the story so the focus remains on Undertaker's health. We're told the hangup is not about health, it's about money. Just like the with Steve Austin, Undertaker is not interested in wrestling for less than main event money. With a show that already has The Rock and Brock Lesnar in separate matches, Undertaker feels it's not worth wrestling this year if he's going to get "third from the top" type money. He can sit out a year, which only increases his value next year, and perhaps Vince McMahon ponies up the type of cash Undertaker wants for a Wrestlemania match. Vince and Undertaker are still talking and Taker could end up on the show, but like with Mark Henry not being "healthy" enough to return unless it was in a top spot, we're told Taker isn't coming back unless it's for main event type money. His health issues are genuine, but if the money is right, he'd wrestle anyway. My source says WWE has been planting stories through third party publications to make sure the public perception isn't that it's a money issue. With Undertaker not the type of person that's going to get involved with the Internet, it's easier for WWE to paint the picture how they wish. -On the official WWE website, AJ Lee, Kaitlyn, Natalya,Lilian Garcia, & Aksana weighed in on Trish Stratus' upcoming induction into the WWE Hall of Fame. Natalya notes that Trish is responsible for her desire to be a Diva. Click here to read the full article. -Bruiser Brody has been added to the Alumni section of the official WWE website. Click here to view his profile. -Wrestling News World reader Ian D sent in another story Tom Dotterer, the elderly CM Punk fan who was shot in the eye earlier this week. Dotterer thanked CM Punk for responding to him, and says that he has to "hope and pray that Punk bounces back and when they meet again, that he'll win." Click here to view the full article. -Arda Ocal (@arda_ocal) of theScore Television Network and Layfield Report ( spoke with "Superstar" Billy Graham in his first interview since overcoming double pneumonia. Highlights:

-How his health is and how close he came to death: “I was just released from the world famous Mayo Clinic Hospital just 2 days ago actually last Thursday from the flu which turned into double pneumonia, which is fluid in each lung and then congestive heart failure. I feel very good, excellent really. I’m back painting. (Doctors) told me about another 10 more days before I can get back in the gym” -How often he works out.-How he keeps busy with his painting.-If his health scare affected his perspective on life. Also looking back on his life if it has changed any animosities he may of had in the past. -Not actually having heat with CM Punk and Chris Jericho, and how he feels about his comments after going through his health scare: “I know that Chris Jericho has never really cared for me, really basically from day one, but anyway I was very shocked (by his comments), I was just trying to make a observation of how things have evolved in professional wrestling with body types. I meant no harm or disrespect to CM Punk whatsoever because he’s a hard worker and dedicated.” -Did CM Punk contact him directly about the statements?

The interview is embedded below: - John Cena & Daniel Bryan are scheduled to appear at this year's Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con (press release), The Miz will appear at this year's Wizard World Portland Comic Con (press release), & Randy Orton will appear at this year's Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con (press release). -Chris Yandek sent in the following interview that he conducted with Paul Bearer, in which he discusses the state of wrestling managers, Mick Foley's Hall of Fame induction, and more. In the following excerpt, he discusses his current activity within WWE:

“People that don’t know, that don’t see me, I am still involved. I’m still under contract with WWE. I’m under a legends contract with WWE and I do things now and then with them like WrestleMania and go do signings, this, that and the other. Plus I work the independent organizations all around the country. I go out to L.A. once a month and do Championship Wrestling from Hollywood. We tape four weeks of TV once a month out there and some months I’m busy every weekend doing wrestling stuff."

Click here to view the full interview. -The Shield's WWE theme, Special Op, is now available on iTunes. Click here for more information. -Zack Ryder sent out a Tout with a preview of his upcoming iTunes single, Hoeski. Click here to watch. - We're told Evan Bourne's recovery for the Lisfranc midfoot fracture he suffered last March is going slower than expected. Both he and WWE are starting to get frustrated. As has been well-documented, Bourne was on "very thin" ice prior to the injury as he had back-to-back Wellness Policy failures for testing positive for synthetic marijuana. In fact, we're told from a high-ranking source he tested positive for another banned substance in addition to the synthetic marijuana. Prior to the Wellness issues and injury, Bourne was set to be one of the centerpieces of a new show the company is planning to develop around cruiserweights. Given his slower recovery, he's nervous he won't be part of it at all. Even worse, we're told from people close to Bourne he's concerned about the stability of his job when he is able to return. - Tom Dotterer, the elderly wrestling fan who was shot in the eye during a robbery, got a surprise on The Abe Kanan Show when the host announced that CM Punk was on the air as well. Dotterer and Punk spoke and Punk said that he would hook Dotterer up with good seats next time WWE comes to his town. The segment is embedded below: - Mick Foley was being interviewed on 6PR 882 News Talk out of Perth, Australia when he abruptly walked out. He was discussing his wrestling career when the host began calling some of his infamous hardcore spots humorous. Foley disagreed, but the host continued to characterize spots such as the flaming table spot at WrestleMania 22 as "funny." Foley then cut the interview short and left the interview. The hosts speculated that he may have been joking, but you can decide for yourself. Foley responded to the incident on Twitter:

Click here to listen to the full interview. Thanks to Wrestling News World reader Jordan for sending this in.

TNA News

- TNA Wrestling has announced a live event from the Cabarrus Arena in Concord, North Carolina on March 22, 2013 - TNA President, Dixie Carter revealed the official Lockdown poster for the event on her official Twitter page. Below is the tweet and the picture:

TNA Lockdown will be live from San Antonio, Texas in the Alamodome on March 10, 2013. We will have exclusive live coverage of the event right here on

- Wrestling News World, VH1 and TMZ all covered the revealing photo that Hulk Hogan posted of his daughter Brooke on Twitter. In a rebuttal to critics who feel he went a little far, he says he's just a proud father, showing off the body of his daughter that works out two hours a day. The following is from Hogan's Twitter:

- Bully Ray and Brooke Hogan were guests on the Buckethead Show on Tuesday where they talked about the photo Hulk Hogan Tweeted of Brooke's legs. Claiming they are legitimately "married," Bully said it wasn't a story and wants to punch everyone in the face that thinks it was.

- TNA President, Dixie Carter, was recently interviewed by The American where she discussed the TNA product and from the United Kingdom situation as well as their growth here in the United States. She also talked about the PPV change as well as being on the road. Below is a short exert:

Q. Will we see TNA take flagship show IMPACT! on the road more in America over the coming years?

That is the goal starting this year. We’re close to making a big announcement, another one besides the PPVs, which I think will have a great impact on the show, pun intended. Taking the show on the road is the natural next step for us. It’s expensive touring and it’s not that I haven’t wanted to be on the road but it’s a business decision just like losing the PPVs. I’m not going to put this company in any financial trouble, so everything we have done has been very conscious, people were saying we weren’t going to stay in business for ten weeks and here we are going into our 11th year and having more success than ever and that’s because we make good business decisions.

Q. You have rebranded TNA’s PPV schedule, cutting down from 12 to four per year, what was the reason for that decision?

To cut down the PPVs was a difficult decision because you’re giving away millions of dollars to both your top line as well as the profit line on the balance sheet. We do have success in that. It’s always been the traditional way of doing wrestling but I feel we’re in a place right now where we have to shake things up and we need to look at things differently.

It is a big financial risk on our part to do without it but I feel like it will make the PPVs we do much more special and I really feel it will make television mean more. We’ll have an opportunity to let programmes breathe, give away more PPV-quality matches on television, and then when we do have a PPV I know everyone of my guys are going to be fighting to be on that card and it will just be interesting to see how that plays out.

Q. What does the future hold for TNA as a whole?

Expanding outside of wrestling I think is important in order to grow the core product globally. Coming up with more licensing and sponsors, more programming - in the United States we just have one show and our competitor has ten hours of television a week so it is hard to compete. We have more television in the UK and that shows you how competitive we can be when we have more exposure, so that would be our goal in the United States. Again it’s not because I haven’t wanted to, it’s just contractually I haven’t been able to due to our contract agreement with Spike TV. But that is changing as well. I think all of these things combined will make for a very interesting 2013.

To read the full interview, click here.

- Dixie Carter just sent a tweet out from her official Twitter page saying that she will be making a major announcement on Impact Wrestling tomorrow. The announcement will change everything for the wrestlers, company, and all of the fans. The tweet is embedded below:

I posted an article yesterday about an interview Dixie did several days ago. In the interview, she was planning on making a major announcement. The idea is that she will be announcing Impact Wrestling will be heading on the road.

- Jeff Hardy recently took part in an interview with to promote the upcoming "Road To Lockdown" Tour. He discusses, among other things, his connection to the Michigan area, his longevity in the business despite his high-risk moveset, and TNA's future. In the following excerpt, he addresses some of TNA's critics:

What would you say to critics that claim TNA is where washed up former WWE (and WWF) wrestlers go to collect a paycheck?

You know, I’m not sure. We’re way different than WWE. We may never be as big as WWE, but the cool thing about TNA is that we are the alternative. So people who get tired and bored with the WWE - I’ve been there, I understand - there’s an alternative and something else to watch. For special wrestlers, there’s somewhere else to go - as long as you’re not brainwashed by that WWE mentality. There’s other worlds out there; it’s OK to switch around.

Click here to read the full interview.

In case you are not watching Impact Wrestling, results can be found here, a video played showing TNA President Dixie Carter. She announced Impact Wrestling will be going on the road permanently. The first show on the road will be March 14, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. Watch the announcement here:

- I posted the article earlier about Impact Wrestling going on the road permanently and that starts on March 14, 2013. Dixie Carter made the announcement on this week's Impact Wrestling. The first show will be at the Sears Centre in Chicago, Illinois. Tickets for the event go on sale February 8th. That is next Friday. TNA Wrestling will announce more tour dates in the coming weeks. You can find the full article on TNA's official site right here.

- In a segment between Hulk Hogan, Bully Ray, Brooke Hogan, and Sting on this week's Impact Wrestling, Hulk announced the following match for next week's show:

Sting and Bully Ray vs. Two members of Aces & 8s in a Tables Match.

If you are interested in seeing the spoilers for next week, click here.

- This week's Impact Wrestling scored an average of 1,580,000 viewers with a cable rating of 1.16. The show was taped from Manchester, England and it was built around the Kurt Angle vs. Mr. Anderson Steel Cage Match, Open Fight Night, and the Bully Ray reinstated question.


How long do you think The Rock will hold the WWE Championship?

I would be very surprised if The Rock held the WWE Championship past Wrestlemania 29 in April. Vince McMahon has wanted to do Rock vs. John Cena II for the WWE Championship and that certainly appears to be the direction they are going. The obvious prediction is for Cena to avenge his loss from last year and win the WWE Championship in a public "passing of the torch." A lot can happen between now and then but Rock vs. Cena is the plan barring a major change in direction or injury.

Is Ryback's push over due to him not winning the 30-man Royal Rumble?

Quite the opposite as Ryback is still considered a main event talent, hence being the 29th and final elimination from the 2013 30-man Royal Rumble match. There are plans for him to have a top level match at Wrestlemania 29 and it certainly appeared a message was sent when he eliminated Randy Orton from the Rumble match.

How did you feel about Bo Dallas in the WWE Royal Rumble Match? Do you think he will be called up and feud with Wade Barrett?

I liked how Bo Dallas was scripted to look like he had a shot and not quickly forgotten like a typical enhancement talent. Notice his elimination was from Wade Barrett, who he had already eliminated. Clearly a feud is in place should WWE decide to call Bo Dallas up and I wouldn't be surprised if he got the nod. Dallas has been considered a top developmental prospect for nearly a year now.

What's next for CM Punk following the end to his historic reign as WWE Champion?

We can all rest assure CM Punk will address his WWE Championship loss to The Rock on this week's Raw. A rematch is likely and then it's on to sort out a Wrestlemania program. No one believes Punk will win it back as the plan, as mentioned above, is for Rock to defend against Cena. One of the favorites to face Punk is Undertaker and I'll have more on this shortly.

Give the fact Tensai has been a flip why not take him off television and bring him back as a repackaged A-Train?

WWE has already repackaged Tensai with a gimmick similar to what he had as Albert. He's a comedy guy that isn't going to touch the main event. I've already heavily criticized the lingerie segment on this week's WWE Raw but I will add to something I wrote in the comment section. Matt Bloom worked very hard in Japan as Giant Bernard to erase a lot of the embarrassing angles he did in WWE. So much so there were plans for him to return as a main event guy, remember he actually beat John Cena. This is a step in the wrong direction for Bloom and I'm not giving WWE a pass on the Tensai/Brodus Clay stuff from Raw.

Did it surprise you at all that WWE practically took the same route to bring Brock Lesnar back into the picture as they did with Undertaker last year? On the verge of someone getting future endeavored and then the music hits. Does it seem like recycling here?

This is a great point and further highlights just how bad the WWE creative team is burnt out. WWE brought The Undertaker back last year on the January 30, 2012 episode of Raw as Triple H was giving John Laurinaitis a "performance review." Just as Hunter was about to deliver the pink slip, Undertaker returned (full results here). Fast-forward a year later and it's Brock Lesnar returning for a Wrestlemania program. I'm amazed at the amount of people that gave this week's Raw such high marks. The show was full of lackluster booking and one of the weakest shows I've seen in several weeks. Even with the firepower of The Rock and Lesnar, the show as a wreck with obvious creative blunders.

With all the rumors surrounding Triple H and Bruno Sammartino working out a deal to induct Sammartino into the WWE Hall of Fame, given the fact of all that he did for the industry and the WWE, shouldn't he be the head of a HOF class?

Triple H has worked diligently for months to bring Bruno Sammartino to the WWE Hall of Fame. We reported last week here on Premium that Triple H hoped to have a deal before the end of the week. I haven't heard an update but Hunter was confident the deal would get done. As for Bruno as the "head of the class," historically speaking he rightly deserves the honor. The problem is the WWE Hall of Fame isn't a monumental shrine for pro wrestling purists as much as it is a promotional mechanism for Wrestlemania. Like it or not, the event is about drawing and making money. Bruno is 77-years-old and the majority of the WWE fan base is unfamiliar with him. I don't understand the company's big push to induct him if it's something he doesn't want. One reader commented he could add prestige to the WWE Hall of Fame. The only way prestige is going to be added is when there is a formal voting process from people outside of the McMahon family.

What message is WWE sending to its locker room when in the last year they have had a guy come back and beat the face of the company (with only one match wrestled prior) and then beat the longest reigning champion of the last two decades without even wrestling a match first?

Vince McMahon doesn't care about the message it sends, he cares about the money he makes. The message is clear, The Rock is a bigger star than anyone they have. It's a good thing too because right now creative is on vacation, did you see Raw? The only reason people are giving this week's show high marks is because of the big names. It was a horrible effort.

What happened to the Intercontinental Cup? WWE was heavily building it in their promotion for Main Event this week but after reading the taping results it looks like it wasn't taped.

From what I can tell in reading the taping results for this week's WWE Main Event, the Intercontinental Cup was not taped as you pointed out. Wade Barrett is teasing a major announcement for the competition on Twitter at 11 AM EST on Twitter. We'll post it if it's anything of note.

What is Chris Jericho's contract status? Is he here until Wrestlemania or is it something more long term?

Chris Jericho is under a short-term WWE contract that has him working through Wrestlemania 29. He is scheduled for TVs and even some live events although it's not a long-term deal from what I understand. At this point in Jericho's career he wants to pursue his music as much as he wants to utilize his in-ring talents.

Is there any hope of having Cody Rhodes vs. Goldust at Wrestlemania 29?

It sure doesn't look like it as Goldust worked the 30-man Royal Rumble match under a per shot deal. He still wants a Wrestlemania match against Cody and confirmed that here. Last year he tried to rally his Twitter followers into pushing WWE for the bout but it never happened.

Any word on Wrestlemania plans for The Undertaker?

Undertaker still hasn't made a commitment to work Wrestlemania 29. We reported in October 2012 he was considering sitting the show out because he felt slighted. The belief was later that he would be on the show and now it's believed he's been more reluctant in part due to his health. A new plan involving Undertaker was pitched backstage Monday at Raw that you can read about at this link. In total, it's all speculation until a deal is worked out to confirm him.

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