What Caused Evan Bourne's Second Wellness Violation; Will He Be Fired?, The Rock On Raw Supershow, Top WWE Star & Former World Heavyweight Champ Furious Over Their Position In The Company; Threatening To Leave, Ted DiBiase Has A Broken Wrist, Mr. Anderson

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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 21, 2012 to Friday, January 27, 2012 as well as all five Ask WNW segments from the week. Use this newsletter as your own personal tool to catch up on any of the news that you may have missed during the week. Below is a table of contents:

Note From Richard: For those that have asked, the Newsletter is organized with the news posted on Saturday at the top with the most recent stories at the bottom. We have it organized this way so you can read the news in the order in which it happened. Thanks for your support!

Table Of Contents
- WWE News
- TNA Impact Wrestling News
- Ask WNW

WWE News

- Jesse Neal and Christina Von Eerie (formerly known as Toxxin) were at Thursday's Florida Championship Wrestling tapings in Tampa.

- WWE posted a new video with World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan on their official website after last night's Smackdown. You can watch it at this link. (Thanks to WNW reader Patrick Peralta for sending the link.)

- The Toronto Sun has a new article online featuring quotes from Tyson Kidd. “I know it might come across as arrogance. I’m sorry, but I know I can outperform a lot of people,” Kidd told the publication. “And when the (door opens), I’m going to kick it in.” Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- WWE Studios has secured the rights to BERMUDA a found footage horror spec script by Bobby Lee Darby and Nathan Brookes.

Below is the official press release:

STAMFORD, Conn., Jan 20, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- WWE Studios announced today it has secured the rights to BERMUDA, a found footage horror spec script by Bobby Lee Darby and Nathan Brookes. WWE Studios beat out a number of bidders for the film. Set in the Bermuda Triangle, the story focuses on a documentary film crew that goes missing and the only trace of their disappearance comes when their film footage, chronicling their final terrifying days, is found.

"The Bermuda Triangle has always been an intriguing and mysterious setting," said WWE Studios President Michael Luisi. "Bobby and Nathan's script puts a very unique spin on the found footage genre," added Luisi.

Darby and Brookes previously penned SLAUGHTER, an homage to the Japanese cult horror genre which won the Horror Screenplay Competition at Slamdance in 2007.

Darby and Brookes are repped by Chris Sablan at Original Artists and Jonathan Hung at Hung Entertainment. Bradley Buchanan, VP of Business and Legal Affairs, and Richard Lowell, Senior Director of Development, negotiated on behalf of WWE Studios.

Click here to view the release in its original format.

- Tickets for WWE's March 24th live event in San Juan, Puerto Rico are now on sale. Click here to purchase tickets. (Thanks to WNW reader Robert Garcia for sending this in.)

- Shawn Michaels won a Golden Moose Award Thursday night in Las Vegas, Nevada. His show, Shawn Michaels' MacMillan River Adventures, won Best Conservation. You can view photos of Shawn at the awards at this link. (Thanks to WNW reader Anne Licuz for sending this in.)

- Kofi Kingston tagged with Mason Ryan at last night's WWE live event in Winnipeg.

- Ted DiBiase may have been injured at last night's WWE live event in Winnipeg. Various live reports indicate the referee threw up the "X" signal after his match against WWE Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes.

The "X" signal is the universal sign used by referees to indicate a legitimate injury has occurred. However, the signal has been used in the past to sell storyline "injuries." The injury appeared to be to DiBiase's arm.

It's been a rough week for Ted as he worked through food poisoning at Tuesday's Smackdown taping in Las Vegas after eating a bad lobster sandwich. DiBiase noted on Twitter on Thursday he was feeling better but dealing with a sore back. Here's his Tweet:

- The following is from the official Twitter account of Jim Ross:

We're certainly glad to hear JR is OK.

- Chris Jericho is joining Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones and retired Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Derrick Brooks to launch D1 Sports Training and Therapy Center in Tampa, Florida.

Jericho is quoted on the facility's official blog:

"It's such an exciting honor to be part of D1 Tampa! After training around the world at an advanced level for over 25 years, I can honestly say this is the finest fitness facility that I have ever been a part of. I'm so stoked to see the city of Tampa become a more physically fit community as a result of D1 and I plan to train here as much as possible!"

Click here for more information.

- MyDesert.com has new details on the upcoming WWE Network original series, WWE Legend's House.

The show will be shot in Rancho Mirage, California at Tamarisk Country Club. Rumored cast members include Gene Okerlund, Dusty Rhodes, Roddy Piper and The Iron Sheik.

The show, which will feature eight former WWE stars living together, will begin shooting in February.

- Ted DiBiase was pulled from last night's WWE live event in Fargo, North Dakota. DiBiase was injured on Friday night and while his condition is unknown, Cody Rhodes claimed in a promo last night he broke DiBiase's hand.

While DiBiase hasn't commented on the injury, he Tweeted the following:

The verse reads, Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds

- Dave Batista's "House of the Rising Sun" will premiere on Cinemax on Saturday, February 4, 2012.

- Scott Fishman of The Miami Herald has a new article online featuring quotes from MVP. In it, he talks about his friendship with John Cena and how it "irks" him when he hears people talk about Cena in a negative way. MVP admits WWE has shoved Cena down people's throats. He also talks about Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton and more. Below is an excerpt:

“It irks me when I hear people talk about John Cena in a negative way. John Cena draws so much ire from people because WWE has literally shoved him down people’s throats as the All American good guy babyface. People get sick of it. Whether you like him or not, you can’t deny John is an amazing entertainer. I think some of that shallow dislike and hatred for him goes into people who say as a rapper he sucks, which he doesn’t.

“The guy is exceptionally good. His freestyle abilities are better than most. For the people who say that he sucks, he could probably beat your favorite rapper in a freestyle competition. We sat in my studio in my house listening to a few beats and wrote a few things. They were really good. The one that I liked the most was something we worked on called ‘Urban Desperado.’ We were both very pleased with what we came up with, and I had the idea that I wanted to have R-Truth on it as well.

“At the time I was with WWE, my idea was the three guys who actually perform their own entrance music to all work on the track and for it to be released by the company. I thought it could have been a big hit, but I ended up leaving before that could come to fruition. I still have it in the vault. It’s possible it could surface.

“I talked to John when WWE came to Tokyo. I was there. We stayed in the same hotel and hung out. I told him I was working on some stuff and asked if he wanted to get together to record some new stuff. He said, ‘Give me 16 bars, and I got you.’ So who knows? John Cena may make an appearance on this EP/mixtape I’m going to put out.”

“My story from the way I grew up and everything I’ve been through, my journey to WWE and post-WWE, my time in Japan and some of these other projects I’m undertaking. There is so much to write about it. We’ll see what happens. I do intend to put out a book, but not as soon as I said I initially would.”

“There are some new guys there that show some promise,” MVP said. “I’ve never had the opportunity to work with Daniel Bryan, who is one of my favorites. On the indies I loved the American Dragon. I thought he was an incredible talent. Randy Orton and I almost had a feud when I came over to Raw, and for whatever reason, they put the brakes on it. I’d like to work a program with Randy. The one match Randy and I had was awesome. We just went out there and worked. He praised me afterward.

“Some people say Randy can be a hard guy to get along with. I get along great with Randy. The one time we actually got to work on Monday Night Raw, we had a great match, and I had an awesome time. I can’t forget CM Punk, my boy from FIP [Full Impact Pro Wrestling]. He is at the top of his game now. We had the opportunity to work once on the indies, and we had one match in [WWE’s] ECW. I would love to work a program with him. That would be great. If I did come back, I think I would want to be exclusive to SmackDown. I think I would want to go back there and help that brand and some of the younger guys.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- Jim Ross has posted more details from the car accident he was involved in yesterday on his official Twitter account. You can view his Tweet below:

- Randy Orton returned at tonight's WWE live event in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Orton took out Wade Barrett which resulted in WWE Tag Team Champions Epico & Primo, JTG, Santino Marella and Kofi Kingston coming out. A brawl ensued with everyone getting an RKO except for Barrett and Santino. Orton is scheduled to return to television at Tuesday night's Smackdown taping and is also expected to be in next Sunday's 30-man Royal Rumble Match.

-Former Nexus member Skip Sheffield has changed his Twitter handle to Ryback22, and has been performing under the name Ryback in dark matches. He has previously used the name Ryback in WWE's developmental system, which had him adopting a Terminator-esque character. Thanks to Wrestling News World reader Mohammad Abulawi for sending this in.

- Wrestling News World reader Dave L sent in an in-depth article from The Riverfront Times on WWE Hall of Famer Harley Race and his wrestling academy. Click here to read it.

- William Regal, who trained Daniel Bryan, is now lobbying for a chance to be the first English World Champion in WWE. Some tweets he posted from his Twitter account are compiled below:

I still want to be the first English World Champion.I would like @WWEDanielBryan to grant me a title shot. @WWE pay attention.

It seems as though a lot of people think the same.One thing though,I don't deserve a title shot,but I want one.

And for the divs who feel the need to bring up my past problems,I am what I am and don't regret anything.It's what makes me me.

I can also entertain like no one else.And I make all my own dresses.

Some people think I'm not up to it.People have been counting me out for years but I can still Wrestle as good as ANYONE in the world.

- WWE issued the following press release today:

MOSCOW, Jan 23, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- WWE today announced the launch of its new Russian language website ( www.ru.wwe.com ). The site, which was developed by Russian-based Tvigle Media, will replicate content from the global WWE website (wwe.com) and also include localised content created specifically for Russian fans.

"WWE continues to expand its digital business globally and views Russia as a key strategic territory for organic growth," stated Dominic Hayes, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, WWE International. "Tvigle.ru is a major internet portal whose strong presence online in Russia makes them a great partner for this digital expansion. The site will provide fans with a range of dynamic content including editorial features and video, as well as social networking capabilities."

"This new exclusive partnership with WWE is a fantastic opportunity for Tvigle Media to bring online content from one of the world's most popular sports entertainment brands into the Russian digital space," stated Egor Yakovlev, CEO of Tvigle Media.

Following the premiere of WWE Raw on 2x2 in February 2011, the launch of a Russian language website further enhances WWE's presence in this market. Tvigle's existing media partners include Fox International, Disney CIS and Cyber Group Animation, as well as such global consumer brands as Procter&Gamble, Mars and Unilever.

Click here to read the original post.

- The following came across the wires today:

PHOENIX, Jan 23, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Today, the Make-A-Wish Foundation honored WWE Superstar John Cena and WWE for their contributions to wish kids by dedicating a WWE-themed conference room in the charity's global headquarters.

John Cena is on pace to grant 300 wishes to kids with life-threatening medical conditions, making him the first celebrity wish granter ever to reach that lofty goal. In 2009, John Cena received the Foundation's "Chris Greicius Award" for his outstanding efforts on behalf of wish kids.

Recently, John Cena teamed up with Post Foods to prominently display the Make-A-Wish Foundation alongside his image on newly designed boxes of Post Fruity Pebbles Cereal, which are available nationwide through March.

WWE and WWE Superstars have been granting wishes with the Make-A-Wish Foundation for more than 30 years and have donated a significant amount of funds to help cover costs associated with many of those wishes. In addition to John Cena, WWE and its talent have received the "Chris Greicius Award" award four additional times.

"WWE wishes have been popular since early in the Foundation's history and we are proud to count the WWE and its Superstars as longtime supporters," said David Williams, President and Chief Executive Officer for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America. "John Cena's commitment to our mission and his connection with our wish kids make him one of our best wish ambassadors. We are grateful for everything John and WWE have done, and we look forward to them granting many more wishes in the future."

John Cena continues to be one of the most frequently requested celebrity wishes. Tonight, John Cena is scheduled to grant two wishes at WWE Monday Night Raw(R) at US Airways Center in Phoenix, AZ.

- I'm told Evan Bourne's second WWE Wellness Policy violation that carries a 60-day suspension was in fact for smoking synthetic cannabis. Sources close to Bourne say he had basically decided he didn't care and had soured to the point where he was almost hoping to get fired to pursue other opportunities. This led to the damning accusation that made rounds last week that Bourne was actually "trying to get fired" from WWE. My source tells me the backstage heat he had over ratting outR-Truth on top of getting popped for smoking Spice the first time had led him to the point where he stopped worrying about the Wellness Policy and kept smoking the banned substance. However, my source notes that Bourne had a "change of heart" after recent meetings with WWE management where it was made clear while he was in the dog house, the company still had a plan for him and his problems could ultimately be "smoothed over." Bourne became a little more optimistic about his future, however, knew he was still running the risk of failing another Wellness Test. Sure enough, he was tested again and failed a second time. This caused him to be suspended for 60-days and many believe he'll end up a victim of the company's annual roster cuts.

- Rey Mysterio has posted a video onto YouTube to provide an update on his injury and his return timetable. He is now able to run against currents in water and expects to be able to jog on a treadmill in the next week. In addition, if all goes well, he plans to make it back to the ring by WrestleMania XXVIII in Miami. The video is embedded below:

- The Miz will be the number one entrant to the 30-man Royal Rumble match at Sunday's Royal Rumble pay-per-view from St. Louis, Missouri. The Miz got the slot by losing a match on tonight's Raw Supershow to R-Truth.

- Mick Foley will be in the 30-man Royal Rumble match as well as Chris Jericho. Every wrestler, despite whether or not they are on the Royal Rumble card, are eligible for the 30-man Rumble match.

- The Rock is advertised for the March 12, 2012 edition of WWE Raw Supershow from the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. The appearance will be Rock's first time in Cleveland in over nine years. Click here for local event information.

- Linda McMahon's opponent Christopher Shays, who is challenging her for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination to replace retiring Connecticut senator Joe Lieberman, accused WWE of peddling "soft-core porn" and said the organization in which McMahon worked for promoted bullying.

WWE spokesman Robert Zimmerman refuted Shays' claims, pointing towards WWE's PG programming, their Be-A-Star anti-bullying campaign and the hypocritical fact that Shays actually supported the company's SmackDown Your Vote campaign.

Click here for coverage by CTPost.com.

Click here for coverage by The Associated Press.

- Mark Henry is very unhappy in WWE right now and was vehemently opposed to dropping the World Heavyweight Championship because of injury. I'm told while Henry has been assured he's slated for a big babyface push soon, he's "completely against it" and has talked of retiring when his contract expires. As one source put it bluntly, "WWE has a pretty grumpy World's Strongest Man on their hands." Henry feels his hard work helped re-establish Smackdown in the ratings and the show should have continued to be built around his heel push under the "hall of pain" gimmick. One source with knowledge of Henry's mindset tells me under the condition of anonymity that he feels like WWE cut the legs out from under him way too soon. He hasn't remained silent either, making his discontent very well known. Remember Henry said prior to his main event push in March 2011 he was in the final 18 months of his career.

- Ted DiBiase suffered a wrist injury at Friday night's WWE live event in Winnipeg. The injury caused him to be pulled from action for the rest of the weekend although he appeared at Sunday's WWE live event in Las Cruces, New Mexico to introduce a returning Randy Orton. DiBiase is at tonight's Smackdown taping from the Tucson Convention Center in Tucson, Arizona. His wrist is isolated in a brace.

- R-Truth is the latest WWE Superstar to tease getting new entrance music on his Twitter account. In addition to replying to a fan with "It's Time To Get Buck!", a nod to his short-lived Right Time theme, Truth posted the following:

As we previously reported, Wade Barrett & Ted DiBiase have also teased new themes on Twitter.

- As the storyline goes, WWE claims Zack Ryder suffered "a herniated disc" after being chokeslammed by Kane on last night's Raw Supershow. The official WWE website notes that Jerry Lawler's claim that Ryder sustained a "broken back" was a result of working off "unconfirmed reports." WWE.com goes on to note Ryder "remains hospitalized." In reality, Ryder is not injured but this is all part of a storyline also involving John Cena and Eve. You can read the kayfabe update at this link.

- Randy Orton beat Wade Barrett in a dark main event street fight after the conclusion of last night's Smackdown taping from the Tucson Convention Center in Tucson, Arizona. The only noteworthy thing of the match was that Barrett came out to different music. Orton ended up hitting the RKO on Barrett in the ring to get the win.

- The following is from the official Twitter account of Kevin Nash:

- WWE has announced a May 4th live event from the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

- The following press release hit the wire today:

STAMFORD, Conn., Jan 25, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- WWE(R), an integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment, today announced the launch of WWE Digital Properties. The new venture enables brands to deliver targeted digital advertising across WWE.com and category leading partner brands including Maxim, Major League Gaming (MLG), Professional Bull Riding (PBR) and more.

WWE Digital Properties will offer advertisers high-impact, custom online and offline campaign solutions through its contextually relevant portfolio of partners. As a result, brands can reach over 18 million unique visitors worldwide each month, particularly the sought-after Male 18-34 demographic. WWE Digital Properties' platform offers its new business partners the ability to leverage WWE's digital business in securing increased and more relevant advertising.

"WWE has a proven track record of providing targeted reach, high-impact engagement, and customizable solutions that deliver results for Fortune 500 brands," said Andrew Judelson, Executive Vice President, Sales & Partnership Marketing, WWE. "With the launch of WWE Digital Properties, WWE can now offer advertisers even greater reach than before and its new partners greater success in the digital space."

"Brands and agencies are constantly chasing the elusive, young male audience and finding it challenging to reach them in an authentic, targeted way," said John Lane, Major League Gaming, Executive Vice President, Global Sales and Partnerships. "With our robust, engaged community of young men, Major League Gaming and WWE Digital Properties have formed a strategic alliance enabling properties to easily reach the influential demo. We look forward to working with the WWE team to present marketers with focused opportunities in the coming year."

Additional strategic partners are expected to be added to the new WWE Digital Properties platform in the coming year.

- The following is from the official Twitter account of Ted DiBiase:

The injury occurred Friday night in a match against Cody Rhodes at a WWE live event in Winnipeg.

- Former WWE star Tommy Dreamer has a new editorial on The Kingston Whig Standard where he pays tribute to his friend and upcoming WWE Hall of Fame inductee Edge. Below is an excerpt:

The neck injury was just one of many he [Edge] sustained in his illustrious career.

I was with him when he tore his pectoral muscle. I was also with him when he tore his achillies tendon. I could see how beat up he was after matches. Watching him in the ring, you couldn’t tell, but he walked like a 90-year-old with crippling arthritis after.

I would help him carry his luggage to rooms because he had little to no strength in his arms, yet night after night, he continued to go into the ring and do what he most loved doing since he was a kid.

I am very proud to see him being inducted in WWE Hall of Fame this year, but even more proud to call him my friend.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- Michelle McCool has posted a new "birthday vlog" on her official YouTube channel. In it, she updates her fans but says she doesn't plan on coming back to WWE any time soon. You can watch her latest embedded below:

- The USA Network has updated their schedule through March 2012 and as of this writing, show no three-hour editions of Raw Supershow (building towards Wrestlemania XXVIII) or no same-day 2012 WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony coverage. The network may be doing what they did last year by airing Hall of Fame induction ceremony coverage after Wrestlemania XXVIII.

- RadarOnline.com has a new article online featuring quotes from Tommy Dreamer. In the piece, Dreamer says he saved CM Punk's job in WWE... twice. Below is an excerpt:

“He [CM Punk] had little-to-no chance of ever making it in the WWE -- he wasn't their type of guy,”

“I saved his job two times when he was about to be let go -- I was saying, ‘Ya gotta keep this kid, ya gotta keep this kid,’” said Dreamer,

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- As I reported last week on Richard's Backstage Blog, WWE is targeting next month for Alberto Del Rio's return. Some have speculated he could be a surprise entrant in the 30-man Royal Rumble match but apparently that isn't likely.

Del Rio, who is currently recovering from a legitimate torn groin injury, won last year's 40-man Royal Rumble match. Below is a kayfabe Tweet from Del Rio's on-screen ring announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez:

- After Vince McMahonnixed the possibility of CM Punk accompanying UFC star Chael Sonnen to the cage this weekend, Sonnen responded to MMAFighting.com. The segment about CM Punk begins about 5 and a half minutes in, embedded below:

- Amid criticisms of problematic online features, the makers of the WWE '12 video game have released a patch and a free download of Masked Kane for the first two weeks it is available. The following was posted on their official website:

Hello WWE Games Universe,

I wanted to first start off by thanking you for your purchase of WWE ’12, and I hope you’ve been having as much fun playing the game as our team had making the game. Your passion and devotion to WWE games pushes us each and every day to make the best games possible. These are not just games we want to make but games you want us to make: they are The People’s Games. Please continue to voice your feedback, and we’ll continue listening to you each and every year.

I also want to apologize on behalf of our THQ team for the early technical problems experienced with our popular Online Community Creations feature. The transition to a new server can sometimes generate unforeseen issues, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused anyone. We truly appreciate your patience and support! As a token of our appreciation, we’ve included a free Superstar in our upcoming Legends & Superstars DLC Pack release to thank you for your patience. The free Superstar is a retro masked Kane from the Attitude Era. With the recent debut of the new masked Kane, we felt it would be fitting to include some Kane nostalgia for your enjoyment. This special addition to the DLC pack will be available free of charge for the first two weeks of release. Although we would love to include the latest masked Kane, the date of his debut and our model creation timelines made it impossible to include him in this pack. Please enjoy the latest addition to your roster, courtesy of THQ, and make sure Attitude Era Kane gives the rest of your roster hell!

Last but certainly not least, in addition to the launch of our Legends & Superstars DLC Pack on January 31, we are also deploying a new patch on January 30 that will address a number of issues and improve your overall gaming experience. We’ve included a high level list of the patch notes below so you can see what’s coming soon. For folks who are in Europe and play on the PS3, your DLC release date will be February 1. This falls in line with the normal PS3 territorial DLC release schedule.

Thanks again for all of your support!

Cory Ledesma

Creative Director, WWE Games

- Wrestling News World reader Brad Sheppard sent in the following:

CM Punk recently took part in a lengthy interview with MMAFighting.com, in which he discusses why plans for him to accompany UFC star Chael Sonnen to the ring fell through, his friendship with Sonnen, his feelings on the world of MMA, and more. The full interview is embedded below:

- Dolph Ziggler was recently interviewed by BetweenTheRopes.com and discussed his "Show Off" persona, his plans for the Royal Rumble, his favorite era of wrestling, and more. The interview is embedded below:

- Wrestling News World reader Mike Heath sent in the following video of The Miz being recently appeared on Sky Sports, in which he answered questions such as his dream match. Click here to view the full video interview.

- TMZ posted an article on David Otunga returning to the courtroom earlier this week to represent a man who felt he was wrongfully terminated and denied unemployment benefits. Otunga, who graduated from Harvard Law School, won the case for his client, and took the case pro bono. After winning, Otunga was quoted as saying:

"If the outcome of the case is any indication of how I'll do in the Royal Rumble this weekend, then it looks like I'll be the winner."

Click here to read the full article.

- The Evansville Courier & Press has a new article online promoting tomorrow night's WWE live event with comments from Dolph Ziggler. Below is an excerpt:

"It's been a slow, gradual build that they've started to realize I'm one of their go-to guys," he said. "I'm going to continue to build on that and be their absolute go-to guy. I want this championship, and I want to hang on to it for a very long time."

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- Mark Henry was injured at this week's Smackdown taping in Tucson, Arizona. Henry hurt his knee after throwing a punch without his foot firmly planted on the canvas, causing his leg to bend awkwardly and apparently hyperextending his knee. The finish of the match was changed on the fly, with Henry rolling out of the ring and being counted out off camera. The show ends with World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan getting in the ring and going after Big Show. I haven't heard what Henry's status is for Royal Rumble but it should be noted he's been working over the last month with a groin injury.

- I heard there was talk of "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan possibly being used as a surprise entrant in the 30-man Royal Rumble match. While I can't confirm he'll be used, he canceled a scheduled indy date he had for Sunday.

- Justin Roberts posted a photo on Twitter as a kid with Shawn Michaels then again as a WWE ring announcer. You can view it at this link.

- WWE has a new article on their official website where they are calling for the original Smackdown set featuring the first to return to the show. While I don't know the purpose of these types of articles, you can read it at this link.

- Mick Foley's appearance as Mankind on "30 Rock" aired last night.

TNA Impact Wrestling News

- Jeff Hardy was injured at last night's TNA live event from Worcester, Massachusetts. The injury appeared to be to his backside and caused his match against Christopher Daniels to go to a quick finish.

As of this writing Hardy hasn't addressed the injury but posted the following on Twitter:

- Mr. Anderson returned to TNA Impact Wrestling after a two month hiatus at last night's live event in Worcester, Massachusetts. Anderson's hair was darker as he tagged with Rob Van Dam. You can watch fan footage of his return embedded in the video below:

Anderson had been out for a "character makeover" and was said to not be injured.

- Hulk Hogan was at Speaking Rock Casino and Entertainment Center in El Paso, Texas on Thursday night at the Micro Championship Wrestling show held at the venue. The El Paso Times has an article on Hogan's attendance at this link.

- Whatever was bothering Jeff Hardy after his TNA live event match against Christopher Daniels on Friday night does not appear to be serious. Hardy competed last night Plymouth, Massachusetts in a main event match against Daniels.

- Kid Kash suffered what is believed to be a broken nose in a triple-threat X Division match also involving Jesse Sorenson and Shannon Moore at last night's TNA live event in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Kash bled heavily throughout the bout after getting stiffed in the face. Moore ended up winning the match.

- TNA Impact Wrestling issued the following press release today for their upcoming Lockdown pay-per-view in Nashville, Tennessee. Tickets are on sale Friday, however, Dixie Carter stated on her social networking accounts she will be releasing a pre-sale code. When she does, we'll post it. Below is the full release:

Total Nonstop Action (TNA) Wrestling has announced Nashville will be home for “Lockdown 2012” presented by Direct Auto Insurance. The annual live, all steel cage pay-per-view extravaganza is scheduled for Sunday night, April 15, at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium. This will be TNA Wrestling’s first televised event from Nashville since 2007. Tickets for “Lockdown 2012” start at $15 and go on sale Friday, January 27 at all Ticketmaster outlets or ticketmaster.com.

“Lockdown 2012” is promised to be the most brutal pay-per-view event of the year featuring every match contested inside a 15-foot reinforced steel cage, making it the only all-steel cage Pay-Per-View event in professional wrestling. The TNA World Heavyweight Championship will be on the line and two teams will compete in a “Lethal Lockdown” match for an unforgettable night of action. TNA Wrestling began in Nashville in the summer of 2002 and this June marks the tenth year anniversary. Fans can celebrate 10 years of body-slams with TNA’s weekly flagship show, IMPACT WRESTLING airing every Thursday night on Spike.

The reigning TNA World Heavyweight Champion, Bobby Roode, leads the invasion of IMPACT WRESTLING stars including Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair along with Tennessee native “Cowboy” James Storm, Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle, “The Charismatic Enigma” Jeff Hardy, “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles, Rob Van Dam, the lovely and lethal Knockouts and more.

“TNA Entertainment couldn’t be more pleased to announce one of our most exciting events of the year “Lockdown” will be live from Nashville on April 15th. To be able to offer the fans of our hometown such a powerful night of explosive action is thrilling,” said TNA President Dixie Carter. “We are going to celebrate 10 years in Nashville with one of our biggest pay-per-view events to date.”

“As the presenting sponsor for ‘Lockdown 2012,’ we’re thrilled about the return of TNA to the Nashville market,” stated Direct Auto Insurance Senior Vice President of Marketing Peter Tahinos. “Our corporate headquarters is located here in Nashville as are many long standing Direct Auto customers who are also loyal wrestling fans.”

Tickets for “TNA Lockdown 2012” go on sale Friday, January 27 at 10am, at all TicketMaster locations, www.TicketMaster.com, the Nashville Municipal Auditorium box office or charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000

"TNA Lockdown Fan InterAction” will be taking place on Saturday, April 14th with details to be announced soon. “Fan InterAction” is a popular fan friendly event giving fans a chance to meet many of the stars of TNA IMPACT WRESTING.

TNA will also be offering a limited number of travel packages that will include lodging and tickets to Lockdown. Full details of the travel package offers are available at www.shoptna.com

- The Void out of the United Kingdom has a new interview online with Mr. Anderson. In it, he discusses on what led to his WWE departure, his thoughts on CM Punk and what he thinks about John Cena and Randy Orton. Below is an excerpt:

So you haven’t seen any of the CM Punk stuff?
That I have seen, and there’s a case of letting a guy be himself and do his own thing, and he either sinks or swims of his own accord. I’m an old-school guy; if someone has an idea let them try it – if it works, great; if it doesn’t work, then you take them off TV. But you know, at that level, everyone’s good enough that they’re not going to go out there and just be awful. But you’re not really allowed to do that at WWE.

Over there, you have somebody literally sitting there telling you ‘Okay, you’re going to lock up with this guy, then you’re going to back him into the corner, you’re going to throw a punch, he’s gonna duck it, he’s gonna light you up and send you off, you reverse him but he’ll ditch you with a hip toss…’. Here it’s like, ‘Here you go guys, now go put your match together’, and then they will enhance it or add to it or say ‘Maybe you should do this instead?’ And that’s the difference and it’s very beneficial to the performer to work in an environment like that.

At TNA everyone is treated like an adult. You’re not an idiot, and you can think for yourself. At WWE, only certain guys are treated like that. Punk is one of them, Truth is another guy who seems to only be given bullet points as far as his promos go, and in my opinion, those guys are doing tremendous work.

You can tell when the other guys are reading it off a script, because they’re not actors. They’re trying to play actors and what’s on that paper is not necessarily what’s in their heart, and it comes across as hokey, phony, pre-planned BS.

Do you class John Cena under that category?
I’m not a huge fan.

Why not?
Besides some personal burials that have taken place… I’m just not a huge fan.

It sounds like the backstage politics are tough to negotiate.
It’s insane. If you do something wrong, no one will tell you you did something wrong. They’ll smile to your face and say everything’s fine, but… I’m an adult, if I did something wrong, come to me and tell me I did something wrong or am doing something wrong and I will work to change that, but I’m not a mind reader! But over there, it’s just a huge game and you’re constantly being mind-f---ed.

One of the things that the fans believe you had to go through is Randy Orton being responsible for you leaving WWE.
(Sighs) I’ve never said that, I don’t know where it started, it’s the telephone game at its finest. He definitely was the final straw, but by no means did I say he was the reason for me getting fired. I’ve said it time and time again, I was to blame for me being fired. I made the mistakes, I did the things I shouldn’t have done, I said things I shouldn’t have said. And that’s it.

I was injured a few times at the hands of others and rather than come back and bury those individuals and point fingers and say ‘He hurt me in a match,’ I just came back and said ‘You know what? This is wrestling, it’s not ballet, I got hurt. Period’. Meanwhile, when I was off rehabbing, people were saying I’m injury-prone.

If I take a sledgehammer to your knee, that doesn’t make you injury-prone. If I smash you in the face with a baseball bat, that doesn’t make you injury-prone. I just happened to be in a couple of situations like that, and wasn’t around to defend myself when those burials were taking place. And then – on top of that – I said the things that I said and I did the things that I did, and the final straw was when I supposedly dropped Randy on his head, and I think at that point Vince just said ‘I’ve had enough of it’.

There were certain guys, and there were three or four of them, that were lobbying for a long time [to get rid of me] and he finally gave into it and said enough’s enough.

Click here to read the interview in its entirety.

- Embedded in the video below is a preview of the JAKKS Deluxe Impact Series 6 Action Figures with Kurt Angle, Kazarian, Madison Rayne, Sting and Terry Taylor:

- Wrestling News World reader Dave L sent this in... According to IMDB, Kurt Angle and Bruno Sammartino will both be in a movie called "Drummer for the Mob". Kurt will be playing the role of an "FBI agent" and Bruno will be playing a character called "Passano". The movie is set to be released in November 2012.

- Tickets for TNA Lockdown go on sale Friday. For information on tickets as well as Lockdown Fanfest tickets, click here.

- Hulk Hogan recently appeared on London Tonight to promote his upcoming appearance at the Wembley Arena, where it is being advertised as his first match in London in 18 years. The interview is embedded below:

In addition, Hogan discussed his appearance and more at this link.

- Officials within TNA Impact Wrestling were less than thrilled to hear Hulk Hogan had gone public with the claim he was shaving his head and mustache for upcoming movie auditions. The word out of the TNA office is that it was taken as sign that non-TNA activities are "more important" to Hogan as his iconic "Hogan-look" is pretty much all he can offer the company at this point since he can't really work a match. Some were actually hoping to be able to talk Hogan out of the decision to shave off his hair. Given the fact he's currently overseas with TNA, it may not be too late.

- Wrestling News World reader Dave L sent in the following:

Hulk Hogan recently spoke with The Sun and discussed a myriad of topics, such as his familiarity with rock and roll, and all of the metal in his body as a result of his many injuries. The interview is embedded below:

- Wrestling News World reader Fernando sent in an interesting interview from Sports Vibe with a professional dart player who draws a lot of parallels between his career and WWE. Click here to read the full interview.

- Hulk Hogan recently sat down with talkSPORT in the United Kingdom and discussed the current crop of TNA talent and much more. When asked to rate TNA wrestlers of his choice, Hogan responded:

"We've got a kid that's been around for a while named A.J. Styles, which is on fire. They call him the Phenomenal One. He's got a brilliant future. We've got another kid, Jeff Hardy, that's already there. He's rocking and rolling. And my old partner, who I never dreamed would have so much gas in his tank, Sting. Sting's on fire. I have no idea when he's going to quit. He's lighting the whole world up again. We've got some really great guys.

When asked about his favorite competitor, Hogan responded:

"The favorite of all time has to be "Oh yeah!" the "Macho Man" Randy Savage. He has to be the greatest of all time, I loved working with him, he was a total pro, in and out of the ring. He was a little bit goofy, y'know, a little bit sketchy, a little jitterbug-like, you never knew what he was gonna do, but as far as making money and when it came time to be there in the ring - his timing, his instinct was impeccable in the ring. And he was the Macho Man 24 hours a day, so it was easy to draw money with him, so he was the greatest.

In addition, Hogan was asked if he thought there was anyone who hasn't been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame that should be, to which he responded:

Yes, once again, the "Macho Man" Randy Savage. He should be in there.

Click here to listen to the full interview.

- TNA Impact Wrestling issued the following press release today:

TNA IMPACT WRESTLING MADE HISTORY LAST NIGHT IN NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND AS HOGAN, STING AND ANGLE WRESTLE

TNA IMPACT WRESTLING 2013 TOUR TICKETS ON SALE MONDAY

Nottingham, England (Friday, January 27, 2012): Top-rated Challenge TV show TNA IMPACT WRESTLING’s tour stopped at the Capital FM Arena in Nottingham last night as fans got a once in a lifetime chance to see the “Immortal” Hulk Hogan, “The Icon” Sting and Olympic Gold Medallist Kurt Angle wrestle in the same ring.

The match saw Hogan, Sting and James Storm defeat Kurt Angle, Bully Ray and TNA World Heavyweight Champion Bobby Roode in the main event of the evening. Hogan and Sting’s appearance on the MAXIMUM IMPACT IV Tour features both men’s first in the UK in over a decade – with Sting’s last ever British match taking place at London’s Wembley Arena tomorrow night.

TNA IMPACT WRESTLING will be recorded at London’s Wembley Arena tomorrow night– the first time the company has ever filmed the programme outside of the USA.

The shows will then be broadcast on Challenge TV in the UK and Ireland, Spike TV in the US and in more than 100 countries around the world. TNA IMPACT WRESTLING airs every Sunday night on Challenge TV, which can be found on Sky channel 125, Freeview channel 46 and Virgin Media channel 139.

TNA IMPACT WRESTLING also announced yesterday the details of next year's 2013 Maximum Impact Tour of the United Kingdom. Presale tickets to go on sale Monday 30 January, 9.00am for 7 days.

Fans will get the chance to purchase tickets for TNA Impact Wrestling 2013 UK tour before anyone else. An allocation of tickets will be available from Monday at 9am and guaranteed at 2012 price for up to 7 days or until the allocation sells out. The remaining tickets will then be available to buy when the 2013 show card is confirmed in April / May and at 2013 prices.

TNA IMPACT WRESTLING 2013 UK stops:
January 23: Glasgow Braehead Arena
January 24: Nottingham Capital FM Arena
January 25: Manchester Arena
January 26: London Wembley Arena

To buy presale tickets, fans can visit: www.gigsandtours.com/tna2013

Tickets for TNA IMPACT WRESTLING UK Tour can be bought from www.gigsandtours.com / 0844 811 0051 or www.ticketmaster.co.uk / 0844 826 2826.

- Hulk Hogan has been all over the news in the United Kingdom promoting TNA Impact Wrestling's current tour. Wrestling News World writer Rick Craig sent word the Hulkster claimed in an interview with The UK Sun he was actually asked to join the band Metallica in their early days.

Hogan said," I used to be a session musician before I was a wrestler. I played bass guitar. I was big pals with Lars Ulrich and he asked me if I wanted to play bass with Metallica in their early days but it didn't work out."

Click here to read the full interview.

Ask WNW

Do you think WWE will ever make a physical Hall of Fame building like there are in most major sports?

While not finalized, there have been rumblings about WWE building a physical Hall of Fame. I'm unsure of the proposed location and other details but it's a likely a project that will be undertaken in the future. Right now a lot of resources are being allocated to launch the WWE Network so I don't see it as something that is imminent; however, it is something that I believe WWE officials find of interest.

I read somewhere there were plans for The Undertaker to return at Sunday's Royal Rumble pay-per-view. Is this true?

I haven't heard that and the return date for The Undertaker remains unknown. I can confirm he is in preliminary plans for Wrestlemania XXVIII with the talk of his opponent being Triple H. There's talk of using another WWE Legend in the match that I detail at this link.

In short can you explain to me what PIPA and SOPA are all about and why they pose a risk to this website?

The Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act are two pieces of legislation in the House and Senate respectively. The latest is that voting on the bills has been delayed until further evaluation can take place, however, I want to see both bills destroyed not delayed. They were created in order to stop online piracy but they go a step further and would allow the United States government to DNS block any website that linked to pirated content. What worries me is that WWE, who supports the bills, could claim that Wrestling News World infringed on their intellectual property (by covering shows, spoiling storylines, etc.) and lobby for a DNS block from the United States government. WWE, in essence, would be able to capture 100% of the Internet market by getting blocks to every publication they deemed existed on their intellectual property. While we are not currently in violation of any of these laws, both bills could change that. I feel the bills would have a dramatic effect on the Internet, shutting down many blogs, opinion-based websites, search engines, etc. Only the corporate giants would survive and there would be a tremendous bias in the information that would be available. I agree something should be done to stop online piracy but these bills are radical and were created by people that do not understand the Internet or how it functions.

I hear Ring of Honor and TNA Impact Wrestling are not well off financially. Do you think they could develop a working relationship that could compete with WWE?

This is 100% false as both Ring of Honor and TNA have significant financial backers in Sinclair Broadcasting and Panda Energy respectively. While neither promotion is even close to competing with WWE, they have multimillion dollar corporations funding them. Sinclair provides ROH with an opportunity they did not have when they were independently owned and what needs to happen now is continued growth and interest in the product. It's going to be very difficult if not impossible for a company to compete with McMahon, however, it's been done before.

When a WWE star is either fired or quits what happens to the money made from merchandise sales? Do they still receive it or does it go back into the company?

When a WWE star leaves the company they still get a percentage of money from the merchandise that is sold using their likeness. For example, Eric Bischoff still receives a check from WWE for sales of his "Controversy Creates Cash" book the company published when he was under WWE contract. There are several other workers, including those in TNA, that still get checks from WWE merchandise. This is also why when a worker is released their merchandise will go on clearance so the company is able to quickly eliminate it from their stock.

Do you see The Undertaker in better condition to compete at Wrestlemania XXVIII this year than he has been in years past?

The Undertaker has been like a fine wine, he's gotten better with age. If he does work Wrestlemania as expected I feel he will be ready to go and will put on a good match. Undertaker hasn't worked in a year as problems with his knees, shoulder and back prevents him from working full-time.

Why did WWE never explain who was behind the Anonymous Raw General Manager?

The Anonymous Raw General Manager gimmick was a huge waste of time. Vince McMahon stuck with it for so long because he liked the reaction Michael Cole was getting by reading the emails. There was a lot of talk when they brought Triple H back to TV as "COO" to "run Raw" about whether or not they should reveal someone behind the gimmick. The writing team went back and forth but ultimately decided to quietly drop the angle (by removing the laptop and platform) with John Laurinaitis taking over on an "interim basis." I heard they felt anyone revealed behind it would be a letdown and with the Laurinaitis gimmick ready to go, they moved forward.

Will WWE actually remove a main even talent if they were given three strikes under the WWE Wellness Policy?

There are plenty of conspiracy theories when one talks about the WWE Wellness Policy. The loophole, which I've explained before, is that if a worker has a prescription for something they test positive for (with some exceptions such as SOMAS) they are cleared of the positive test. Obviously the argument is, the main eventers have more money, and thus they have the ability to pay doctors to supply them with valid prescriptions. While not perfect, the Wellness Policy has been effective in significantly cleaning up the locker room.

I love John Laurinaitis' gimmick. It may be bland, but I think he's your textbook heel. How do you feel about his character, and his "Austin-McMahon" like feud with CM Punk?

You are 100% correct about John Laurinaitis being a bland heel as this is exactly what WWE is trying to accomplish with the gimmick. I've heard people call Laurinaitis resilient as despite not having the best of relationship with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, he's found a weekly role on television in addition to his responsibilities of running talent relations. While the full plans of the gimmick's future are not completely known the word is it will lead to something to do with the McMahon family.

Does The Miz have heat? He's been booked to look weak lately.

The Miz doesn't have any backstage heat as far as I know but they have booked him in a role that is building R-Truth back up as a babyface. I agree the booking has been questionable, especially after so much time and resources were spent on making him a top guy.

Does it seem like the Raw Supershow concept has blown up in Vince's face? The ratings have gone down and since the SmackDown superstars are being featured as well, some of the Raw superstars, namely Alex Riley as well as the Diva's division, haven't been featured as prominently?

There is certainly concern in the disturbing trend that has become more common than not of Raw Supershow losing audience as the show goes on. This was almost never the case as you could usually bank on the show growing its audience over its duration. However, to say the Raw Supershow concept has failed isn't accurate either. While the Raw Supershow rating hasn't been stellar, Smackdown's numbers have been very strong. One could easily attribute this boost to more Smackdown workers being featured on Raw thus carrying some of Monday's viewership to Friday nights. As for your concern about certain workers not being featured, Alex Riley is still getting on TV (albeit in more of an enhancement role) so that's not exactly an accurate statement either. Finally, and please excuse me for this, while I understand Riley is over and got a great initial reaction from fans I'm unsure of what the WWE audience sees in him. Being 100% honest and trying as hard as I can to act without bias, the guy could have an entire volume of botchamania dedicated to him.

What's the deal with Hornswoggle? Is he an actual wrestler or have an actual spot in WWE or is he only a TV gimmick like Teddy Long?

Hornswoggle is a performer in WWE under a Performer's Contract. While I'm not a fan of the over-the-top PG gimmick, midgets have had a very prominent part in pro wrestling's history. I have a lot of respect for Hornswoggle who is very good at his gimmick although it is not personally of interest to me.

Is it possible Batista will return to WWE and is there any hope of him being in Miami this year for Wrestlemania XXVIII?

I have maintained Batista will one day return to WWE to wrap up his career as a professional wrestler. He left the company to pursue other opportunities because his contract was up and he was unhappy with the product. Batista has been a vocal critic of WWE's PG initiative, has gone on record saying John Cena killed hardcore, edgy wrestling and he is no hurry to come back and work with The Miz. Batista has also said the current WWE product is "brutal." Despite all the negativity and brutally-honest comments, WWE would welcome him back. I believe it will come down to Dave's desire to return and the right opportunity being available. As for Wrestlemania this year, anything is possible, but any other return is going to take a backseat to The Rock. I can't imagine Batista wanting to do that, especially given his feelings for John Cena.

Why did WWE turn Daniel Bryan heel?

I talked about this in detail in yesterday's Premium Mailbag, but to summarize, Daniel Bryan was not booked like someone that WWE saw as a World Heavyweight Champion prior to "cashing in" his Money in the Bank briefcase at WWE TLC. We always talk about the "right opportunity" coming available and Mark Henry's legitimate injury provided the opportunity for Bryan to "cash in" at a time when there was flexibility in programming. It's clear Mark Henry didn't want his run as champion to end but Vince McMahon ultimately decided otherwise. After Bryan was crowned champion I expected him to immediately drop the belt. In this way, WWE would have gotten his title shot out of the way and eliminated the possibility of being "married" to the idea of Bryan challenging for the belt in a possible Wrestlemania XXVIII main event. However, in a turn of events, WWE decided to turn Daniel Bryan's character and rather than do another title switch and bury him, they began the character transition from babyface to heel. While I cannot tell you how long of a run Daniel Bryan will have as a top guy, as his title reign could end Sunday, but the turn has allowed him a much bigger opportunity than I initially thought he was going to get.

Comparably speaking, wrestling crowds today are not near as energetic or enthusiastic compared to the way they were ten years ago. Have you noticed this and why do you think this in?

It would be inaccurate if not irresponsible for me to say there is not a difference in pro wrestling today compared to pro wrestling ten or fifteen years ago. In the late 90s/early 2000s, we were in a major pro wrestling boom. The business was flourishing with more superstars and more interest than ever before. As a result, three prominent companies were brought to the forefront, people made millions but at the end of the day only the strongest would survive. It's impossible for me to evaluate crowds today versus crowds then because things are very, very different. There are still hot crowds today and there is still a large audience that watches and follows pro wrestling. Is it as big or as popular as it was then? No, but it's far from dead and still a major part of the worldwide entertainment landscape. We can build massive arguments and debate for hours as to why there was a decline in the overall popularity but the fact of the matter is, the business peaked and it has yet to re-establish these levels. I remain hopeful we will see another pro wrestling boom; however, there is no way for me to predict when or how it will happen. Many had hoped TNA, especially with people like Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair, would provide much-needed competition to Vince McMahon and WWE's monopoly. That hasn't happened and we still wait for the fan base to once again be re-energized.

How did Evan Bourne fail a second Wellness test so close to his first violation?

WWE randomly tests all talent a minimum of four times a year. However, once a worker tests positive, they are tested a minimum of 12 times for a period of one year. With one Wellness strike, Bourne was tested again in a short period of time in accordance with the WWE Wellness Policy. For details on what caused Bourne's second violation, his mindset and his future, click here.

How much of the 30-man Royal Rumble is scripted, is it much different from normal singles/tag matches in WWE?

We always have a lot of interest from readers in how the 30-man Royal Rumble match is booked. It's booked just like all the other matches - the creative team comes up with a plan, pass it on to the producers and they communicate it to the talent involved in the match. Talent are then told who will eliminate who and how it will happen. Obviously, the better workers are going to get to work the riskier spots and will have more freedom in what they can and can't do in the match.

Are the reactions of the commentators genuine or scripted when a worker comes out?

The work of Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, Josh Mathews and Booker T is a mixture of their own input and the input of production in their ears. Make no mistake about it, Vince McMahon has a direct line of communication to his announce team and if there is something he wants said or emphasized, he feeds it to them. With that being said, I haven't heard of the plans for the Royal Rumble announce team.

Why does WWE not change their stages more often? It gets boring having the same stage for both shows.

WWE has a formula down that is very cost-effective. The same staff in terms of production, cameramen, ring crew and truck drivers are used for both Raw and Smackdown. For pay-per-views, the company alters their stages and the setup but weekly TVs are done in a way that maximizes efficiency while minimizing costs.

How does WWE test their talent for the Wellness Policy? Is it urine, hair or something else?

WWE Wellness Tests are urine tests that are administrated on a random basis. Because there have been incidents where workers have tried to "cheat," the specimens are collected under supervision. There are others tests conducted as part of the company Wellness Policy that you can read about at this link.

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