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Everything That Would Have To Happen For Lesnar To Return To WWE, Nuclear Heat On Current WWE Title Holder; What They Did & Will They Be Fired?, Jericho Returns, Two TNA Veterans Leaving For WWE?, Ask WNW Archive & All The Big News From This Past Week

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Welcome to the Premium Newsletter. This is where you will find all of the big news and Ask WNW segments from the week neatly archived for your viewing pleasure.

This week's edition covers news from Saturday, December 31, 2011 to Friday, January 6, 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

- Embedded in the video below is episode #46 of Z! True Long Island Story with Zack Ryder:

- MSN's WonderWall has an excerpt from an interview Jennifer Hudson did with NBC's Lester Holt for "Dateline." In it, Hudson reveals she would have been killed with her mother, brother and nephew if it wasn't for a phone call from David Otunga. Below is the quote:

"I remember it like yesterday," she said. "And I was literally pickin' up my bags to walk out the door to go to my mother's house. And he called me, like, 'Can you come out here instead of going, you know?' And I was like, 'OK, sure.' And that one decision, that one thing, I wouldn't be sittin' here."

Click here for coverage by MSN.

- Chris Jericho posted the following on his official Twitter account:

- WWE has counted down their list of the Top 10 Matches of 2011. The matches are as follows:

  1. The Undertaker vs. Triple H at Wrestlemania XXVIII
  2. John Cena vs. CM Punk for the WWE Championship at WWE Money in the Bank
  3. Christian vs. Randy Orton for the World Heavyweight Championship at Over the Limit
  4. Raw Elimination Chamber Match
  5. John Cena vs. Rey Mysterio for the WWE Championship at WWE Raw
  6. Christian vs. Alberto Del Rio in a ladder match for the World Heavyweight Championship at Extreme Rules
  7. 2011 Royal Rumble Match
  8. The Rock & John Cena vs. Awesome Truth at Survivor Series
  9. Edge vs. Dolph Ziggler at Royal Rumble
  10. Smackdown Money in the Bank Ladder match

- RX Muscle has a new piece online featuring a Q&A with Stephanie McMahon talking about getting back in shape after tremendous weight gains in her pregnancies. The feature also includes a photo of a very pregnant Stephanie. Below are some excerpts:

Biggest obstacle you've overcome? Explain.

From a body standpoint? Losing the baby fat-weight after having each of my children. I think normal weight gain is 35 lbs, I saw fit to double that. I'm the type of person that always has to eat right to be lean, so when I was pregnant the gloves were off and I ate like a champ! We're talking a minimum of 4 pop tarts every morning with eggs and a glass of milk as a staple...

You're the daughter of WWE Head Honcho Vince McMahon. What was it like growing up in a wrestling family? Was your dad always big into working out?

It's hard to say what life was like growing up as "Vince McMahon's daughter". I would watch my dad on Saturday mornings do interviews and I'd watch him commentate with Jesse Ventura on Saturday Night's Main Events. It was just what my dad did; I didn't look at it as anything unusual. It wasn't until I was a little older and the other kids tried to make fun of me that I realized my situation was a little different (I actually kicked a kid in the shins for saying wrestling was fake!). My Dad was always big into working out; he's the one who got me turned on to the gym. He was so intense and trained so hard, it looked like fun!

Was proper nutrition something that was "fed" to you by your dad early on? Did you eat well as a teenager? Did you ever struggle with your weight?

I have always struggled with my weight. Training was big in my family but growing up, nutrition was not. I would eat honey buns for breakfast and drink a 6 pack of Coke during the day. It's not that my parents would have thought that was a good way to eat, they just weren't home enough to monitor what I was eating; they were working most of the time trying to build their business. I ate good food too don't get me wrong, my mom is one hell of a cook, but the bad food was always around for the taking.

How did you meet your husband, WWE Superstar Triple H? Was it love at first site?

We were married on TV as a fictional couple and life just imitated art...It wasn't love at first site, but I bet you could call it chemistry at first site. I have never been more attracted to anyone in my entire life! He would just look at me and I would blush; still happens to this day actually...

When you decided you wanted to have kids, was it very traumatic knowing your body was gonna get all "out of shape"? How did you deal with that reality?

I wanted to be a mom more than anything else in the world; it didn't matter to me what I had to go through to have my children. The reality is that I have three, gorgeous, intelligent, vivacious, funny, and thoroughly entertaining daughters! They truly are what life is all about.

How hard was it getting back into shape after daughter #1? Daughter #2? Daughter #3?

HARD! I gained 80 pounds with my first daughter, Aurora. 80 POUNDS!!! It took me a year to take it off; I went to a nutritionist and the diet really only got me so was o.k. but I can only eat so many raw vegetables! After Murphy and Vaughn were born I discovered Dave Palumbo who helped me with my diet and strength and conditioning coach, Joe Defranco, who helped me transform my body in the gym. I would never have known a keto diet and steady state cardio on top of strength and conditioning training would be the keys to my success.

Do you ever work out with your husband, Triple H, or do you guys do your own workouts?

We train at the same time but we do our own workouts. Joe Defranco trains us both so we do similar type of exercises (only my husband uses a lot more weight!). It's helpful to have my husband there with me; he is very motivating to me and I hope I am to him!

Click here to read the full article.

- Scott Fishman of The Miami Herald has a new article online featuring quotes from MVP. In it, the former WWE United States Champion discusses the reasons why he left WWE. Below is an excerpt:

“I guess more than anything it was that my contract was coming to a close,” MVP said. “I had a year left on my contract. [Executive vice president of talent relations] John Laurinaitis was coming to me to re-sign like he had a number of times. I had actually been avoiding him because I hadn’t made my decision yet. I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I hadn’t come to terms with my decision.“On a professional level it was a culmination of a lot of things. I just wasn’t happy anymore and felt I wasn’t being given the opportunities that I had been given previously. It was time for me to make a decision, and I didn’t want to re-sign. I asked if I could be out of that final year so I could go and pursue my original dream of wrestling in Japan.”

“I have to say John Laurinaitis gets a bad rap from a lot of people,” MVP said. “He is in a really crappy position. His job makes you very unpopular. He and I had a good relationship. He was the guy that hired me and gave me my first opportunity. John Laurinaitis, a.k.a. Johnny Ace, spent 10 years in Japan with the All Japan [Pro Wrestling] promotion. He and I would talk about Japanese wrestling all the time over beers."

Click here to read the full article.

- Randy Orton noted on his official Twitter account that he is "pain free at the moment." He says he is doing some kind of therapy and rehab every morning and night.

At this point Orton, who is suffering from a back injury, is not expected to be out for a long duration and will in fact only miss a few weeks, as noted by WWE.

- Travel packages for this year's SummerSlam are now available for sale on the official WWE website. Packages come in platinum and gold. For more information on each package and purchasing instructions, click here. SummerSlam 2012 will take place Sunday, August 19, 2012 from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

- The hot topic coming out of the weekend is Brock Lesnar retiring from UFC after his loss to Alistair Overeem at UFC 141. Almost immediately, rumors began to circulate about Lesnar possibly returning to WWE. While there is no question WWE would be interested, as they have tried to convince him to return on multiple occasions, Lesnar has not reciprocated interest in working the full-time WWE schedule. The feeling has always been Brock would return to WWE for a one shot but wouldn't want to return to the full-time schedule which is something he hated. Remember, Lesnar turned away from millions of dollars because of his hatred for the hectic WWE travel schedule. Therefore in order for Lesnar to return, he obviously must be interested. Vince McMahon has been rather militant about not handing out partial-schedules but he's made exceptions and given Lesnar's value, he may now be in a position to negotiate. Another factor that must not be ruled out is Brock Lesnar's UFC contract. While he was able to negotiate a deal to be included in the WWE '12 video game, UFC President Dana White made it clear he would not be able to wrestle under UFC contract. White said after Lesnar announced he was retiring that his UFC contract would be retired. However, when asked if Lesnar's UFC contract would prevent him from working any potential matches in WWE, White said, "I don't know. We'll figure out." Lesnar's health can also not be overlooked. While WWE doesn't pose the same risks as UFC combat poses, it's not a situation where there isn't going to be significant physical contact. Before anyone gets too excited Lesnar has to want to come back, his contract issues have to be solved and he has to be healthy enough to compete in a WWE ring. The main difference in WWE negotiating with Lesnar today as opposed to a few years ago is obviously Lesnar's star power has grown given his significant yet short success in the octagon. WWE used to have the upper hand, however, that now belongs to Lesnar and will undoubtedly involve Paul Heyman (who helped facilitate the deal for Lesnar to be included in WWE '12).

- WWE Tough Enough runner-up Luke Robinson is working to create a world-class fitness program centered in Maine. The Bangor Daily News has an article online featuring quotes from Robinson. Below is an excerpt:

“Wrestling is still my primary goal, but I think this can be a sustainable, lifelong job post-wrestling,” Robinson said. “Even if that career never comes to complete fruition, I am so passionate about the fitness and nutrition side of life and about changing people’s lives.”

Click here to read the full article.

- Despite WWE notifying cable providers they would be discontinuing their WWE Classics On Demand service the first of this year, it has been updated on multiple systems including Comcast and Verizon FIOS. Wrestling News World reader Chris Storm has informed us that the service has also been updated on Charter Communications systems in the Southeast. Wrestling News World reader Xavier Abdullah sent word the service is still available on Wow Cable in Chicago. Therefore the service remains for at least the month of January in at least some markets. If you subscribe to the service, let us know the status by sending us an email. Update: AT&T U-Verse has disabled the WWE Classic On Demand service. (Thanks to WNW readers Jonathan & Glenn Guinand for sending this in.)

- To update on Chris Jericho being spotted at an airport in Tennessee, I'm told Jericho was actually spotted at Nashville International Airport in Nashville. Nashville is a three-hour drive to Memphis at just over 200 miles. Regardless of the city, Jericho claimed he would be in Canada. My sources in WWE have been unable to confirm whether the cryptic videos are to re-debut Jericho, The Undertaker or a wild card on tonight's edition of WWE Raw Supershow. That is the exact wording I received from a top WWE source in an email in the early morning hours. I have had indirect contact with Chris Jericho's representatives and they have not confirmed or denied Jericho for Raw. Jericho has obviously denied all speculation that he is behind the videos. At this point I am shying away from anything, including airport pictures, until tonight. If Jericho is spotted at or around the FedExForum (the venue for tonight's Raw), I will report immediately.

- I'm told there is nuclear backstage heat on Evan Bourne in WWE over "ratting out" R-Truth for smoking Spice with him at a party they were both attending. Bourne was caught and suspended but R-Truth's suspended was delayed. Many assumed this was due to the fact that Truth was booked with The Miz to face The Rock & John Cena at Survivor Series on November 20, 2011. Bourne was suspended on November 1, 2011 and Truth's suspension wasn't announced until November 22, 2011. Sources close to the situation have informed me that Triple H confronted Evan Bourne backstage at a recent Raw Supershow (believed to be 12/19). I'm told Hunter, along with others, "chewed him out" for ratting out R-Truth. I'm told Bourne is considered a locker room outcast right now because he threw one of the boys under the bus for no reason. There is zero heat on R-Truth, with all of it on Bourne. Last week, Vince McMahon met with Evan Bourne about it. Details of their meeting were not disclosed. My source doesn't believe Bourne is in jeopardy of being fired but he's been chewed out by several people. "He's super under with the boys now and nobody wants anything to do with him," my source concluded.

- WWE has announced Central America tour dates for next month. They are as follows:

  • February 23, 2012 from the National Engineers Coliseum in Tegucigalpa, Honduras
  • February 24, 2012 from the Roberto Duran Arena in Panama City, Panama
  • February 25, 2012 from the Zone 13 Dome in Guatemala City, Guatemala

- WWE has also announced a show from the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts on Sunday, March 4, 2012 at 5 PM.

- Shawn Michaels has posted a new Q&A video on his official YouTube channel. You can view it embedded below:

- It's also worth noting that the new Shawn Michaels eBook, the "Diary of a Heartbreak Kid," is now available on iTunes and Amazon.

- Jim Ross has a new blog entry available on his official website. In it, he answers several questions from his Twitter followers and website readers. Below is what he had to say regarding a potential Brock Lesnar to WWE return:

Will Brock Lesnar return to WWE full time or part time? For those that know Brock well, the answer to this question is actually quite simple. It's NO. Brock dislikes, putting it mildly, traveling. Plus, he doesn't need the money even though he's smart enough to not turn down a big payday if the lay of the land is to his liking. That's why the UFC thing was good for him because he could earn big money by traveling 2-3 times per year to fight. I could see Brock doing a major, one off WWE appearance ala a Wrestlemania, but not this year, and doing so while not even making the live Raw events that lead into it. I could also see WWE traveling to Brock to shoot vignettes to build whatever match that he might be booked. For fans who think that Lesnar will return to make a significant amount of TV dates only and then only work a handful or so of PPV's, I hate to burst your bubble, but in my opinion that simply isn't happening.

Of course, the Lesnar to WWE rumors will persist TFN but I'd be shocked to see Brock Lesnar remotely near a WWE event in 2012.

Brock Lesnar came to UFC from the sports entertainment world and was vilified before he ever had his first fight. But in only a handful of outings Brock Lesnar became the biggest drawing card in the UFC. Over time, Brock earned the die hard MMA fan's respect but the lesson to be learned, as Muhammad Ali told me years ago, fans love to dislike certain athletes and will pay great money to see said athletes get physically abused and beaten. Brock Lesnar proved that old school adage to still be applicable today yet he persevered and eventually became a fighter than many UFC fans supported.

Click here to read JR's latest in its entirety.

- WWE referee Charles Robinson wrote tonight on Twitter he won't be featured on this week's WWE TVs or next week's TVs. However, he noted he will "return shortly." You can read his Tweet embedded below:

- CM Punk will defend the WWE Championship against Dolph Ziggler with John Laurinaitis as special guest referee at WWE Royal Rumble. WWE Royal Rumble 2012 will take place on Sunday, January 29, 2012 from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri. We'll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at - Chris Jericho returned to WWE on tonight's edition of Raw Supershow from the FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. He was revealed as the worker behind the cryptic videos that have aired on the show for the past several weeks. While Jericho emphatically denied he was behind the cryptic videos, he was the only rumored name other than The Undertaker to be linked to the videos. With that being said, WWE was able to keep anyone from confirming Jericho's return before it happened on live TV. -Wrestling News World reader Dustyn sent in the following tweet from former WWE Superstar Lance Storm, who runs Storm Wrestling Academy in Calgary, Alberta, Canada:

Since he's back yes @IAmJericho did come back and train with me at SWA. We spent a couple days in the ring including a 17 min match #norust

-For those who may have been unsure about the direction of Chris Jericho's character after his return on this week's Raw, the official WWE website posted the following about the return:

After weeks of cryptic “1-2-12” videos on Raw SuperShow, Chris Jericho made a shocking return and was warmly welcomed by the WWE Universe, greeting some with high-fives at ringside. As he urged them for more cheers, "#Y2J" instantly became the No. 1 worldwide trend on Twitter. But as the Superstar – who was dressed in a dazzling, light-up, blinged out jacket – prolonged his homecoming, the WWE Universe’s chants of “welcome back” soon turned to boos. A smiling Jericho exited without addressing the Memphis crowd, leaving the irritated WWE Universe wondering why he’s back.

- WWE has announced they will return to Madison Square Garden in New York City on March 18th for a Supershow house show. - WWE will release My Greatest Match by Jon Robinson in June. The book will feature WWE talent discussing their favorite matches. - Embedded in the video below is the latest edition of Tommy Dreamer TV: - After last night's WWE Raw Supershow went off the air, Kane emerged through the hole in the ring. John Cena dodged a chokeslam and attempted to counter with the Attitude Adjustment but missed. He ended up giving Kane a clothesline, sending him out of the ring. Cena then introduced Jerry Lawler and said because there was a hole in the ring, he couldn't book a normal match. He announced Lawler vs. Michael Cole in a Memphis Street Fight. Lawler beat Coled after ripping his pants off and hitting a piledriver. - The following is from the official Twitter account of John Laurinaitis:

As you can see, Clay's delayed debut on WWE Raw Supershow is an angle. I'm not sure when it turned into an angle but clearly it's part of Laurinaitis' gimmick. - WWE has added Chris Jericho to their official listing of advertised talent on for next week's Raw Supershow from the American Bank Center in Tyler, Texas and the following Monday (1/16) from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. He has yet to be officially added to the house show schedule but he's expected to be added shortly as a member of the Raw roster. I still haven't heard the plan for his first feud although it will be a main event slot. - The official pay-per-view promotional poster for WWE Elimination Chamber 2012 features Sheamus and is featured below: - The official WWE website attempted to "interview" Chris Jericho backstage after his return on last night's Raw Supershow. Jericho doesn't answer any questions but just smiles and walks away. When asked if he's going to be in the 30-man Royal Rumble match, he turns his jacket on where it lights up (seriously). You can view the video footage at this link. - The following is from the official Twitter account of Randy Orton:

I'm getting alot of q's bout my back. What happened is I herniated a disc (leaked disc fluid) between my L4-L5 in my lower back. Had some... — Randy Orton (@RandyOrton) January 4, 2012

...strength loss in my left lower leg. Time off is to let the inflammation go down, and try and strengthen the muscles int lower back . — Randy Orton (@RandyOrton) January 4, 2012

- Chris Jericho did indeed fly into Nashville, Tennessee and made the drive (via limousine) to Memphis. I reported here on Monday afternoon that Jericho flew into Nashville International Airport rather than Memphis as first thought. The reason the photo made rounds so early on Monday is that Jericho actually arrived in Tennessee on Sunday. As I noted in yesterday's YouTube report, the only thing that kept us from confirming Jericho for Monday's Raw Supershow was Jericho's emphatic denials on Twitter. - WWE has announced a March 24, 2012 house show from the Jose Miguel Agrelot Coliseum in San Juan, Puerto Rico. - John Morrison has been booked for World Wrestling Fan Xperience's February 4th show in Manilla, Philippines. He'll replace Ken Anderson to face Shelton Benjamin. Click here for more information. - "Rowdy" Roddy Piper will be one of eight WWE Legends on the forthcoming WWE Legends House on the WWE Network. Piper posted the following Tweets about the show:

- Chris Jericho's profile has been added to the Raw Superstars page on the official WWE website. The company has also officially added him to the list of advertised workers for Raw house shows beginning Saturday from Oil Palace in Tyler, Texas. He isn't advertised for Friday's Raw show in Jackson, Mississippi. - New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez was seen court side at last night's Los Angeles Lakers game with former WWE Diva Torrie Wilson. The two are reportedly now an item after they were seen vacationing together. You can view a photo of the couple together at this link. - I reported earlier today that John Morrison would work his first post-WWE on February 2nd in Manila. He'll work under his real name - John Hennigan - and filmed the following video promo: - ESPN's Josh Gross posted the following on Twitter:

The fight will take place on January 28, 2012 from the United Center in Chicago, Illinois and will air on FOX and is billed as UFC on Fox: Evans vs. Davis. - Mick Foleywill be touring the United Kingdom and Ireland with his comedy tour beginning next month. The dates are as follows:

  • Friday 24th February/Saturday 25th February – The Leicester Square Theatre, London
  • Monday 27th February – The Glee Club, Cardiff
  • Tuesday 28th February – The Glee Club, Birmingham
  • Wednesday 29th February – Memorial Hall, Sheffield
  • Thursday 1st March – The Olympia, Liverpool
  • Friday 2nd March – The O'Reilly Theatre, Dublin
  • Saturday 3rd March - The Empire, Belfast

Click here for more details. - WWE Divas Champion Beth Phoenix posted the following on Twitter about comedian Chelsea Handler. Handler is the host of "Chelsea Lately" on E!:

- Jim Ross has a new blog entry on his official website where he discusses Chris Jericho's return to WWE as well as his appearance on Fox Sports Oklahoma last night. Below is an excerpt:

The return of Chris Jericho to Monday Night Raw in Memphis as the mystery person in the series of vignettes that aired on WWE TV has been met with a great deal of discussion from fans and pundits. For the record, I liked it. Also, to be honest, about half way through the presentation, I was having my doubts. Then I saw what I perceived that Jericho was attempting to accomplish and thought that his presentation was unique and certainly unpredictable. The theory behind producing an episodic, entertainment program like Monday Night Raw is to always provide some measure of a pay off, don't give away the farm, and to always make sure that the broadcast leaves the air with the fans wanting more and willing to return next week to see the 'rest of the story.' Even though, like many fans, I would have enjoyed hearing what Y2J had to say about why he has chosen this point in time to return, I fully understand the episodic nature of the beast. I am interested in Jericho's return and will tune in next Monday night to hopefully learn more of this storyline. By saying absolutely nothing and by using facial expressions and body English, Jericho actually said volumes. At least that's how I felt after the segment ended. The fans in Memphis seemed to be getting peeved at Jericho who they had just cheered moments earlier. Was that the intent? Stay tuned. Many more questions were figuratively asked than answered and when all was said and done I was left wanting more. In my view and as someone who has helped produce weekly TV for many years, that's a win. Today's fans, specifically the younger ones, seem to want instant gratification and seemingly are uncomfortable waiting for stories to evolve. Some even complain when two, skilled talents have multiple matches. Those types of fans would have had a tough time of it back in the territory days when some rivalries between main event level talents lasted, at times, a year. I now have a specific reason, based on what I saw this past Monday, to invest my time in Monday Night Raw this coming week. This time will Y2J speak or communicate in yet another unique and unpredictable manner? Onto another crazy topic and one that has zero impact on the big picture in sports 'new look.' I showed up on Fox Sports Oklahoma's TV broadcast of the @okcthunder game Tuesday night sporting a new, gray goatee. Why? Well, the gray aspect is easy...I'm a 'mature gentleman.' (No jokes please.) The reason I grew the goatee was simply because I hadn't shaved in about a week or so during the holidays and when I decided to shave I thought, what the hell, let's see what a goatee would look like as I have never displayed any facial hair to speak of in my life. My appearance, which was simply a cameo to promote the OKC RAW on February 6 in the arena in OKC, made the late edition of ESPN's Sports Center of which you can find likely on line and on our Twitter timeline @JRsBBQ. (By the way, it was fun attending an OKC event and not getting 'fired.') The goatee likely isn't going to last long term, too high maintenance, but it surprisingly has folks talking. I guess it has been a slow, news week. For the record, I call it my "Rooster Cogburn" look.

Click here to read the full blog.

- There's a video of UFC President Dana White, who appears to be inebriated, currently circulating the Internet where a cameraman for a gossip publication asks him if Brock Lesnar is free to go to WWE. White casually answered yes but was in no condition to discuss specifics.

- WWE has moved their March 4th house show scheduled for the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts to the Bangor Auditorium in Bangor, Maine.

- The official WWE website has a new article online looking at Drew McIntyre. McIntyre, once slated for a monster push, has been forgotten about until recent weeks. You can read their piece at this link.

- Randy Orton is listed in the advertised talent section for the January 16th WWE Raw Supershow from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. He's also advertised for the Smackdown taping the following night from the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. It appears the current plan is for Orton to return from injury a week from next Monday.

- has a new article online featuring quotes from Jack Swagger where he promotes Monday's WWE Raw Supershow in Corpus Christi, Texas. Below is an excerpt:

"You're definitely going to see an evolution of the All-American American," Swagger said. "I'm not going to be satisfied until Jack Swagger is back at the top of the mountain." "The All-American American was born to be the United States Champion," he said. "(Ryder's) really molded himself into championship material to cool off his momentum is going to be kind of tough. I'm going to get in there and throw my weight around a little bit and show him how to wrestle."

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

-Jim Ross wrote on Twitter that Bill Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 29 would be "miraculous" but "highly unlikely." Goldberg responded to the Tweet by saying, "......I'd do it" It didn't take long to get speculation going crazy before Goldberg wrote the following:

TNA Impact Wrestling News

- has a new article online featuring quotes from Tara. Below is an excerpt:

“I guess I’m just a lucky girl who eats, breathes and sleeps professional wrestling,” Tara joked during a recent phone interview. “But really, the reason I’m so grounded is I truly love what I do with all of my heart. I’ve had a passion for this business forever, and that’s what still drives me today. I absolutely love what I do, and I want to be able to enjoy every single second of it.” “The average female wrestler is in the business for maybe five or six years, but like I said before, I really love what I do,” she explained. “When my music hits, I cannot believe or explain the rush I still get from the crowd every time I walk through the curtain. It absolutely still sends a jolt right through me.” “The good thing is I’ve been able to save my money and start to look at what life’s going to be after my wrestling days are over,” added Tara, who recently opened a restaurant in Chicago with her husband. “I love this life, and it’s still so much fun for me, but I’ll know when the time is right to step away.” “I love working with TNA,” Tara said. “The events are so much more than just a wrestling match. I love the fact that we really get the chance to get out there and meet with the fans. The TNA events are very family-friendly, and we try the best we can to make every card a special event for the fans that pay their money to see us.” “I’m still having a great time in the business, and, knock on wood, besides a torn elbow and a torn ACL, I’ve been pretty healthy over the years,” Tara said. “I’ve been lucky to remain fairly healthy for most of my career.” “Brooke is getting better in the ring every day,” Tara said about her tag-team partner, who she will team up with in Plymouth to take on the tag team of Rosita and Sarita. “Someone I really like is Rosita. She’s so young, but you watch her in the ring and you can see how far she’s come in such a short period of time. Check back in three or four years, and with that much more experience, she’s going to be something special to watch.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- Embedded in the video below is the latest edition of TNA Spin Cycle featuring Jeff HardyD'Angelo Dinero, Rob Terry and SoCal Val:

- There has been some talk within TNA Impact Wrestling about reuniting Devon and Bully Ray to re-form Team 3D, however, the duo is resisting the move. One insider with knowledge of their situation tells me under the condition of anonymity the two are still hopeful of one final run in WWE when their contracts with TNA expire. Apparently the two want to delay any possible reformation of their tag team in hopes of landing WWE contracts and reforming there for one final run. While the return of The Dudley Boys in WWE may sound attractive, they are not in a good position to negotiate a return as Triple H has historically not been fond of them. WWE is reportedly considering signing one of their former students and the recently TNA-departed Jesse Neal to a contract. My source feels Neal is much more likely to land a deal than either Devon or Bully Ray. Regardless, Devon and Bully Ray seem to think they can get another run in WWE and their plan is to stay separate for along as possible (hopefully until their deals are up) and then try to get one last run with WWE as a tag team.

- In an update to today's Ask WNW, I've learned that Rob Van Dam's contract with TNA Impact Wrestling expires in March. As I reported in November, RVD has grown frustrated in TNA and was exploring his options regarding a possible WWE return. - TNA Impact Wrestling announced the following today on their social networking accounts:

We have signed a new multi-year TV deal with the SuperSport network in Africa, with current TNA programming now airing throughout the continent! Monday nights at 1800 on SuperSport 5, plus repeats on other SuperSport channels

- is reporting that Sky Deutschland has extended its deal with TNA Impact Wrestling to carry their programming for another year. Under the deal, Sky will carry Impact Wrestling on Sky Sports and will provide live coverage of all twelve of the company's pay-per-views on Sky Select. The deal also includes the rights to air TNA programming online, mobile and on IPTV platforms.

- TNA Champion Bobby Roode and Mickie James were on Q103 in Albany, New York with Dalton Castle on December 29, 2011. You can watch embedded in the video below:

- Bruce Prichard is being praised internally in TNA Impact Wrestling for the success of the James Storm push. A couple people have remarked that Storm was the type of guy that Vince Russo would perceive as being "too southern" for a solid singles push, but with Prichard having more control, people see the Storm push as an example of something that would not have been tried or properly executed with Russo as the primary creative force. I'm told Prichard's backstage power is at all all-time high right now and Dixie Carter is 100% behind him. One observer said it was "kind of funny" with so many different guys struggling for power over the last couple years and in the end it's Bruce Prichard getting the majority of it. - Kurt Angle is scheduled to be a guest on Fox & Friends on the Fox News Channel tomorrow morning. The show airs weekdays at 6 AM EST. - TNA Impact Wrestling have begun making plans for the company's ten year anniversary culminating with the Slammiversary pay-per-view in June. Dixie Carter noted on her Twitter account the meetings started this week in Nashville. - Tara has reportedly pitched Jillian Hall to TNA officials in hopes of landing her work with the company. - Kurt Angle's wife, Giovanna Angle, wrote the following on Twitter:

- The UK Sun has a new article online today featuring quotes from TNA Champion Bobby Roode to promote the company's upcoming UK tour. Roode reveals his dream is to face Sting for the title. Below is an excerpt:

"I'll defend my belt against anyone who comes after it but my dream is to battle Sting. "He's been a real thorn in my side so it would be great to beat him up all over the UK. "It's his first trip there in a decade, which makes the thought of pinning his shoulders to the mat even more appealing."

Click here to read the full article. - Scott Fishman of The Miami Herald has a new article online featuring quotes from Abyss. The piece promotes Sunday's TNA Genesis pay-per-view and features Abyss talking about his character and Jeff Hardy getting a second chance. Below is an excerpt:

“The character has been around for 10 years since the beginning of TNA, so it has gone through a lot of phases,” Parks said. “I’ve been really proud to see the character grow like it has. In 2012, I’d like to see the continuance of the character maturing, different aspects of the character coming out that perhaps we’ve never seen. Just to see the character mature would be the goal for 2012.” “I think Jeff Hardy getting a second chance in TNA and the wrestling business is a great thing,” Parks said. “People make mistakes, and Jeff made a big mistake. I feel in my heart, since I have been around him the past few months that he is a different person, and he has changed in a lot of ways he does things. I feel in life, not just in wrestling, that people deserve a second chance as long as they work hard for that second chance.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- The New York Post has a new article online featuring quotes from Kurt Angle. In it, he reveals he'll be working with a "Bulgarian guy" on TNA's upcoming tour of England to keep him sharp. However, that was not by any means Angle's most interesting comment. In the piece, he guarantees he will earn a spot on the United States Olympic wrestling team and calls Jack Swagger and Randy Orton disrespectful. Below are the highlights:

“I’ve been wrestling professionally for 12 years and I have been training for the Olympics for seven months. It’s going really well,” Angle told The Post. “I can guarantee that I will either make the Olympic team or be an alternate. I will go over to London and represent my country.” “Thank God TNA has backed me up. They have supported me. They gave me 25 days a month to train [for the Olympics],” Angle said. “When Jack Swagger copies my ankle lock and Randy Orton does my Angle Slam, it’s disrespectful,” Angle said. “I didn’t come up with the Ankle Lock, Ken Shamrock came up with the Ankle Lock but I waited until he retired to do the Ankle Lock. That company has no respect for me.” “I love Vince McMahon. He came up with the Kurt Angle character,” Angle said. “He ran with it and then I was able to run with it. I thank him for the opportunity he gave me. Vince McMahon was one of my best friends, period. Now I’m loyal to Dixie Carter.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- Kurt Anglewas on Fox & Friends on the Fox News Channel this morning to discuss his quest to once again qualify for the Olympics. You can watch the appearance embedded in the video below:

Click here for coverage by


What is Teddy Long's backstage role within WWE?

Teddy Long doesn't have an official backstage role in WWE as he is limited to being the on-screen General Manager of Smackdown. However, Long is a veteran in the wrestling business and is a former referee. He's a great source of information and someone that can provide advice to others. He's capable of helping out but has no official role outside of his on-screen gimmick.

With Brock Lesnar retiring from UFC, is there a chance he could be the opponent of The Undertaker at Wrestlemania XXVIII?p

Several years ago, before his success in the octagon, Brock Lesnar pitched an idea to WWE officials to return for a match at Wrestlemania. Apparently he was even willing to do a job for the right pay. WWE wasn't interested unless he was willing to make a longer commitment because the feeling was he hadn't had any success outside of what he had in WWE. The reason I mention this before answering your question is that I want to establish that Lesnar was at one time willing to return to WWE for a one shot. I believe Lesnar vs. The Undertaker is a long-shot but it is something WWE wanted to do last year. I wrote a lengthy piece last night, detailing everything that must happen for Brock Lesnar to WWE to become a reality. You can read it at this link.

What is the chance that Kharma could be the subject of the cryptic videos? If it’s not her then when is she due to return?

I haven't heard Kharma's name mentioned with the cryptic videos - the only two names connected have been Chris Jericho and The Undertaker. Kharma is due late this month or early next month, however, she hasn't yet given birth. She had her publicist release a video over the holiday weekend that you can watch at this link. As for her return, no timetable has been set.

Who is under Kane's mask now? Is it really Glen Jacobs? It doesn't really look like his body figure.

Kane is Glen Jacobs. I know I'll never be able to satisfy some with this answer but I promise it's not a different worker.

If Brock Lesnar would return to WWE before his medical suspension is lifted, would he still be bound by it?

Medical suspensions are issued to protect the fighter; however, I'm unsure if it would prevent Brock Lesnar from competing in WWE ring. In order for Lesnar to return to WWE, he has to want to return and then be legally cleared of his UFC contract. Many in WWE are doubtful that Lesnar is coming back as Jim Ross made a very bold statement by saying he would be shocked to see Lesnar remotely near a WWE event in 2012. While WWE return rumors started the moment Lesnar announced his UFC retirement, we haven't heard anything from Lesnar as of this writing.

Are there any surprises planned for this year's 30-man Royal Rumble match?

I haven't heard of any planned surprises for the 30-man Royal Rumble match but the company usually includes one or two every year. Christian will probably be a popular name to return although from what I understand, his ankle is still in rough shape. I do anticipate at least one name that isn't a WWE regular to appear in the match.

Why is WWE booking Daniel Bryan to make him look weak?

WWE isn’t making Daniel Bryan look weak; however, they aren’t booking him like a World Heavyweight Champion they have full confidence in either. Yesterday I criticized his match on Monday against Cody Rhodes based on the quick finish and positioning on the card. Bryan will defend the strap on this week's Smackdown against Big Show in a match that was taped last night. You can read full taping results at this link.

Do you really see Rob Van Dam returning to WWE in the near future?

I reported here on Premium on November 22, 2011 that Rob Van Dam was extremely frustrated with his position in TNA, however, noted he is still under contract. While similar reports are just now starting to hit the Internet, RVD has to be out of his TNA contract before a WWE return can be considered.

What's the latest on Shaquille O'Neal at Wrestlemania? If Shaq were to wrestle would it make more sense for him to fight Mark Henry and not Big Show? Henry is already a heel. Plus, Big Show has already fought two non-wrestlers at Wrestlemania.

I have not heard any more about Shaquille O'Neal working Wrestlemania XXVIII since he revealed he was in negotiations with WWE in a media interview last month. WWE wants to do Shaq vs. Big Show because they feel they can pick up the storyline they had when Shaq guest hosted Raw back in the summer of 2009.

What's the latest on Triple H? Is his storyline with Kevin Nash over?

Triple H is still working backstage in WWE. Yes, his program with Kevin Nash concluded at WWE TLC. Hunter is currently getting healthy in hopes of working Wrestlemania. The heavily rumored match is Hunter vs. The Undertaker and while I was against it at first, I've talked myself into it.

With both Bobby Lashley and Chyna expressing interest in returning to WWE. Do you see either one coming back?

Bobby Lashley has a better chance of returning to WWE than Chyna. I don't know how much interest there is in Lashley but there is zero interest in Chyna.

Who do you see being the CM Punk or The Miz of 2012 in terms of being elevated?

Dolph Ziggler is the first mid card worker to get a major main event opportunity in 2012 by challenging for the WWE Championship at Royal Rumble. Obviously Daniel Bryan is another name as the current World Heavyweight Champion but not yet established at the level of other main event level workers. Wade Barrett and Sheamus are two workers WWE seems committed to for the long term. I wrote two editorials giving four names from each brand to keep an eye on in 2012. Based on your question, you will probably be interested. Here are the links - Raw | Smackdown

Why do you think Kofi Kingston cannot seem to get a main event push?

Kofi Kingston was close a couple years ago to getting elevated and Randy Orton felt he wasn't ready (and from what I heard, vocalized his opinion to company officials). Since then, Kofi has had respectable runs including his current run as one-half of the WWE Tag Team Champions. Main event pushes all come down to the right opportunity and truthfully, there has been a lot of talent in front of Kingston. A worker must command the attention of the audience (with reactions and merchandise sales) to get taken to that next level. Once they get there, they have to prove they are capable of such a push. While Kingston is not challenging in the top of the card, he's not in a bad spot either.

What the change in this year's 30-man Royal Rumble match after last year's 40-man match?

While the 40-man Royal Rumble offered a new promotional opportunity as the "biggest Royal Rumble ever," not everyone was a fan. The most vocal critic was the original architect of the match, Pat Patterson. Patterson felt the extra ten men in the match watered it down and WWE tinkering with "his baby" was a huge slap in the face. I don't know if Patterson's feelings got the match back to its roots but I know he was very disappointed with the move last year.

Who would you like The Undertaker to face at Wrestlemania XXVIII - an established work such a Triple H, a rising talent such as Wade Barrett or a surprise like Brock Lesnar?

If The Undertaker is able to work Wrestlemania XXVIII, which he is expected but not confirmed, WWE has to be very careful with who they book as his opponent. Ending the streak would be a mistake, especially with no clear-cut rising talent capable of such a rub. Having an established veteran like Triple H end the streak would be a waste because Hunter is limited in what he can do as well. A surprise, such as Brock Lesnar, ending the streak wouldn't make any sense unless someone like Lesnar agreed to a lengthy run in WWE. The best outcome is for The Undertaker to extend the streak to 20-0 so the question becomes - who does the job? If I'm booking, I'm not feeding a rising star to someone that is clearly towards the end of their career, working a very limited schedule. I'm also not feeding him a newly-established main event worker by running the risk of devaluing their future. My feeling is Undertaker needs to go over an established veteran where a loss would not hurt them. While I was initially against it, Triple H looks more and more suitable because he could provide Undertaker with a great match and a loss wouldn't hurt. The field is clearly limited and much consideration must be given before "jumping the gun" on a decision that could haunt the company moving forward.

Why is WWE continuing with WWE NXT?

WWE is continuing with both WWE NXT and WWE Superstars to fulfill international television commitments. Honestly, no one cares about the programming and they are in contracts that cannot be broken. Vince McMahon recently described the way they are treating the secondary programming as "sitting on them."

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