Royal Rumble Winner, Big WWE Shakeup, Bryan Wants Lesnar - WWE Wrestling News World

Royal Rumble Winner, Big WWE Shakeup, Bryan Wants Lesnar

The following article is only available to WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium Members. Sign-up here to view this article and unlock all our exclusive features. By signing up not only will you unlock all exclusive features but the website is also 100% advertisement free!
Author:
Updated:
Original:

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, January 3, 2015 to Friday, January 9, 2015 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
- Other News
- Premium Mailbag

WWE News

- As we reported here at Wrestling News World, Jerry “The King” Lawler had to be hospitalized due to complications with diverticulitis. In a further update, he was admitted to Methodist North Hospital in Memphis, TN and unfortunately, had to spend New Year’s Eve there. Lawler is not expected to be at next week’s Monday Night Raw in Corpus Christi, Texas and can be moved from questionable to doubtful. The company has reportedly told him to take the week off and rest up. We're unable to confirm if he's still hospitalized at press time.

- Randy Orton is reportedly suffering from a deviated septum, according to PWTorch.com (citing the Wrestling Observer). According to their report, Orton will require a few weeks to recover and this is why he was kept off television. Orton wasn’t used at this week’s Raw but appeared when cameras stopped filming.

- Tyson Kidd and Cesaro are featured in the first episode of Smackdown Fallout for the New Year. You can watch at this link.

- Rey Mysterio Tweeted the following from his verified Twitter account on New Year’s Day:

Click here to load Tweet (if not loaded)

The “See you all soon” line has resulted in speculation about his in-ring future. We reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium on December 26, 2014 that WWE had dropped all plans for Mysterio and had planned to work out a deal to release him before Wrestlemania 31. As for what Mysterio was doing on Saturday, he was watching UFC 182. - Chris Jericho is returning to WWE this month and in February for live events but he won’t be working TV. Jericho said it was his choice and that he was like the “anti-Brock Lesnar.” Below is an excerpt of Jericho’s comments in a piece by SLAM! Wrestling:

"I'm going back in January and February to just do live events -- no TV, just house shows," he said. "(To do only live events) was my choice. I had some time off (between Fozzy tours), and I thought it would be fun to go back (on that schedule). It's like I'm the anti-Brock Lesnar," he joked, in reference to Lesnar's schedule which keeps him off the road and exclusively on TV and pay-per-view.

CLICK HERE for the latest comments by Jericho. - In a new piece by WetPaint.com, Nikki Bella discussed the departure of Naomi (real name Trinity) from Total Divas. What’s interesting is that Nikki indicated that it was Naomi’s decision to leave the series, something Naomi already directly contradicted. Below are highlights from the piece featuring comments from Nikki Bella:

“It was sad when Trin left — it sucked because I love her and [husband Jonathan Fatu],” Nikki says. “But I think she was just more focused on being a wife on her off days and getting her home life together.” “Being a Diva is not easy,” she acknowledges. “We are on the road 300 days a year. We don’t get a lot of family or personal time. With Total Divas on top of that, on our days off, we have the cameras following us, and that’s not for everyone. Some people hit the point where they just want free time on their off days and I respect that fully.” That all being said, Nikki does hope that her former castmate will pop up on the show again in some capacity. “We’ll miss her and hopefully she’ll be back,” she adds.

CLICK HERE for the article by WetPaint.com. We ran Naomi’s comments about her departure on December 14, 2014. Here they are from her verified Twitter account: Click here to load Tweets (if not loaded)

- WWE announced on Sunday that the WWE Network will be available in the United Kingdom and Ireland on Monday, January 19, 2015. The company posted a special announcement from Vince McMahon, where he assured fans they would make the launch this time and thanked them for their patience. CLICK HERE for Vince McMahon’s video message. CLICK HERE for coverage on dot com. - The WWE Network will cost £9.99 per month in the United Kingdom, which equates out to $15.22 and €12.99 per month in Ireland, which equates out to $15.47. WWE issued the following press release:

STAMFORD, Conn., January 4, 2015 – Beginning Monday, January 19, WWE Network will be available in the UK for £9.99 per month and Ireland for €12.99 per month on a direct-to-consumer basis, with no commitment and the ability to cancel any time. Fans will be able to sign up in time to watch Royal Rumble® LIVE on Sunday, January 25 and see which WWE Superstar competes for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania® 31. WWE Network subscribers in the UK and Ireland will have access to the U.S. English language version of WWE Network with all 12 annual pay-per-view events LIVE at no additional cost, 24/7 scheduled programming and the most comprehensive video-on-demand library with more than 2,700 hours of content, including every WWE, WCW and ECW pay-per-view. “We are thrilled to start the new year by offering WWE Network directly to our fans in the UK and Ireland,” said Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman & CEO. “I want to thank our fans in the UK and Ireland for their patience, and I’m confident it will be well worth the wait.” Like other digital subscription services, such as Netflix and Hulu Plus, fans are able to sign up online by going to WWE.com and can watch WWE Network on their TV through connected devices such as Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku streaming devices, Sony Playstation 3, Sony Playstation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Smart TVs including Sony and Samsung. WWE Network programming includes groundbreaking original series, reality shows, documentaries, classic matches, exclusive coverage of special events and more. The U.S. English language version of WWE Network is available direct to consumer in more than 170 countries and territories. For a complete listing of WWE Network availability by country and device, please click here.

We first covered the news of the new UK and Ireland launch date of the WWE Network here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com. - Randy Orton — who is currently out with a deviated septum — is no longer on the booking sheet for this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw. Orton returned to WWE at last month’s holiday live event from Madison Square Garden after missing over a month because he was filming the starring role in the WWE Studios production The Condemned 2. However, a curious situation emerged the next night as WWE announced he was injured and wouldn’t be on the show in Long Island as advertised. He ended up doing a run-in during that show’s main event. Orton also appeared off-camera after last week’s Raw, before it was learned he’s dealing with a deviated septum. - Bill DeMott continues to be a lightning rod for controversy for his work down in WWE developmental. We’re told DeMott has been very hard on the female performers lately, so much so that Sara Del Ray, who handles most of the training with the women, has complained to Triple H about it. Apparently DeMott is being so hard on the women that it’s starting to hurt morale. A few performers have told sources connected to Wrestling News World they feel DeMott is jealous of all the praise Del Ray has gotten since coming the company. She’s received a lot of credit for the continued improvement of female talent in NXT. The complaints about DeMott are well documented and have mounted over the years. WWE officials have asked him to “lighten up” in the past. As for what Vince McMahon thinks, we’re told he likes the idea of there being a drill sergeant type training up and coming talent. - Stern Pinball has released a WWE Wrestlemania pinball machine. The game goes for a cool $5,995 and more information is available at this link. Here’s a photo of the machine: Click here to load Photo/Tweet (if not loaded)

- TiqIQ.com sent word that tickets for Royal Rumble have eclipsed a $500 average price per ticket on the resale market. This makes Royal Rumble 2015 the most expensive professional wrestling event since TiqIQ began tracking the market in 2010.

Forbes has a complete piece with more information available at this link.

Royal Rumble 2015 will take place Sunday, January 25, 2015 from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The show is advertised to feature the in-ring return of Daniel Bryan in addition to what is being billed as the final battle between John Cena and WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar.

- The Authority kicked off this week's Raw and announced that Seth Rollins is being put in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match at the Royal Rumble. Brock Lesnar will defend the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against John Cena and Seth Rollins in a triple threat match.

- Bad News Barrett beat Dolph Ziggler in a two-out-of-three falls match to win the Intercontinental Championship on this week's Raw. Ziggler originally retained with a roll-up, but Kane came out and announced it would then be a two-out-of-three falls match. Barrett pinned Ziggler twice following the Wasteland and the Bullhammer to win the title for the fifth time.

- The Authority "fired" Dolph Ziggler, Ryback, and Erick Rowan at the end of this week's Raw because they were on Team Cena at Survivor Series.

- WWE debuted a new video package to open Monday Night Raw on this week’s episode. AJ Lee — whose been the topic of many rumors lately — is included and remains with the company moving forward. She was with CM Punk at UFC 182 over the weekend.

- Lilian Garcia missed Raw because her father is in the hospital. She was replaced by Eden. Lilian Tweeted the following:

Click here to load Tweet (if not loaded)

- The Ascension’s promo on Raw “struck a chord” with Lance Storm, as it caused him to turn his TV off. The following is from Twitter: Click here to load Tweets (if not loaded)

- As previously reported, Booker T replaced Jerry Lawler on Raw commentary. Lawler was given the night off to rest following his hospitalization over New Year’s.

- Things between Vince McMahon and Triple H have reportedly been a little smoother lately. We’re told family time around the holidays in a non-wrestling setting helped ease some of the tension.

The biggest note is that sources have told us that Vince and Hunter are in agreement on Roman Reigns winning the Royal Rumble match and going on to challenge for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania 31. The current plan is for Reigns to be WWE World Heavyweight Champion after Wrestlemania 31 in March.

Some within the company expect Daniel Bryan to outshine Reigns and be the guy fans end up wanting in that spot. It will be interesting to see how WWE features Bryan in the next few months as there is concern his popularity could hurt Reigns’ ability to fill the top babyface role.

What’s even more interesting, WWE seemed to have ‘tipped their hand’ as my friend Jorge Romero Tweeted this:

Click here to load Photo/Tweet (if not loaded)

- Daniel Bryan is scheduled to return to WWE television next week, on Raw in New Orleans and Smackdown in Baton Rouge. I would expect a tie-in with The Authority being back, in order to further push that side angle. - WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar is also scheduled for next week’s Raw in NOLA. - Keeping kayfabe alive, WWE has moved the official profiles of Erick Rowan, Ryback and Dolph Ziggler to the Alumni section of dot com. - I was asked for my thoughts on The Ascension’s promo on this week’s Raw that Lance Stormtook offense from. I took it as WWE continuing to try and force things, rather than letting them happen naturally. The crowd didn’t buy the promo and didn’t react what-so-ever. It bombed. - Sky SportsWWE’s distribution partner in the United Kingdom - has released the company’s master pay-per-view calendar for 2015. While many of the dates and events were known, this will help fill in the gaps. Below is the 2015 WWE Pay-per-view schedule: Royal Rumble on Sunday, January 25, 2015 from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA Fast Lane on Sunday, February 22, 2015 from the FedExForum in Memphis, TN Wrestlemania 31 on Sunday, March 29, 2015 from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA Extreme Rules on Sunday, April 26, 2015 from the Allstate Arena in Chicago, IL Payback on Sunday, May 17, 2015 from the Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, MD Money in the Bank on Sunday, June 14, 2015 from the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH Battleground on Sunday, July 19, 2015 from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, MO SummerSlam on Sunday, August 23, 2015 from the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ Night of Champions on Sunday, September 20, 2015 from the Toyota Center in Houston, TX Hell in a Cell on Sunday, October 25, 2015 from the Staples Center in Los Angels, CA Survivor Series on Sunday, November 22, 2015 from the Phillips Arena in Atlanta, GA Tables, Ladders and Chairs on Sunday, December 13, 2015 from the TD Garden in Boston, MA I also Tweeted an image that you can view below: Click here to load Photo/Tweet (if not loaded)

CLICK HERE for coverage by Sky Sports.

- Christian reportedly told fans at the "Drags to Riches! Wrestlers and Drag Queens?" charity event at Hamburger Mary's in Tampa, Florida on Sunday that he is not retired, despite what Jerry Lawlersaid on Raw a couple weeks ago. I don’t have anything to add to that other than Christian is still under a WWE Performer’s Contract but currently inactive. It’s unknown if he’s not medically cleared or if WWE just doesn’t want to risk it.

- We reported earlier about the new opening video for Monday Night Raw. You can watch it at this link.

- Zack Ryder noted Tuesday on social media that he worked in the ring for the first time in two months at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida.

Ryder Tweeted this:

Click here to load Tweet (if not loaded)

Ryder has a torn rotator cuff but opted to try a stem cell injection as opposed to having surgery. While Ryder has been out of the ring two months, surgery would likely cost him half a year if not more. - WWE United States Champion Rusev was added to the 30-man Royal Rumble match on this week’s episode of WWE Main Event. Confirmed entrants — in no particular order — are as follows: RusevDaniel BryanRoman Reigns We reported exclusively here on Wrestling News World that Vince McMahon and Triple H have agreed on a winner. - WWE did not tape a MizTV segment with Seth Rollins at Tuesday’s Smackdown taping in Laredo, Texas, despite previously advertising it. You can read what was taped for this week’s Smackdown in our taping results by Brooks Oglesby at this link. - There were three dark matches at Tuesday night’s WWE TV tapings in Laredo, Texas. The results are as follows: Before the tapings started:Luke Harper b. Justin GabrielAfter Main Event:Los Matadores w/El Torito b. Cesaro & Tyson Kidd w/NatalyaAfter Smackdown:Dean Ambrose b. Bray Wyatt in a Street Fight - Last week’s episode of WWE Smackdown -- the first of 2015 -- garnered an average viewing audience of 2,582,000 viewers on SyFy. This is a good number for the show, as they prepare for their move back to Thursday nights. TV by the Numbers has data for the top 100 cable shows among adults 25-54 for all of Friday at this link. - Triple H returns to the weekly kayfabe Michael Cole interview series to address rumors about The Authority and “recent Superstar firings.” You can watch at this link. - The United Kingdom version of MTV is running an interview they conducted with Daniel Bryan prior to SummerSlam when he was still out indefinitely. However, a very relevant topic was included in that discussion and that was Bryan’s desire for a match with Brock Lesnar. Below is an excerpt of Bryan's comments:

“One of the things that kills me about this is if I were champion right now I’d be wrestling Brock Lesnar and that’s the match I’ve always really wanted,” he said at the time. “I feel like we could do something completely different that people [wouldn ’t] have seen before in the United States. “That’s the match I really, really want.” “One of the things that kills me about this is if I were champion right now I’d be wrestling Brock Lesnar and that’s the match I’ve always really wanted,” he said at the time. “I feel like we could do something completely different that people [wouldn ’t] have seen before in the United States. “That’s the match I really, really want.”

CLICK HERE for coverage by MTV.co.uk or check out Bryan’s comments in the video below: http://youtu.be/HEBaLfhgnAs It doesn’t look like WWE is going to do Daniel Bryan vs. Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania 31. We have a lot more on that in Wednesday's installment of Ask WNW. - Seth Rollins is scheduled for a Meet N’ Greet at the Adventureland Store at the Voorhees Town Center in Voorhees, New Jersey on Sunday, January 25, 2015 (the same day as Royal Rumble. He’ll be greeting fans from 10 AM to Noon. For more information and to buy tickets, CLICK HERE. - Brie Bella tells Nikki that she spoke to John Cena about their relationship in this Total Divas bonus clip. - This week’s episode of Total Divas garnered an average viewing audience of 1,411,000 viewers on E. This was good enough for the largest viewing audience of the show for season 3. TV by the Numbers has data for the top 100 cable shows among adults 18-49 for Sunday at this link. - Joe Laurinaitis — better known as Road Warrior Animal — wrote the following on Facebook about The Ascension’s promo from this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw:

The idiots in charge make the call everyone knows how stupid it is to copy icons yet they still do it. Do it in a mocking fashion to get heat I understand do it in a disrespectful way well that's another issue that's low and has no place in the business. Where does it end and I usually are just are playing when I comment but this one is a shoot I believe they should have had Me Animal find a team. For some undetected odd reason they don't do it. They missed the boat with Ascention and they missed it when my brother John was in the ring both great times to bring me in and they missed it. They need to go to their merchandise numbers today and see we rank up with the main roster on selling merchandise for a reason. Oh what a rush.

Lance Storm said the promo pissed him off so bad, he turned his TV off. I thought The Ascension bombed yet again and that WWE is on the fast-track to making yet another successful NXT gimmick a main roster failure. Lazy/non-sensible booking at it’s worst. JBL buried the segment on the air, which resulted in some accusing Vince McMahon of intentionally sabotaging the gimmick. While I don’t believe that to be the case, I do wonder if they’re even trying. - This week’s episode of WWE Monday Night Raw did an average viewing audience of 3,762,667 viewers on the USA Network. Below is how the show did each hour: Hour one - 3,801,000 viewers Hour two - 3,888,000 viewers Hour three - 3,599,000 viewers While WWE saw a moderate viewership spike from hour one to hour two (+87,000), the audience realized things weren’t going to get better and tuned out in droves for the third and final hour (-289,000). The show matched last week’s 1.3 adults 18-49 rating but was up from the year-low viewership average of 3,458,667 viewers. TV by the Numbers has data for the 100 cable shows in adults 25-54 for all of Monday at this link. Backstage news from Monday Night Raw in Corpus Christi… - The feeling after Monday Night Raw was the fans didn’t buy the “firings” of Ryback, Dolph Ziggler and Erick Rowan. Drawn-out closing segment aside, a number of officials feel The Authority weren’t off TV long enough to make their removal mean anything and have blamed that as one of the reasons. It also doesn’t help things the Royal Rumble match is a mere weeks away and Ryback, Ziggler and Rowan are expected to be part of it. - We’re told JBL was given a directive from his headset to bury The Ascension when their promo died badly. This has been something we’ve been talking about all week but it clearly didn’t work. - Vince McMahon wasn’t happy with the Raw script and rewrote much of the show on Monday afternoon. - The promo cut by Roman Reigns was considered his worst ever. The concern is that his promos are coming off as forced and he needs to just go off-script, while others feel he just needs to work on his delivery. Reigns is indeed tabbed "the special one" but his mic work must improve. - I wasn’t given a specific reason why neither WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar nor Daniel Bryan were mentioned on this week’s show. The fact they’re booked for next week should have been a key promotional point, or at least one would think. - We’re hearing the writers feel they are once again being left in the dark on certain elements of booking, with Vince McMahon and Triple H meeting a lot just the two of them. - As a result of the lack of transparency, the “backwards booking” of Bray Wyatt and Dean Ambrose remains a topic of criticism. The plan is to move them away from each other while keeping both of them on TV. - Big E got heat for the blown power bomb spot with Cesaro. He was considered lucky that Cesaro didn’t land on his head. - John Cena was on the Today Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda on Thursday to promote his 10 Weeks Body Change program. You can watch video at this link. - What annoys you most at the gym? That question is addressed in the latest WWE Inbox at this link. - Triple H will be inducted into the 2015 International Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday, March 7, 2015, at the Arnold Schwarzenegger Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio. CLICK HERE for coverage by dot com. - Paige talked about her inclusion on the Total Divas reality series in a new interview with Renee Young.

  • Paige said that she very excited but she’s not very open about stuff so that was the hardest part.
  • She said the reaction at first was brutal. She said people didn’t see her as the anti-Diva anymore. Paige said the pale hot mess is what the show needed.
  • Paige said she makes a lot of bad decisions, when asked what we could expect for upcoming episodes, but YOLA.

You can watch at this link. - The Times-Picayune has a new article featuring quotes from Daniel Bryan to promote his appearance at Raw from NOLA next Monday. Below are the highlights: His health:

"One of the wonderful things about Raw is you never know what to expect," Bryan said. "I'm ready to come back. I feel like right now, physically I'm better than ever. So whatever happens, whether it be a match or whether I'm doing an interview, I expect to be better than I've ever been."

Wanting to face Brock Lesnar:

Brock Lesnar is also supposed to be on (Monday's) show," Bryan said, referring to the WWE champion who ended The Undertaker's undefeated WrestleMania streak at the Superdome and then defeated John Cena for the title at Summerslam in August. "And to me, that's still my championship. My dream match for WrestleMania this year is if Brock Lesnar keeps the title and I win the Royal Rumble, and I wrestle Brock Lesnar in the main event of WrestleMania 31 for the WWE championship. "That's the match I want," Bryan added. "That's the match that I've been thinking about this entire time that I've been injured."

CLICK HERE to read the piece in its entirety. Speaking of Daniel Bryan, he’s not scheduled for live events this weekend but he’s been added to live loops beginning on Friday, January 16, 2015 in St. Louis. Bryan will get a chance to tune up his in-ring skills before Royal Rumble, as he's on the booking sheets to face Kane. - WWE has shuffled their announce teams as Smackdown prepares to move back to Thursday nights next week on SyFy. The Raw announce team will be comprised of Michael Cole, JBL and Booker T The Smackdown announce team will be comprised of Cole, Jerry Lawler and Byron Saxton Pay-per-views will continued to be called by the trio of Cole, Lawler and JBL. The new announce teams will begin with next week’s Raw in New Orleans, Louisiana. CLICK HERE for coverage by WWE.com. - One of the biggest stories of the week is the change to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at Royal Rumble. Brock Lesnar defending in a triple threat involving not only John Cena but Seth Rollins as well. As you may remember, this was the original plan for WWE TLC back when Cena vs. Lesnar was considered for Survivor Series. However, now that WWE believes Lesnar is leaving after Wrestlemania 31, they’re forced to consider him losing at Rumble and again at the pay-per-view in March. That way, he “hits his head” on his way out and he’s not champion one day and gone a couple days later. One idea that has been pitched is Paul Heyman turning on Brock at Royal Rumble and helping Rollins win the title. However, let’s don’t get ahead of ourselves. WWE has not given up on trying to re-sign Brock Lesnar but it’s believed he will resume his fighting career when his WWE contract expires after Wrestlemania. So far, Brock’s representatives are still saying they don't want to sign an extension and want to make a decision after Wrestlemania on whether to re-sign or not. If he does go back to MMA, UFC and Bellator are both expected to make significant offers. Bellator is also after Alberto Del Rio, but right now UFC is not interested in Del Rio because they don't want one of their guys doing MMA and pro wrestling at the same time. Bellator doesn't have an issue with it, plus they just lost Rampage Jackson, so they really need someone that can grab headlines. - Wrestling News World reader Ranveer noted in the Comments Area of Friday's installment of Ask WNW that it was announced on the international airing of this week's Smackdown that Daniel Bryan will wrestle on next week's episode of the show. Remember next week, Smackdown will move back to Thursday nights at 8 PM/7 CT on SyFy. As we've already noted in a news update on Thursday and again in Friday's Ask WNW, Daniel Bryan is advertised for next weekend's WWE live event loop to face Kane beginning on January 16, 2015 in St. Louis, MO. It only makes sense that WWE will use Daniel Bryan's return to the ring to promote Smackdown's move back to Thursday nights. Next week's Smackdown will be taped on Tuesday from the Baton Rouge River Center in Baton Rouge, LA. Bryan is also advertised for next week's Monday Night Raw in NOLA, however, we cannot confirm whether or not he'll be wrestling on that show. Friday, January 9, 2015 11:53 AM EST Update: WWE has confirmed our report through a breaking news post here on dot com. An opponent for Bryan's in-ring return has not yet been named. End update. - WWE issued the following press release on Friday:

STAMFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- WWE (NYSE:WWE) announced that its Chief Brand Officer, Stephanie McMahon, and Chief Strategy & Financial Officer, George A. Barrios, will participate in a presentation at the 17th Annual Needham Growth Conference for investors in New York City on Tuesday, January 13, 2015. A live audio webcast will be available online at ir.corporate.wwe.com under Events & Presentations. Ms. McMahon’s and Mr. Barrios’ remarks are expected to begin at approximately at 5:30 p.m. ET. A replay of the presentation will be available after the actual event time and will be available for 90 days following the conference.

CLICK HERE for a list of all WWE press releases. - We reported in April 2013 here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com that former WWE staffer Andrew Green had filed a lawsuit against the company and The Big Show over a backstage incident at that year’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view. That September, WWE attempted to transfer the lawsuit to federal court and their request was denied. Earlier this week, Green filed two complaints against Show and WWE in Bridgeport Superior Court in Connecticut. Below is an excerpt from an update by Courthouse News Services:

Andrew Green filed two complaints this week against Paul "The Big Show" Wight Jr. and World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. in Connecticut. Though Green had originally filed the case nearly two years ago in Arizona, the action he filed Wednesday in Bridgeport Superior Court notes that Wight agreed to personal jurisdiction in Bridgeport pursuant to the dismissal of the earlier case. Green apparently misfiled the same action Monday in Stamford.

CLICK HERE for the latest update. According to court documents, Green claims another WWE producer told him to get an interview with Show after his match against Alberto Del Rio at Royal Rumble 2013 to be posted on the company’s official website and/or YouTube channel. Green says Show refused to do it until he said it was at the request of former creative head Eric Pankowski. Green claims Big Show began using “profanely indecent language,” saying if he wanted an interview he would give him one. The complaint continued: “Big Show toward Green enraged, shouting obscenities, and waving his fist in Green’s face. Big Show then grabbed Green by the collar and throat, striking Green in the face and backing him up against a trunk while declaring ‘You son of a bitch … Are you having fun right now … Don’t even come up to me again … I don’t give a shit who you are’.” (Ellipses in complaint.) Show then requested a re-tape saying he would just walk away. Triple H requested a third take but Show said he didn’t think he would be able to do it because his emotions in the original shoot had been real. A third interview was shot but Pankowski ultimately decided to air the first interview. Green claims he was unable to continue working for WWE after January 29th because he was uncomfortable working around Big Show and other wrestlers. He alleges in the complaint that WWE had previously “suspended or terminated Big Show’s employment because of his behavior, including his engagement in violent and/or unlawful and/or improper activities outside of the wrestling venue.” CLICK HERE for the original article by Jamie Ross on CourthouseNews.com. - The following names have been announced as entrants for the 2015 30-man Royal Rumble match: Roman ReignsDaniel BryanBray WyattWade BarrettRusev Also announced for the show is Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena vs. Seth Rollins in a triple threat match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Royal Rumble 2015 will take place Sunday, January 25, 2015 from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We’ll have complete coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com. - Next week begins a reset for WWE as they’ll shuffle their announcers and programming. For those that need a reminder, here’s a recap: Monday Night Raw on Monday at 8 PM ET/7 PM CT on the USA Network New announce team of Michael Cole, Booker T & JBLWWE NXT on Wednesday at 8 PM ET/7 PM CT on WWE Network Smackdown on Thursday at 8 PM ET/7 CT on SyFy New announce team of Cole, Jerry Lawler & Byron Saxton - The weekend is here, which means the latest episode of The JBL (not Cole) Show is online at this link.

Other News

- If you missed the live Q&A that CM Punk did prior to Saturday night’s UFC 182 you can watch it at this link. - TNA Wrestling spent last week making talent announcements of workers that have re-signed for their upcoming reset on Destination America. One notable that has not re-signed is former TNA Champion Bully Ray. Ray remains a free agent and is currently considered a TNA Alumni. Last month, Bully Ray commented on his future saying, he doesn’t know what it is next. He did not rule a return to WWE and said that he could do it and it would be a lot of fun. Bully did wish Team 3D Academy student Jessie Godderz congratulations on his new deal with TNA on Twitter. That Tweet is below: Click here to load Photos/Tweets (if not loaded)

- Dixie Carter addressed TNA Wrestling’s future on pay-per-view on social media, Tweeting they will run a few live pay-per-views this year and several One Night Only shows. The following is from her verified Twitter account:

Click here to load Tweet (if not loaded)

- ”Big” John Gaburick Tweeted on Monday that The Wolves have re-signed with TNA Wrestling. The following is from Twitter: Click here to load Photo/Tweet (if not loaded)

Below is an update list of talent that Big has announced has re-signed with the company for this week’s reset on Destination America:

Kurt Angle
Ethan Carter III
Jessie Godderz
Abyss
Madison Rayne
Mr. Anderson
The Wolves

- TNA Wrestling's Vice President, John Gaburick revealed on his official Twitter account Monday night that Eric Young has re-signed with the company. Eric is added to the expanding list of talent that the company has re-signed since their move to Destination America. Below is John's tweet:

- UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones failed a drug test prior to his fight against Daniel Cormier at UFC 182 over the weekend and has entered rehab. The random test, administered on December 4th, revealed benzoylecgonine (the primary metabolite of cocaine). The results were available on December 23, 2014, according to MMAJunkie.com. Jones’ fight against Cormier was not halted because benzoylecgonine is not banned out of competition by the World Anti-Doping Agency. We’ve linked to UFC’s statement on the matter in the Tweet below: Click here to load Tweet (if not loaded)

You can read it and a followup from UFC President Dana White below:

STATEMENT FROM THE UFC:

“We support UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones’ decision to enter a drug treatment facility to address his recent issue. While we are disappointed in the failed test, we applaud him for making this decision to enter a drug treatment facility. Jon is a strong, courageous fighter inside the Octagon, and we expect him to fight this issue with the same poise and diligence. We commend him on his decision, and look forward to him emerging from this program a better man as a result.”

STATEMENT FROM DANA WHITE, UFC PRESIDENT

“I am proud of Jon Jones for making the decision to enter a drug treatment facility. I’m confident that he’ll emerge from this program like the champion he truly is.”

- It’s a new day for TNA Wrestling as they’ll begin their reset on Destination America on Wednesday night, with their first Impact broadcast on the network airing live at 9 PM EST from the Manhattan Center in New York City.

The following items are advertised:

  • TNA Champion Bobby Roode vs. Bobby Lashley III
  • A “major announcement” from Kurt Angle

Dixie Carter will not be at the tapings as she’ll be at the Television Critics Association conference

As for what to expect, a significant facelift is expected. The show will incorporate more input from social media and incorporate elements of reality TV.

"We're going to pull the curtain back and have cameras where they've not been before," Dixie Carter told The Associated Press. "You're going to see some changes that will help the viewer feel a stronger connection to the show and the characters. It will be a new way of watching it compared to what we've had in the past."

CLICK HERE for coverage by The Associated Press.

TNA news and notes…

- TNA Wrestling has officially put domestic touring on hold as they focus on their Destination America reset. They’re heading to the United Kingdom in three weeks for shows in Glasgow, Manchester and London. All three will be Impact tapings.

- Dixie Carter Tweeted that TNA will have a few live pay-per-views and several One Night Only pay-per-views in 2015. I haven’t heard of a schedule being set but the pay-per-views are going to be done when they “make sense from a storyline standpoint.” Carter has come to the realization that the traditional pay-per-view model is outdated but still important.

- As noted earlier, Impact on Destination America is set to feature more reality TV elements, with a renewed focus on quality matches and sensible angles.

- Once again, Dixie Carter is not scheduled to be at Wednesday’s tapings as she’ll be at the Television Critics Association conference.

- We are able to confirm that TNA Wrestling has been “going all out” to get Alberto Del Rio on the premiere episode of Impact on Destination America. Sources report they’ve been pulling out all the stops to have him debut on Wednesday night.

As we reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium, TNA offered a yearly contract to Del Rio in the range of $500,000. However, Del Rio is not willing to break his commitments with Ring of Honor and wants to keep his options open MMA wise, so he’s turned down all their offers.

We’re told the only way Del Rio accepts a TNA deal is if they agree to a deal where he can still work wherever he wants.

Obviously this would be incredible if TNA would allow for a guy to work for them, appear on ROH TV and possibly do MMA as well.

So far, TNA has not been willing to budge and have refused to offer a non-exclusive deal. Del Rio has also remained firm in that he doesn’t want to sign an exclusive deal.

One source noted the fact that TNA is still going after him means they are at least considering it but it sure doesn't seem likely, given the dangerous precedent that would be set for future contract negotiations.

- For those that missed it, Bobby Lashley beat Bobby Roode on the Destination America premiere of Impact Wrestling. Alex Barie has a complete report available at this link.

- We heard there were significant delays in-between matches and segments at Wednesday’s TNA TV tapings due to problems with production equipment. As a result, the delays dulled the crowd. TNA was saved by not broadcasting live but airing on tape delay.

- The Manhattan Center was not sold out and attendance was estimated at around 65%-70% full.

- As was seen on the broadcast, Havok worked the taping and did an angle with a returning Awesome Kong. I would imagine whatever issues there were have been worked out and Havok is with TNA going forward, although we’ll continue to monitor.

- Kong is back with TNA moving forward.

- Kurt Angle’s “major announcement” on this week’s Impact Wrestling was that he has “stepped down” from his executive role and returned as an active wrestler. He worked MVP in a Street Fight that went just over 11 minutes. Alex Barie has complete recap at this link.

- Austin Aries beat Low Ki to win the TNA X Division Championship.

- Josh Mathews made his debut on commentary alongside Taz, they’re the new announce team moving forward.

- Jeremy Borash had his head shaved in an angle with Ethan Carter III. He was seen completely bald after the show.

- While initial data released by Nielsen had the Destination America premiere of Impact Wrestling garnering an average viewing audience of 263,000 viewers, that number appears to be incorrect. The correct number is 359,000 viewers for the first run broadcast and is confirmed by the measures that we normally report when bringing readers data from the ratings service. This does not include the viewership numbers for the repeat but that is -621,000 viewers from the final first run Impact broadcast on Spike TV on November 19, 2014 did 980,000 viewers.

Ask WNW & Premium Mailbag

As the majority of WWE fans know, Roman Reigns is being built up as the next face of the WWE. He is the favorite to win the Royal Rumble but do you think an angle where he loses the Royal Rumble because of Rusev which leads to a feud which finishes at Wrestlemania would be better for both superstars? Everyone who feuds with Rusev gets over with the fans and this could help him win the fans who aren't in to Roman Reigns. This could also elevate the US championship simultaneously.

It’s interesting that you mentioned this as Roman Reigns vs. Rusev headlined Sunday’s WWE live event in Beaumont, TX and it’s a match they did continuously on the holiday tour loop and on TV before Reigns was injured. The future is bright for Reigns and Rusev and the fact that WWE feels comfortable enough for them to headline speaks volumes. I see a lot of potential in both and believe if utilized correctly, they could be staples in the main event scene for years to come.

However, I do not feel they should work one another at Wrestlemania. I believe both Reigns and Rusev are better suited working against talent that are already established at the pay-per-view in March. This would alleviate pressure and provide them with experience on the big stage.

No one seems to be campaigning for Rusev as the next face of WWE but there is a strong argument for Reigns to “take the reigns” at Wrestlemania and go over Brock Lesnar. I believe that spot should go to Daniel Bryan because Bryan was on the cusp of becoming WWE’s face last year. However, let me be clear, Reigns has everything it takes to become a top guy in WWE.

Have you heard about whether Bully Ray and/or Devon are coming to WWE now that they are both not signed by TNA anymore?

I have not heard anything recently about either Bully Ray or Devon coming to WWE. No disrespect to Devon but I believe if Bully Ray could get a WWE contract, he could have a very successful “final” run in WWE as a singles superstar. I’ve heard for years there is heat between Triple H and Bully Ray so whatever issues exist, would have to be worked out. I believe there was talk of Devon getting a deal as an NXT trainer at one point but if there is a chance of Bully Ray getting a singles run in WWE, it would be big money. As I noted over the weekend, here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, Bully Ray remains a free agent.

What’s the possibility that we see Jeff Hardy in WWE again?

This question pops up all the time and what I can tell you is that Jeff Hardy is under contract with TNA Wrestling, at least through next month. He signed his most recent extension in February 2013:

Click here to load Tweet (if not loaded)

Jeff has said he would like to finish his career in WWE, whenever they might be. I know WWE was interested the last time his deal was up but they obviously did not come to terms and I cannot confirm they even spoke with him.

Is it me or does The Ascension need some serious tweaking to be successful on the main roster? They were on twice this week and neither match did anything to sell them.

I heard and reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium The Ascension had heat for appearing out of shape. Remember, Bo Dallas got heat for appearing “pudgy” when he was called up (after a previous run as an NXT star on the main roster). It’s just one week, they’ve been on the shortlist for a call-up for quite some time. I’d rather give them more time to see what happens. They are being hyped for this week’s Raw as this is from the company’s official preview:

All eyes, it seems, are on WWE’s newest tag team, who picked up two decisive victories last week. First, the face-painted warriors soundly defeated newly former WWE Tag Team Champions The Miz & Damien Mizdow on Raw, then Konnor & Viktor utterly demolished two local competitors on SmackDown.

This unusual duo is already poised for big things as we kick off 2015 in WWE. Who will be next to face these snarling Superstars?

From the Ask WNW vault…

December 2012: Why did Kizarny leave the WWE? He obviously had a connection with Edge and he had beautifully strange gimmick – certainly one I hadn’t seen before. What happened? - In June 2009 I spoke at length with Kizarny about his WWE release (interview here). He told me all of the producers gave him high marks on his matches and all of the writers were happy with his work. However, he told me that Vince McMahon was set on him as a babyface while everyone else felt he should be a heel. He was disappointed the company gave up on him so quickly but it’s just how things happened.

Does Seth Rollins being included in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at Royal Rumble count as a cash in? If he loses is he still the Money in the Bank briefcase holder?

As things currently stand, it looks as if Seth Rollins earned a “bonus” shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Royal Rumble as the kayfabe payoff for him “restoring The Authority to power.” What I’m wondering is if Rollins doesn’t go over, if he’ll “cash in” during a restart. WWE never clarified the status of the Money in the Bank briefcase on Raw but based on the way the change/addition was announced and worded in the official match preview, the title shot at Royal Rumble seems extra for Rollins.

No one that reads Wrestling News World should be surprised about the addition to Seth Rollins in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at Royal Rumble. We’ve been reporting for months it had been talked about and given how Cena vs. Lesnar has already been booked, it only makes sense.

While I had several problems with this week’s Raw, one thing I continue to enjoy is the evolution of Seth Rollins. Right now, he’s surpassed Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose as the most legit top guy out of The Shield. That’s not to say it will stay like that but he’s a top guy and has more than made the most of this opportunity.

Why did WWE decide to add Seth Rollins to the Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena match at the Royal Rumble, thus making it a triple threat match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship?

No one can say for sure of “why now” but adding Seth Rollins to a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match with Brock Lesnar and John Cena has been talked about for months. A third (technically fourth) match between John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar would be next to impossible to book. Brock destroyed Cena at SummerSlam and it was Rollins that kept a clean finish from happening at Night of Champions. Adding Seth Rollins to the mix by formally inserting him in the match gives WWE more options and saves fans from the disinterest of a third encounter between Cena and Lesnar.

Based on feedback we’ve received, interest in a grudge match between Cena and the current WWE World Heavyweight Champion was minimal at best. By adding Rollins, WWE has opened up the playbook and it should be better for everyone involved. I know I’m looking forward to it much more now. The one thing it does take away is a “surprise cash in” attempt by Rollins because he’ll already be out there, even if they do book him to “cash in.”

I gotta be honest, I turned Raw off after Dolph Ziggler lost the Intercontinental Championship on this week’s Raw, but then read the results later on here on WNW. After reading, it felt like deja vu. Is there a serious lack of direction and ideas within WWE or is it just plain bad booking? How can they possibly think viewership and network numbers are gonna go up if they keep feeding us the same stuff over and over again?

Ding, ding, ding we have a winner! Amen brother, I agree completely. There is no direction — I mean there kind of is — but WWE seems in no hurry to get there. Why push the return of Daniel Bryan when they can repeat the insurmountable power of The Authority we’ve had to endure for the past two years? Seriously, if you missed last week’s Raw or every Raw in the past 3 months, would you even known things have changed?

The Royal Rumble is coming up, so who else is in it? This week’s show didn’t matter and it was throwaway programming that further highlighted a disjointed creative process. Dolph Ziggler vowed to restore prestige to the Intercontinental Championship, well that’s out the window. I’m still hopeful that was part of elevating Ziggler by getting the meaningless prop off of him and including him in the “fired” angle along with Ryback and Erick Rowan. But this week’s show left a lot to be desired.

There was a significant hint for Wrestlemania in that Triple H continued to namecheck Sting, so that direction seems clear as of this writing.

During the Monday Night Wars, we had an understanding that the commentary team was split. JR played the face role of putting over the talent in general and King played the heel role, taking the side of the heels but putting them over. It seems like JBL is consistently burying talent and rarely putting them over. This week's exams was burying the Ascension. After your comments about Vince's reactions to NXT, could JBL be getting his directives from Vince to bury talent on commentary?

JBL is the heel of the trio, even though as you suggested, he rarely puts talent over. Unless they’re aligned with The Authority and are “best for business.” While sources have reported to us a rather bizarre reaction from Vince McMahon in regards to NXT, I don’t think he’d intentionally sabotage talent. I guess we can’t put anything past Vince but I still find that highly unlikely.

I don’t know JBL’s reasoning for saying The Ascension weren’t fit to carry The Road Warriors’ bags, but he was right. I’ve warned readers to give The Ascension some time but they were horrible on Raw. The audience didn’t buy that promo and you could have heard a pin drop. That wasn’t heat, that was X-Pac heat.

I understand Roman Reigns is being built as the next face of the WWE. But what's wrong with having multiple faces for the company? Back in the day, WWE had Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, etc as the faces of the company. What's wrong with having Reigns, Bryan, Ambrose, Wyatt, Rollins, etc as the faces of the company for the future instead of just one?

“Face of the company” can mean a lot of different things but the faces of WWE in the past three decades have been Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin and John Cena. That’s it. While Triple H was a proverbial main eventer, he was never “the guy.” Austin and Rock both reached that level - and near the same time - but that was during the Attitude Era. Cena took the reigns after them and no one has came close since.

I believe Daniel Bryan is over enough to take up that role but Roman Reigns seems first in line to get that chance in 2015.

From the Ask WNW vault...

May 2013: Who benefits more from a win in Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar at Extreme Rules? - As I stated on my Facebook account, Brock Lesnar has to go over at Extreme Rules. How could WWE book Lesnar going forward with three out of four of his matches being losses? I know wins and losses aren’t everything and they seem to mean even less nowadays, however, WWE is absolutely killing a major opportunity with Lesnar. Rather than booking him as the dominant monster from UFC, he’s racked up the losses. A loss here doesn’t hurt Triple H but it greatly damages Lesnar going forward.

I have been listening to you say for months that if John Cena can't beat Brock Lesnar after three tries, then who could beat him. Now that Daniel Bryan is back, you do a complete 180. Wouldn't a Daniel Bryan victory at Wrestlemania 31 make Cena look even weaker and make Brock being a beast pointless?

We’re told the decision has been made. Obviously that is subject to change but there is no reason for me to argue and campaign for a certain point of view when WWE officials have made up their minds.

My argument for Daniel Bryan over Brock Lesnar is that it’s a story of total redemption. The guy beat Triple H, Randy Orton and Batista in one night — got held down by injury — and came back and beat the unstoppable. That type of story is something I believe would get over huge and not devalue anyone or anything.

The reason I have been saying for months that if Cena can’t do it, who can is because Bryan has been out. How could I campaign for Bryan when it was unknown if he would ever wrestle again? Now we know his in-ring career is set to resume later this month.

However, the argument seems to have been resolved. Roman Reigns has been tabbed the “special one” and we’ll see how it plays out, barring a change of direction.

Do you think with Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan and Ryback being "FIRED" that they will be surprise entrants in the Rumble or be the first 3 in the Rumble?

I believe the story WWE will try to tell is The Authority will “force” Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan and Ryback against John Cena to “get their jobs back.” Perhaps they “weaken him” before his WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at Royal Rumble. I’m still having trouble reconciling just how bad and forced the final “fired” segment was on this week’s Raw.

Do you ever go to live events, whether it’s house shows, Raw , Smackdown or PPVs? If so, what have your experiences been like?

I don’t travel to shows often nowadays, however, I used to frequently attend shows by both WWE and TNA Wrestling. TNA was always very good to us, giving us backstage access and allowing us to interview talent at ringside. The reason I don’t attend many shows today is the impact of social media and the ability to accomplish more behind my desk than on the ground at a show. I still find Twitter amazing in that we can get live results and photos from a show across the world in real time as it happens. It truly is revolutionary and as a result, the world is a smaller and more connected place.

Why was Elimination Chamber not included in the 2015 WWE pay-per-view calendar?

WWE replaced Elimination Chamber with Fast Lane because there is only one world title and the title challenger at Wrestlemania is determined in the Royal Rumble match. When it was first learned that Fast Lane would replace Elimination Chamber, there was talk about pushing it back to later in the year. Now, it appears that WWE has dropped the pay-per-view entirely. As things currently stand, there will be 12 WWE pay-per-views this year, one each month. This is something I agree with as more than one show each month is overkill, especially with the evolution of NXT getting sporadic pay-per-views or special events throughout the year.

With the team of Gold and Stardust having no clear direction at the moment, is it time to start the dream feud we've all been waiting for?

No! No! No! WWE had their chance to do Goldust vs. Cody Rhodes and the directionless booking of the tag team is a case of them holding on too long. It’s unfathomable to me how Cody Rhodes always takes something above and beyond what it was originally slated to be, yet always ends up irrelevant. It’s like Damien Sandow. A guy that turns dreadful gimmicks into must-see TV, yet always somehow ends up an afterthought on WWE programming. I can’t explain it but can tell you that it’s frustrating.

On Wednesday, you posted about Stars that have blocked WNW on Twitter. Don’t you think this makes the website look bad?

I think it’s funny - that’s why I posted it. People like Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels and CM Punk — megastars that have traveled the world and made millions of dollars drawing reactions from fans — take a pro wrestling website so seriously they block their URL feed? Remember, the @WNWNews account is just that, a URL feed where we stream updates to the popular social media platform. It’s hard to imagine why they’d take such offense to anything we post/Tweet they would BLOCK it. It’s a case of needing to lighten up.

From the Ask WNW vault…

March 2013: What’s the deal with the recent booking of Dolph Ziggler? He looks really weak and one would think that WWE would push him to the top as he has the MITB contract? - The ultra weak booking of Dolph Ziggler is a complete mystery. Why put him over at Money in the Bank and give him the title shot only to job him out? It’s been nothing short of horrible. We heard the talk amongst producers backstage during last week’s Raw was why they put Ric Flair with The Miz and not Ziggler. I elaborated on this here in the WNW Premium Mailbag. The problem now is even if WWE “comes to their senses” and decides to push Ziggler, would anyone buy him as champion?

Do you see Roman Reigns as this year’s Batista if he wins the Royal Rumble and goes on to face Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship? And by Batista I of course mean causing the crowd to turn on the show and have disinterest in the title match at Wrestlemania?

As I explained on Wednesday, I believe the optimal story is one where Daniel Bryan wins the Royal Rumble and takes back the WWE World Heavyweight Championship from Brock Lesnar.

I will not back off that, however, we’re told Vince McMahon and Triple H are in agreement on Reigns winning the Royal Rumble. Based on materials WWE has already published, there is a plan for Reigns to face Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 31 and I would imagine that is for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

It looks like the decision has been made, so I believe fans should prepare for the inevitable and be surprised with a swerve. Roman Reigns winning the Royal Rumble and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania 31 is not the worst thing that could happen. In fact, I would have favored this scenario if Brock had been a “fighting champion” and Bryan had not been cleared to come back.

What happened with Batista last year was the “perfect storm” and the blame needs to rest solely on WWE officials. They let Batista’s return leak, they insisted on pushing him as a babyface, they kept Daniel Bryan out of the Royal Rumble. Batista was victimized by hot shot booking without a long-term plan.

Reigns has the potential to be a top guy for years to come. I believe Daniel Bryan is the safer bet but I’m not going to destroy any scenario where an up and coming worker gets the rub from Brock Lesnar (which of course is a big deal only because of The Undertaker, not because of a credible WWE World Heavyweight Championship reign).

Why did WWE not do everything they could to get Awesome Kong back?

WWE wasn’t interested in bringing Awesome Kong back, so she is back with TNA Wrestling. It’s a new day for Divas in WWE and the division is centered around the reality TV aspect of Total Divas. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, just don’t expect athletic pro wrestling matches with the female talent. That’s never been the case in WWE, with their males or females.

I agree with people like Vince Russo in that the mainstream fanbase couldn’t care less about whether or not someone can work but that doesn’t mean looks and storyline alone can save a gimmick. If so, a worker like The Great Khali would be one of the greatest world champions of all time. Hulk Hogan was more known for his look and charisma but he was adequate enough in the ring to carry a match.

I agree with your analysis that Daniel Bryan vs. Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship is the way to go. But if creative is set on having Lesnar take on Roman Reigns, how would you feel about a scenario where Seth Rollins, as champion, faces Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania?

This is going to surprise some people but I don’t think WWE should take the title off Brock Lesnar before Wrestlemania at this point. They had the chance to do it at Night of Champions and give Seth Rollins the rub and they didn’t take it. Now, I think we’re too close to the payoff that’s been in the works since The Undertaker’s streak was ended.

It will be interesting to see how WWE handles Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania but it’s a good situation to be in, considering both have so much potential as up and coming talent.

With The Ascension calling out past tag teams, could you see this being a great opportunity to bring back the Hardy Boys or the DudleyBoys (Team 3D)? Both are available very soon if not already and both linked with WWE again.

If there is a chance WWE brings back Bully Ray, they have to give him a singles run. To not would be to completely miss the boat. A lot of people have wondered what will happen with Paul Heyman when/if Brock Lesnar departs, could you imagine him bringing in Bully Ray? Don’t get your hopes up as that’s me going off on a tangent but if Bully Ray comes back to WWE, it has to be in singles. I can't stress that enough!

As for the Hardys, they’re with TNA Wrestling. While I fully expect Jeff to mull a return to WWE at some point, he’s under contract and TNA sees him as one of their top names on their Destination America reset. Knowing how he is viewed in TNA and the fact he’s under contract, there really isn’t much of a point in hypothetically booking him in WWE.

Regarding The Ascension, WWE better do something quick. It’s unfathomable (second time this week I’ve used this word) how WWE can take a very successful gimmick from NXT and give them what we’ve seen so far on main roster programming. It’s almost like they aren’t even trying! At one time, The Ascension as a faction was the hottest thing in NXT. While it’s not what it once was, WWE has not put them in a position to succeed.

From the Ask WNW vault…

May 2013: How much longer is Chris Jericho expected to stay with WWE? - Chris Jericho’s new deal with WWE is very flexible. It allows for the company to utilize him when he’s available. Jericho has said he sees himself being involved with the company as long as he still has something to offer. I can’t say enough about Jericho and his desire to put the business before himself. He’s a rarity in this business and there aren’t very many like him.

Is there any truth to the rumor about WWE changing Performer’s Contracts after what happened with CM Punk and Alberto Del Rio, stipulated that if a worker is fired due to disciplinary actions they can’t compete in wrestling or MMA for 1 year and give us all royalties?

I know where this report originated from, however, I cannot confirm or deny it. There is no doubt that both CM Punk and Alberto Del Rio stuck it to WWE regarding their clauses but most terminated talent do not have the means or financial resources to battle WWE in court. I would not be surprised if WWE inserted additional clauses to try and prevent what happened in each of these situations but a good lawyer should be able to find a way around it. CM Punk stated in the podcast with Colt Cabana that you can’t put a non-compete clause on an independent contractor agreement.

When will Sting return to WWE television?

Sting is expected back on WWE television on the Road to Wrestlemania 31. While I don’t have specific dates, the “road” officially begins with Royal Rumble on January 25, 2015, so I would expect him at any point after that before the show on March 29, 2015. Triple H has been name-dropping Sting like crazy lately and it sure seems like that’s the match we’re going to get, barring a change back to Sting vs. The Undertaker.

What are the latest details on the WWE Network in the United Kingdom and Ireland?

The WWE Network is expected to launch in the United Kingdom and Ireland on Monday, January 19, 2015. Vince McMahon said they would make launch this time and thanked fans for their support. In addition to the initial launch announcement, WWE followed with a press release that gave more details.

The WWE Network will launch as an over the top service in the UK and Ireland, meaning it will be available online and through connected devices. It is slightly more expensive as it will cost £9.99 per month in the United Kingdom, which equates out to $15.22 and €12.99 per month in Ireland, which equates out to $15.47.

With Seth Rollins added to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at Royal Rumble, do you see a stipulation added that Dolph Ziggler, Ryback and Erick Rowan “get their jobs back” if Cena wins?

I talked about this earlier this week in Ask WNW. It was there where I explained how I expected The Authority to “force” the “fired” workers to go against Cena to “get their jobs back.” Regardless, they’re expected to be part of the Royal Rumble pay-per-view in some capacity. To follow along with storylines, all three have been pulled from weekend live events.

My DVR botched and I missed the premiere of Impact Wrestling on Destination America. How can I watch a repeat?

There are no repeats scheduled for this week, however, a new series titled TNA Wrestling’s Greatest Matches premieres on Saturday at 10 AM. Episodes will also air at 11 AM and Noon (all times Eastern Standard). Then, in one week, there will be TNA Wrestling’s Greatest Matches on Friday at 9 AM and 10 AM before Impact in its new Friday night timeslot at 9 PM ET on Friday, January 16, 2015. If you miss it then, on Saturday mornings at 10 AM, you’ll be able to watch Impact Wrestling: Unlocked.

We have an updated schedule for you at this link.

Related Articles