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, July 6, 2013 to Friday, July 12, 2013 as well as all five Ask WNW segments from the week. Use this newsletter as your own personal tool to catch up on any of the news that you may have missed during the week. Below is a table of contents:
Note From Richard: For those that have asked, the Newsletter is organized with the news posted on Saturday at the top with the most recent stories at the bottom. We have it organized this way so you can read the news in the order in which it happened. Thanks for your support!
Table Of Contents
- WWE News
- TNA News
- Ask WNW
- Following up on an earlier item where we reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com that WWE was listed as a defendant in a lawsuit over pyrotechnics at SummerSlam 2008, DailyMail.co.uk has more with photos of the family of Susan Prim. The family blames pyrotechnics at the show for causing Susan's fatal asthma attack. You can check out their coverage at this link. (Thanks to WNW reader Dave L for sending us the link.)
Notes from WWE in Japan...
- Funaki returned to WWE at Friday's live event in Tokyo, Japan as the special guest referee of Aksana vs. Natalya.
- Yoshi Tatsu won over the crowd by beating Wade Barrett and standing tall with the flag of Japan after the bout.
- Sheamus vs. Antonio Cesaro on Friday got over 20 minutes and had a very athletic feel, more conducive to what Japanese fans are used too.
- Attendance for Friday night's show was around 9,000.
- Another Heyman misfire is featured in this week's episode of "Backstage Fallout" Smackdown. You can watch it now at this link.
- Jay and Mark Briscoe were in attendance at Saturday night's WWE live event from the Ocean City Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland. There was no attempt to hide the fact they were there as according to eyewitness accounts, they sat front row and greeted fans.
Below is a photo from Twitter:
The status of both Jay and Mark has become a hot topic as they did not re-sign with Ring of Honor when their contracts came up. While there was hope Jay would be able to defend the ROH Championship so they could switch the belt, no deal was reached and the title was vacated (the storyline explanation is Jay's shoulder is too "injured" to compete). There has been interest from WWE in both at one point but that interest was believed to have cooled in recent weeks.
ROH has announced a World Championship Tournament that will take place over the next several shows that will determine the next ROH Champion. You can read more about the tournament at this link.
- The USA Network will be re-airing the premiere episode of "Total Divas" following the July 29th episode of WWE Monday Night Raw at 11:05/10:05c. You can check out the USA Network schedule at this link. "Total Divas" premieres Sunday, July 28 on E! at 10/9c.
- 680News.com has an interesting interview online with Bret Hart. In it, Hart explains that he doesn't have a Legends contract with WWE, despite the company offering.
"I think I'm one of the few guys that doesn't because - these Legends contracts sound great, but they own your soul. It's like signing your life to the devil,"
Hart explained that he's worked hard to own the rights to his name and has no problem with going back to WWE, he just doesn't want to be "owned by them." You can listen to the interview in its entirety at this link.
- Channel24.co.za has a good Q&A online with Cody Rhodes to promote WWE's upcoming tour of South Africa. Below is an excerpt:
Is it a blessing or a curse being a second-generation wrestler? What are the pros and cons?
It’s very simple. The pros are that it’s very easy to get into the field. It’s very easy to have the contacts within the large organization like the WWE. But the cons are, ‘Hey, I am Cody Rhodes, I am the son of a Hall Of Famer and three-time World Heavyweight Champion’ – that pressure that people will try to put on you, the expectations that they try to give you is astronomical. It’s important when you’re a legacy to do something completely different than what your predecessor did. I don’t do anybody any service by being Dusty Rhodes Junior, I have to be Cody Rhodes and it’s worked for me so far.
What impact does your brother Goldust have on your wrestling career?
Goldust is, you know, an interesting individual to begin with, but I can tell you that the things he has offered to my career are a lot on the physical side. He’s a lot easier to steal little maneuvers from than my father. So as far as how I compete as a wrestler in-between the ding-ding-ding, has a lot of influence from Goldust.
It has been a while since you had a main story line. Will that be changing any time soon?
For me, it’s really one of those things as I am very young in the industry, and I can easily get frustrated with what is happening story-wise, but it’s too much fun for me to concern myself with that stuff. I am able to go out, and lot of the times with Damian Sandow, and we’re able to go out and get this riot reaction from our audience and for me, that’s too much fun. I hope to be a huge part of the WWE future and I consider myself one of the flag-bearers for the next ten years, so I am sure I will have plenty of stories in the future.
Who is your wrestling hero?
Shawn Michaels. I kind of grew up past my dad’s generation and I wasn’t really able to see a lot of what he did and a lot of it isn’t even on. So Shawn Michaels was the one that kept my attention as a young man watching. I always wanted to see him fight back, he was always fighting from underneath and it was very dramatic for a young man who is feeling the same way. He was always my hero.
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
- Dolph Ziggler was very frustrated with the decision to take the World Heavyweight Championship off him at WWE Payback last month. While he understands it was part of a double turn that also involved Alberto Del Rio, he was very disappointed in his title reign that had been in the works since the Money in the Bank pay-per-view last year. Ziggler was badly concussed to the point where he lost nearly two days of his memory. He required a lot of rest and downtime only to come back and end up getting booked under.
- Neither Jay nor Mark Briscoe have signed deals with WWE. It is likely they were comped for their front row tickets on Saturday night as they live close to Ocean City, Maryland and have connections within the company.
- Video footage of CM Punk at the Wizard World Comic Con in New York City has surfaced online. In it, he explains that he thought he broke his leg in his match against Undertaker at Wrestlemania 29. He actually suffered multiple knee legitimate tears. You can watch in the videos embedded below:
- Jay and Mark Briscoe told fans at Saturday night's WWE live event in Ocean City, Maryland they've spoken with WWE. We can confirm neither have been offered or signed contracts as of this writing. We have more coverage of them at Saturday's show at this link.
- Rip Rogers will be training students at Santino Marella's new Battle Arts Academy in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
- Evan Bourne resurfaced over the weekend at UFC 162 in Last Vegas on Saturday night. Nigel McGuinness was also in attendance.
- Tammy "Sunny" Sytch wrote the following on Facebook:
"Hey SUNNY FANS!! This is YOUR CHANCE to get UNDER THE COVERS WITH ME!! At the Legends of the Ring Convention, 10/5/13, I will be offering special photo ops! Your choice: for $50 you get to have your photo taken laying next to me in bed, and for $75 you can have your photo taken 'spooning' or with me lying my head on your chest! Was I your TEENAGE CRUSH?? Now is your chance to make that dream a REALITY!!!
PRE-SALE TICKETS WILL BE OFFERED SOON!
and YES, I WILL be wearing a little item from my LINGERIE DRAWER!!"
- Batista is scheduled to appear at the San Diego Comic Con on July 19, 2013. Several WWE names are also booked for the same convention.
- We're told that many within ROH Wrestling thought Jay and Mark Briscoe attending Saturday night's WWE live event in Ocean City, Maryland was a "huge work." The idea was they were re-signing with ROH but got WWE comp seats to draw attention and take in the show. There were others [within ROH] wondering if they were talking with WWE but if the move was made to get attention, it worked.
- There are a number of guys north of 30 currently in WWE's developmental system that are seen as "now or never" prospects. Names WWE is currently looking for the right opportunity for include Kassius Ohno and Leo Kruger.
- A lot of names are being thrown around regarding Money in the Bank Ladder Match winners but until we see an actual run sheet (which we won't), take this as nothing more than educated speculation. Daniel Bryan appears to be the favorite in the WWE Championship MITB Ladder Match while Antonio Cesaro and Damien Sandow have emerged as favorites in the World Heavyweight Championship MITB Ladder Match. It all depends on the future direction, which hinges on a number of things and could literally change the outcome at the drop of a hat.
- The major booking error of last week centered around the direction of The Shield. After being booked so dominant for so long, they've racked up the losses heading into a pay-per-view match against The Usos that is seen as "beneath them." The talk all summer has been something at SummerSlam involving The Undertaker and Kane but once again, booking backwards has backfired.
- Apparently AJ Lee and Kaitlyn wanted to do a ladder match at the pay-per-view next week but with the Knockouts Ladder Match on this week's Impact Wrestling, the idea was quickly shot down.
- Brian Soscia recently hosted Ryback for an interview. In it, Ryback discusses everything from growing up as a wrestling fan to debuting in WWE as Skip Sheffield. He also talks about the Bill Goldberg comparisons and more. You can listen to the interview at this link.
= Adam “Big Country” Scherr starts with WWE developmental this week. Scherr is a powerlifter listed at 6'7, 375lbs.
- The talk of the weekend, wrapped up in two abbreviated Tweets by Justin Gabriel and Jay Briscoe that you can view below:
- Central Florida News 13 has a new Q&A online featuring quotes from Randy Orton. Below are the highlights:
If he ever needed a stunt double while filming his role in "12 Rounds 2: Reloaded:"
Yes, there was. Funny story, actually. Stunt men are great. They're there to make it a little easier on the actors. I wanted to be a stunt man as a kid, so I did all my stunts. There were two times, however, where my stunt double talked me into letting him do it. I got tossed or kicked down a flight of stairs. But he wore body armor under his EMT outfit that I was wearing, of course. He's made up to look just like me. But he literally - head to toe - was covered in like this hard plastic and I'm like, 'Are you serious, bro?' I would've just done it just like this. I've got my thermal underwear on underneath my thing. I don't need my chest plate [pounding chest]! But those guys get paid when they take the bumps like that, so he was great and he was actually Jason in Friday the 13th. I had to give the guy a payday. I couldn't steal his thunder. He's gotta have his name in the credits.
Would acting be something he would consider leaving wrestling for?
I do love performing in that ring. It's a high you can't get anywhere else - that buzz when your music hits and those people, whether they're booing you out of the building or they love you - it's an adrenaline rush. I believe I'm an adrenaline rush junkie and that's where I get my fix. To stop wrestling all together - I don't know that that will happen to me in the immediate future. But to know that movies could maybe be my future one day - not any time soon - but one day, I can accept that. I think that would be very cool.
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
- Byron Saxton has a new article over on dot com on Sami Zayn, formerly known as El Generico, who is now working in WWE NXT as a developmental talent. You can read it at this link.
- WWE is in the process of contacting websites with statements that they recently conducted an investigation of their developmental system following accusations made by Chase Donovan (Drew Donaldson), Chad Baxter (Derek Foore) and Kevin Matthews (Kevin McDonald) in a podcast called "Two And A Half Wrestlers." Most of the accusations had to do with head NXT trainer Bill DeMott. The company makes it clear "no sexual harassment complaints" have been filed against any employee at WWE's training facility in Orlando. They say the allegations are "baseless" and were made by "disgruntled talent recently released." WWE continued by saying they take the issues seriously, which is why the investigation was conducted. The investigation concluded no wrongdoing. We recently reported that the new WWE Performance Center is equipped with surveillance cameras, with one feed going to Bill DeMott and the other directly to Vince McMahon.
- As the storyline goes, Vickie Guerrero was "fired" from her kayfabe position of "Managing Supervisor of WWE Raw." The "decision" came after a "performance evaluation" of Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon and Triple H yielded no result. Voting on the WWE App determined that Vickie failed, with 75% voting she failed with only 25% voting she passed. Vince made an all out heel turn after the segment, telling the audience they failed, not Vickie Guerrero. He then named Brad Maddox the new General Manager of Monday Night Raw.
- Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was in attendance at Monday Night Raw this week in Baltimore, Maryland.
- The Wyatt Family made their highly anticipated debut on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw. After Kane beat Christian, Bray Wyatt was featured for one final promo on the big screen before coming down the ramp with a lantern. When the lights came back on, Luke Harper and Erik Rowan were attacking Kane in the ring. Later into the attack, Bray Wyatt joined the two on the outside, kneeling over Kane to send the broadcast to commercial.
- There was a production error on Monday Night Raw when Christian came out for his match against Kane. The screen showcased "Michael McGillicutty" when Christian came out. You can view a photo from my Twitter:
- The WWE Performance Center is open as NXT workers are already training in the facility located in Winter Park, Florida.
- Rhett Titus, known for his work with Ring of Honor, worked as an extra on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw. Titus was seen in a backstage segment with Vickie Guerrero, Vince McMahon and Brad Maddox.
- Remember the photo from late last month of Nikki Bella in a wheelchair with John Cena (view here)? When Nikki came out for commentary during the Divas match on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw, she was on crutches.
- WWE did a stretcher job with Kane following The Wyatt Family's "attack" on him.
- Former WWE Diva Maria Kanellis said she was offered a WWE contract to return but that The Bella Twins made sure she did not get it. Maria said she put them over in an earlier Q&A but it was before she got the facts. She also agreed with a follower they were "always" scared of her.
The following is from Maria's verified Twitter account:
- After this week's WWE Raw went off the air, WWE Champion John Cena beat Ryback in a Tables Match. Prior to Cena's entrance for the match, CM Punk was making his way back up the ramp from the Raw main event. He "played dead" at the top of the stage in front of the big screen but later got up and had a laugh with John before heading to the back. After the match, Cena celebrated his win with Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice. Ryback attacked Justin Gabriel in a backstage segment that aired on the WWE App. Gabriel was discussing Ryback vs. Chris Jericho when Ryback attacked him from behind. Ryback said "Cryback" isn't his name.
- There were nearly 300,000 votes cast on the WWE App for Vickie Guerrero's "performance evaluation" on this week's Monday Night Raw.
- Bray Wyatt has strong support from Chris Jericho. The following is from Jericho's verified Twitter account:
- Steve Austin offered CM Punk the following advice during his match against Randy Orton on this week's WWE Monday Night Raw:
- We reported earlier here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com that Rhett Titus appeared in a backstage segment with Vickie Guerrero, Brad Maddox and Vince McMahon on this week's Monday Night Raw. You can view a photo from my Twitter embedded below:
- WWE has posted video footage of The Wyatt Family's debut on Monday Night Raw and subsequent attack on Kane on their official YouTube channel. You can watch it at this link. The Wyatt Family received high marks backstage for the debut despite some in the crowd chanting "Husky Harris." WWE's in the process of pushing the faction hard out of the gate and hope to setup a prominent match for the trio at SummerSlam. As we noted here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, WWE did an injury angle with Kane following the attack on Raw. It's unknown if this was the company's way to write him out of the WWE Championship Money in the Bank ladder match on Sunday.
- Below is the updated lineup for WWE Money in the Bank 2013 following the airing of this week's episode of Monday Night Raw:
WWE Championship Match
- John Cena © vs. Mark Henry
World Heavyweight Championship Match
- Alberto Del Rio © vs. Dolph Ziggler
Money in the Bank Ladder Match for a WWE Championship Contract
- CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton vs. Sheamus vs. Christian vs. Kane vs. Rob Van Dam
Money in the Bank Ladder Match for a World Heavyweight Championship Contract
- Wade Barrett vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Damien Sandow vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Fandango vs. Jack Swagger vs. Antonio Cesaro
- Ryback vs. Chris Jericho
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match
- Curtis Axel © vs. The Miz
WWE Divas Championship Match
- AJ Lee © vs. Kaitlyn
WWE Tag Team Championship Pre-Show Match
- Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns vs. The Usos
WWE Money in the Bank 2013 will take place Sunday, July 14, 2013 from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Make sure you join us for exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- Last week's episode of WWE Smackdown did an average viewing audience of 2,383,000 viewers on SyFy.
- Booker T checked in on Twitter regarding his return to WWE. The following is from his Twitter:
Booker has been off WWE television since April after having a procedure to clean up his elbow and surgery due to a torn distal triceps.
- Who will get it done at Money in the Bank on Sunday? Watch this week's episode of "Backstage Fallout" Raw at this link.
- OK! Magazine has posted an "exclusive first look" at the upcoming "Total Divas" reality show on E. You can view them at this link.
- As we suspected, WWE is playing up Kane's "injuries" at the hands of The Wyatt Family from this week's Monday Night Raw. Below is an excerpt from an article posted here on dot com:
“Due to the head and neck trauma suffered by Kane, we precautiously immobilized his cervical spine with a cervical collar. He’s been transported to a local trauma facility and is currently undergoing further evaluation.”
Following the attack, Kane was carted off on a stretcher and taken to a local medical facility.
“After [Kane] was put into the ambulance, he was coherent; he was speaking to us and following simple commands. The biggest concern that we have is any sort of brain or cervical spine trauma that may be significant enough to either warrant surgery, or an extended period of time away from the ring.”
Obviously the question mark this adds is Kane's status for the WWE Championship MITB Ladder Match on Sunday.
- Adam "Big Country" Scherr wrote the following on Facebook about his first day at the WWE Performance Center:
First day with the WWE training in the books had a blast but they whooped my ass!!! Gotta get my cardio on check and this is gonna be alot easier!!!
- Jim Ross took part in an Oklahoma Sooners All-Time Draft over on ESPN.com. Sooners fans can check it out at this link.
Backstage news from WWE Monday Night Raw in Baltimore...
- Regarding reports The Undertaker is injured, I cannot confirm that but was told he's "a little worse for wear" and WWE is unsure if he'll be able to work SummerSlam as they had hoped at the beginning of the summer. At any rate, there's been talk of either Kane teaming with Undertaker to oppose The Shield or Kane and someone else to oppose The Wyatt Family. Plans are subject to change and these are just some things we heard from this week's Raw.
- We're told Vickie Guerrero forgot her lines during the "Performance Evaluation" segment including the Brock Lesnar part that Stephanie McMahon brought up.
- The Wyatt Family was over backstage and everyone thought they came across well, however, we heard some thought the Kane beating went a little long and the dead crowd didn't help.
- Many are souring on the Money in the Bank pay-per-view lineup. Both MITB ladder matches have company officials worried, not from an in-ring standpoint but from the all babyface/all heel setup. We're told there are some worries about the in-ring work between John Cena and Mark Henry with the unforgiving Philadelphia crowd.
- We heard several people backstage complaining of a cockroach problem at the 1st Mariner Arena. Obviously this isn't groundbreaking news, but I thought it was enough to mention to perhaps trigger the need for an exterminator.
- TMZ is reporting Randy Orton has gotten divorced. The publication reports he and now ex-wife Samantha separated in 2012 but the divorce order was signed just last month. Perhaps the thing that may surprise wrestling fans is the claim that Orton makes $291,666 per month in salary. The assets mentioned in the TMZ report are hefty but I almost feel dirty reporting them as it's really none of our business. Randy and Samantha have a four-year old daughter, who Samantha gets sole legal and physical custody of, but Randy gets visitation. He's agreed to pay $4500/month in child support. Click here for coverage by TMZ.
- After hyping Kane's "injuries" from this week's Monday Night Raw, WWE now lists him as "doubtful" to compete in the WWE Championship Money in the Bank Ladder Match at the pay-per-view on Sunday. Click here for coverage by dot com. As for replacements, the obviously speculation is using Bray Wyatt to take the spot in the match but I've heard nothing concrete as of this writing.
- Shawn Michaels will be signing autographs at George’s Cards and Collectibles Oxford Valley Mall Store in Langhorne, PA on Saturday, July 27th, 2013 from 11AM to 2PM. More information, including tickets, is available at this link.
- AlwaysAList.com has a new interview online with Percy Watson. Below are the highlights:
Frustrated about spending more time in developmental?:
“Frustration is probably the wrong word to use. It's more of an anticipation. You’re anticipating you getting your shot. So nah, I wasn’t really frustrated. I figured my time would come sooner or later. But also I had to work at it to get that opportunity to come back around again,” he explained, before adding: “Unfortunately, it never did!”
Why he was released:
“I can’t speak for everyone else, I can only speak for myself. I was never given a clear answer as to why I was released,” he confessed.
If he ever missed training sessions:
“I’ve never missed a training session in my life, regardless of what sport I was playing including wrestling in WWE and FCW,” he made clear. “That was truly not the case at all. My release had nothing to do, in my opinion, to my work ethic whatsoever.”
Click here to listen to the interview in its entirety.
- The upcoming "Total Divas" reality show introduces WWE fans to the real-life relationships of John Cena and Nikki Bella, Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella, Tyson Kidd and Natalya and Jimmy Uso and Naomi. Another couple is Justin Gabriel and new Diva Jo-Jo Offerman.
The following photo is from Twitter:
- Tyson Kidd noted on Twitter that he's been training with former TNA star Johnny Devine. The following is from Twitter:
Kidd is currently recovering from a knee injury.
- Hornswoggle noted on Twitter that shooting has began for the WWE Studios reboot of "Leprechaun." The following is from Twitter:
- Philly.com has a great article online featuring quotes from WWE United States Champion Dean Ambrose. In it, Ambrose discusses returning to Philadelphia for Money in the Bank and his past working for CZW. He also puts over his time in WWE's developmental system.
Below are the highlights:
“I was in a lot of really crazy matches and a lot of stuff that you’ll never ever see on WWE television,” Ambrose said. “I put my body through a lot of abuse for very little money for a long time.”
"I wasn’t intimidated when I got to WWE,” Ambrose said. “I kind of felt like that I had put myself through so much to get here that there isn’t anybody that’s going to take this away from me.”
“I knew what I was capable of,” he added. “I had the confidence in myself to just know that I’m going to be the guy here and that I am good as anybody else here.”
“There was a lot of adjustments and a lot to learn like learning how to work for cameras as oppose to just working for an audience,” he said. “I’ve wrestled in front big crowds for big shows before and I’ve wrestled on television and pay-per-view before, but until you get to Monday Night Raw where there’s 30 cameras, it’s a whole different ball game. Then I had no idea what I was doing.”
“I feel like I’m 10 times better of a wrestler than I was when I first got here,” Ambrose said. “You have so many good brains to pick here in the dressing room with Hall-of-Fame guys. I can pick Arn Anderson’s brain or William Regal’s brain or Jamie Noble.”
“Joey Mercury is a guy that I learned so much from during my time in FCW,” he added. “He’s one of the smartest wrestling minds that you’ll ever find anywhere and me and him had a really good connection and I was able to really learn a lot and step up my game from working with him.”
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
- Yoshi Tatsu beat Darren Young in a dark match prior to Tuesday's WWE television tapings in Hampton, Virginia.
- Jim Ross checked in with a new blog on his official website where he gave his thoughts on this week's Monday Night Raw and more details on his upcoming tour of the United Kingdom. You can read it at this link.
- World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio was an in-studio guest on FM 99 WNOR on Tuesday to promote this week's WWE television tapings. You can watch the appearance at this link.
- Ricardo Rodriguez is telling people he failed a WWE Wellness Test due to a fat burning supplement that he purchased at GNC. We were told by a source within the company there were some type of levels elevated in his blood work that triggered the marker. WWE has a baseline for all normal levels in the human body and when one of them comes back elevated, it's up to the worker to produce a valid prescription for the supplement. If they are unable to do this, they are issued a Wellness violation.
- Former WWE NXT employee Rob Naylor received a tremendous amount of support after finishing up with the company prior to the move to the new WWE Performance Center. While well liked, it was Triple H that made the call to release him. Hunter did have kind words for him on Twitter and Naylor was seen as someone that left on very good terms. In the short-term he'll be doing work for Dusty Rhodes but in the long-term, he's looking to run his own wrestling promotion. We're told Naylor has already began scouting talent and wants to run in Florida.
- WWE is still has a job listing on JobMagic.com for a WWE Performance Center General Manager. The company has been diligently conducting interviews for the position so it very well might have been filled and they just haven't removed the listing, but you can still view it at this link.
- Steve Austin refused to rule out possibly working a match at Wrestlemania XXX next year in a new interview with Dave Lagreca and Doug Mortman on the "Busted Open" radio show. Below is a lengthy excerpt the show sent out:
If he's healthy enough to work:
"Oh I'm healthy enough. My knees coming around just fine, it's better than it's ever been because I've been doing my do diligence on my rehab. I've got two new ligaments. Everything else is pain free. I'm still in shape been working out harder than I've ever worked out. But here's the deal. When you're gonna try to commit to do a Wrestlemania 30, you're looking really at, at least a two to three month commitment, if not four. So you know you're talking about, taking everything else of the table. I can still do my podcast but take everything else off the table and focus specifically on that task. To do it the way I would do it, to do it the way Stone Cold Steve Austin would do it, at a 120 percent. Because to go out there and to try to perform at 85-90 percent because you didn't prep enough. That would be bogus, that would be BS that would be letting the crowd down. And that would be representing the Stone Cold Steve Austin that I know and love to a degree that is not acceptable. So once you throw a legitimate, real deal offer down on the table and say let's talk, then we'll talk. But until then, conjecture."
If he's up for the challenge:
"Well if I'm gonna agree to the challenge, accept it and go into it because I want to and the business makes sense, then absolutely."
If CM Punk vs. Steve Austin could be an all-time great match:
"Oh it definitely could. It brings a lot to the table from a verbal standpoint with his well thought out promos, the way in which he conducts his business. I like his product in the ring. I like to see him turn it up more in the mainstream. I like to see a little more physicality, laying in stuff a little more. I like to see him be a little bit more aggressive. That's just off the top of my head. Other than that, I like everything about the cat."
How big it would be if he actually worked Wrestlemania XXX in New Orleans:
"Well I'm not going to put the cart in front of the horse. I'm not lobbying for a match. If the starts lined up, then it would happen, but it's going to take a lot for those stars to line up. No sense in beating a dead horse. To think about it is one thing, to actually go out, come to terms and go through the business prep and actually accomplish a match, it's a whole different ballgame and a major process."
Click here for more on the "Busted Open" radio show.
- The viewership numbers for this week's episode of WWE Monday Night Raw are finally available after being delayed due to last week's Independence Day holiday in the United States. The show averaged 4,167,000 viewers on the USA Network. The show ended up with a 3.08 cable rating.
- While I haven't heard WWE's reaction to TMZleaking Randy Orton's salary of $291,666 a month, I'm under the assumption they are none too pleased. The assumption from many backstage was that Orton was getting paid as a "top guy" but very few believed he was making close to $300,000 per month. I asked one source about another top name in the company and was told they weren't getting paid "anywhere near" that amount. WWE likes to keep salaries private because it hurts them when negotiating contracts. A situation WWE will have on their hands sooner than later will be that of CM Punk. Punk's contract will be coming due over the course of the next several months and Orton's salary leaking doesn't exactly put the "ball in WWE's court." When negotiating a new deal with the company a couple years ago, Punk made strong demands and was willing to walk away if they were not met. Given that Punk's value has only increased since his latest WWE contract was signed in 2011, I'm under the impression he'll be looking for an even more favorable deal this time around.
- With the backstage segment of Ryback approaching Vickie Guerrero and "hugging" her after her "firing" on this week's episode of WWE Monday Night Raw, speculation has been rampant regarding a future alliance. WWE booked themselves into a corner with Ryback as many feel the mistakes regarding the character have played out on television. Ryback was inserted into WWE title matches before he was ready and WWE has felt the consequences over the last several months. Many in the company feel a potential pairing with Vickie would provide Ryback with a viable mouthpiece and get him over as a dominant heel.
- The general belief with Kane being labeled "doubtful" for the WWE Championship Money in the Bank ladder match at the pay-per-view on Sunday, is that he will be replaced. While the favorite is Bray Wyatt, there is also a return not being mentioned. Big Show is slated to return from injury at the middle of this month and this could provide an opportunity to bring him back. With that being said, I do not know the creative plans regarding Kane and Money in the Bank but felt both Wyatt and Show as potential replacements were worth mentioning.
- Dot com posted a "tell all" interview with Rob Van Dam ahead of his return to WWE at Sunday's Money in the Bank pay-per-view. Below is an excerpt:
WWE.COM: How did your return come about?
ROB VAN DAM: I called WWE.
WWE.COM: Did you know you were going to come back to WWE when you appeared at the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at Madison Square Garden?
VAN DAM: I wasn’t there to try to get a job. I was there to see my brother Booker T. But Booker did plant a seed by telling me to come back. It was the right move to come to the top and I’m very excited that this is happening.
WWE.COM: Who knew about it other than you and your wife?
VAN DAM: Triple H was the guy I was talking to. And I sent Booker a text. It wasn’t a definite deal until two weeks at the most before the videos started running. Once I got my starting date of Money in the Bank, that made it real.
WWE.COM: What led to your departure from WWE in 2007 one year after your big moment against John Cena?
VAN DAM: I was burned out from the schedule. I never had any time off and I was always homesick. And once I knew for sure that ECW was going downhill, I was disheartened and unmotivated and the routine became monotonous. I needed to disengage myself from it in order to rebuild my inner self. When my contract expired, John Laurinaitis wanted me to re-sign, take a couple months off and come back. I couldn’t do it. At the time, I was so burned out that whenever I was home, I was literally counting the hours until I had to go back to the airport.
Click here to read the interview in its entirety.
- Chris Jericho's "The Rock of Jericho" is ending on Saturday, August 24, 2013 due to the cancellation of the XM Sixx Sense channel. There are six episodes remaining, the following is from Twitter:
- We always get a lot of questions about Mason Ryan after being sent back to WWE developmental after already debuting on the main roster. Byron Saxton has a new article on Ryan's redemption online here on dot com.
- WWE Champion John Cena is representing the company at an Experian Marketing conference in Las Vegas to talk about WWE's use of Twitter. The following is from Cena's Twitter:
- The grand opening of the WWE Performance Center is Thursday at 2:30 Eastern. The company has invited select members of the media to attend the event prior to Thursday night's WWE NXT television tapings from the campus of Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida. Dolph Ziggler, AJ Lee and Big E Langston are scheduled for the tapings. Check back later Thursday night for full spoilers.
- Numerous WWE names are in attendance at the grand opening of the WWE Performance Center now underway in Winter Park, Florida. Antonio Cesaro, Big Show, Bill DeMott, Brodus Clay, The Bella Twins, Cameron, Curtis Axel, Drew McIntyre, Jim Ross, Larry Zbyszko, Mark Henry, Michael Cole, Michael Hayes, Naomi, Natalya, Paul Heyman, Rosa Mendes, Tensai, The Shield, Triple H are all confirmed there. Trainers working in the ring with talent include Steve KeirnSara Del Rey, Billy Gunn, Norman Smiley, Terry Taylor and Joey Mercury.
- We're told Samuray Del Sol still doesn't know what the hold up is in the pre-screening process of his WWE contract. We're told he's just as clueless as anyone else but there has been no update on his status.
- All eyes were on the new 26,000 square feet WWE Performance Center for the state of the art facility's grand opening in Winter Park, Florida on Thursday. The facility cost $3.5 million to convert from a warehouse to the most impressive pro wrestling training facility in the world.
Below are some news and notes from the affair:
There is an office area with a 4000 pound steel table and a self contained promo area where workers can practice promos.
The facility features a new "announce room" where Jim Ross will be regularly helping out.
Dr. Michael Sampson will be keeping "office hours" at the facility with Dr. Joseph Maroon also being involved. This is being looked at as a big plus for talent already on the main roster as they can come in and rehab when injured.
One of the facility's seven rings has extra padding for practicing high spots, while another has full event lighting to acclimate talent for television.
Florida Governor Rick Scott was seen as major ally in the facility being built in Florida, however, WWE did not receive any incentive from the state.
Our report of cameras throughout the facility has been confirmed as High Definition cameras will keep developmental under 24/7 surveillance. Company executives and Vince McMahon will be able to check in on developmental anywhere at any time they want.
Full Sail University graduate Felipe Gianazzo was awarded a $10,000 scholarship by TripleH. Gianazzo has worked ever NXT show since May 2012.
Xavier Woods, formerly known as Consequences Creed, spoke on behalf of the developmental talent at Thursday's event.
Michael Cole operated as the host for the press conference.
Sheamus spoke from a superstar's prospective and talked about working as part of the ring crew at Wrestlemania 24, while he was just a developmental wrestler.
Stephanie McMahon said that Triple H's legacy begins with the WWE Performance Center.
The hashtag #WWEPC is actually trending Twitter.
Vince McMahon called the facility's opening "a new beginning"
- WWE has hired former TNA referee Rudy Charles. He's currently working in developmental at the new WWE Performance Center. The following is from his verified Twitter account:
- WWE will report their quarter two earnings for 2013 on Thursday, August 1, 2013 prior to market open. Official buy rates will be released for Wrestlemania 29, Extreme Rules and WWE Payback. Vince McMahon will host a conference call with investors at 11 AM on the same morning.
- Wildest Money in the Bank moments are discussed in this week's episode of WWE Inbox. You can watch it at this link.
- WWE confirmed to local Philadelphia media that the city is one of the "many cities" that has expressed interest in hosting a future Wrestlemania. An official announcement for Wrestlemania 31's location will be made early next year. One of the venues WWE would be interested in would be Lincoln Financial Field, the home of the Philadelphia Eagles. In addition to the being a candidate for Wrestlemania 31 in 2015, the city is also a candidate for Wrestlemania 32 in 2016.
- It was announced during the international airing of Smackdown that Kane will not be in the WWE Championship Money in the Bank ladder match at the pay-per-view on Sunday. The announcement will air in the United States during the show's airing Friday night at 8/7c on SyFy.
- This week's WWE NXT television tapings from the campus of Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida was seen as the most important developmental taping in WWE's history. With the grand opening of the WWE Performance Center, several prominent names were in attendance and Triple H wanted the company's developmental system to shine.
Main roster stars that appeared at the tapings included Tons of Funk, The Wyatt Family, Antonio Cesaro, Dean Ambrose, Paul Heyman, Curtis Axel, Big E Langston, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, AJ Lee, Dolph Ziggler and Mark Henry.
Antonio Cesaro and Sami Zayn (formerly known as El Generico) worked a two out of three falls match that "tore the house down." We're told the crowd gave them a standing ovation and changed "match of the year." Wrestling News World Florida correspondent Scott Brooks went into detail in the taping results for "obvious reasons." The match will air on the August 26, 2013 episode.
The new WWE NXT broadcast team is Tom Phillips and Alex Riley. Here's a photo from the Twitter account of Jim Ross:
- The "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase has a new website located at www.MillionDollarMan.com. There is a Facebook page attached at www.Facebook.com/MDMTedDiBiaseOfficial. You can also read his first blog entry at this link.
- While we mentioned here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com that Philadelphia is in the running to host Wrestlemania 31 or 32, the Big House in Ann Arbor, Michigan is still a very popular venue to host one of them. As we've reported previously, WWE wants to see how the venue, reserved for big college football games, handles next year's NHL Winter Classic. The reason Vince McMahon is interested in running at the Big House is simple - he wants 120,000 fans at Wrestlemania.
- As expected, there are plenty of people backstage in WWE upset about Randy Orton reportedly making $291,666 a month. We're told the numbers are from 2012 when he received a large portion of the Smackdown gate. A source, speaking to us under the condition of anonymity, says Orton was number four in merchandise sales last year behind CM Punk, John Cena and Rey Mysterio. We're told it wasn't merchandise that really boosted his income as much as it was his portion of the live gates. There are other top names that either want their contracts restructured or larger pay days when their current contracts come up. There are names currently working on the same level as Orton that are making one third of the $291,666 a month figure. WWE goes out of their way to keep salaries and contracts private, attaching non-disclosure agreements to contracts that include termination clauses if deals are discussed. In total, the amount Orton is getting paid really goes to show how much faith the company in him when it was first signed.
- Steve Austin's declaration that he is healthy enough for a match at Wrestlemania XXX is his way of saying he's available if the money is right. Basically, Austin would entertain the thought of "one last match" if the financial compensation made sense.
- Brian Fritz interviewed WWE's Senior Vice President of Special Events John Saboor on Thursday at the grand opening of the WWE Performance Center. You can watch it at this link.
- WWE Champion John Cena is scheduled to be a guest on "Live with Kelly and Michael" on Monday. The following is from Twitter:
- JBL has officially been challenged. Check out this week's episode of The JBL & Cole Show at this link.
- WWE confirmed on dot com what we already reported, Kane has been pulled from the WWE Championship Money in the Bank All-Stars Match at the pay-per-view on Sunday. The company questions his replacement and mentions The Great Khali, Big Show, Kofi Kingston a WWE Legend or no one.
- WWE and E! issued the following press release on Friday, giving full details on the upcoming "Total Divas" reality show:
E! AND WWE® TAKE VIEWERS INTO THE WORLD OF THE POP CULTURE PHENOMENON WITH “TOTAL DIVAS” PREMIERING SUNDAY, JULY 28 AT 10PM ET/PT
For the First Time Ever, WWE Favorites - The Bella Twins, Natalya, Cameron, Naomi, And Two Divas-In-Training - Bring The Fun, The Sexy And The Drama In And Out Of The Ring With This New Eight-Episode Docu-Series
WWE Superstars John Cena ®, Daniel Bryan ®, Jimmy Uso ®, Tyson Kidd ®, Fandango ®, The Great Khali ®, Hornswoggle ® And More To Appear In The Series’ Debut Season
Los Angeles, CA – July 11, 2013 –WWE and E!, two pop culture giants, partner to bring viewers the first-ever look into the world of the WWE Divas in the all new docu-series, “Total Divas.” Cameras will follow the lives of five Divas - both in and out of the ring - giving a first-hand look at the electric personalities, compelling personal lives and incomparable in-ring performances that have helped make WWE the most successful organization in sports entertainment history.
With the triumphant return of fan favorites, The Bella Twins, Nikki and Brie, after a year-long break, the two sisters are met with an explosive mix of energy from twogorgeous, polar opposite newbies who enter the rigorous WWE training program for a chance to call themselves Divas. The series opens with an unprecedented look inside the most-anticipated WWE event of the year, WrestleMania®, marking the first time that any television series was granted exclusive behind-the-scenes access to WWE. Produced by WWE and Bunim-Murray Productions, a Banijay company, “Total Divas” will highlight the glamorous, chaotic and often dramatic lives of the WWE Divas when the series premieres Sunday, July 28 at 10pm ET/PT following a new episode of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” only on E!
Meet the Divas:
Nikki Bella (Stephanie Garcia Colace) of the tag team “The Bella Twins”
A self-admitted "tomboy" with a feminine side, Nikki originally planned to play professional soccer until a leg injury ended her career. From there, she followed her twin sister Brieto the WWE. Nikki is idolized by fans and newbie Divas-in-training alike, but, the rivalries and competition runs thick within WWE – especially between the Bellas and their tag team nemeses “The Funkadactyls.” Outside the ring, Nikki has been sustaining a secret, steady relationship with one of the biggest names in WWE history. For the first time, the couple will open up about their personal lives together when “Total Divas” premieres July 28th.
Brie Bella (Brianna Garcia Colace) of the tag-team “The Bella Twins”
The other half of the dazzling and devious Bella Twins, Brie debuted on SmackDown in 2008. Alongside her sister Nikki, the half-Italian, half-Mexican beauties have quickly become two of the most popular Divas in history, each with their own solo reign as WWE Women’s Champion. Outside of the ring, Brie has found love in the arms of one of WWE’s biggest names, Daniel Bryan.
Naomi (Trinity McCray) of the tag-team “The Funkadactyls”
The leggy beauty first turned heads as a dancer for the NBA's Orlando Magic and on concert tours for hip-hop stars like Flo-Rida. These talents took Trinity around the world performing in sold out arenas. However, none of these venues could compare to stepping foot in the ring after appearing on as a contestant on WWE NXT, a competition series searching for the next big name in the WWE. There, Trinity showed something special and made her WWE debut as Naomi accompanying Superstar Brodus Clay® to the ring while dancing with fellow Diva Cameron. The two ladies commanded the attention of the fans with their athleticism and dance skills, thus forming “The Funkadactyls,” a sexy tag-team that rivals “The Bella Twins.” Out of the ring, Trinity recently went public with her relationship to WWE Superstar Jimmy Uso.
Cameron (Ariane Andrew) of the tag-team “The Funkadactyls”
As one of the feistiest Divas in the biz, Cameron joins Naomi as a duo on the path to the top of Diva Queen-dom. This caused plenty of tension and drama with “those Bella twins,” as she calls them, and outside of the ring, tensions continue to grow as Ariane is looking to be the top Diva in the WWE. In addition to balancing the grueling work and training schedule, Ariane is in a relationship with a man not in the WWE world – which presents a lot of obstacles of its own. As Ariane is learning, not every Diva can have it all.
Natalya (Natalie Neidhart)
Stepping into the ring was in Natalie’s blood as the daughter of the legendary Jim “The Anvil®” Neidhart and the niece of Bret “Hit Man®” Hart and Bruce Hart. Along with her cousin David Hart Smith, Natalya, as she is known in the ring, continues to make the family proud as a third-generation Superstar. In the ring, Natalya is joined by her cousin David and her fiancée “Tyson Kidd®,” forming The Hart Dynasty. Out of the ring, Natalie has claimed the heart of “Tyson Kidd,” and the couple’s road to the altar will be documented in “Total Divas,” including the bachelorette party, finding the perfect dress and of course the wedding ceremony.
Eva Marie (Natalie Nelson) and JoJo Offerman (Joseanne Offerman) – Divas-in-Training
Eva Marie is a rebellious spitfire and immediately ruffles the feathers with the established Divas. The budding bombshell also makes her presence known to the male Superstars when she flirts relentlessly with fan favorite Fandago. Polar opposite is sweet and shy JoJo Offerman who comes in a tiny package but has booming and harmonic voice which just adds another layer to her talents. The ladies are eager to step foot in the ring, even as they hear about potential injuries and surgeries (maybe even ones that are cosmetic) that take some Divas out of commission. The competition is stiff and as these two newbies will learn over the course of the season, only the strong survive in the world of Divas.
Don’t miss the match-up between the Bellas and Naomi/Cameron (aka The Funkadactyls) as they bring the drama from the very start when “Total Divas” premieres Sunday, July 28th at 10pm ET/PT on E!
Total Divas is produced by WWE and Bunim-Murray Productions. Jon Murray, Gil Goldshein, Jeff Jenkins and Russell Jay are Executive Producers for Bunim-Murray Productions.
- Money in the Bank secrets featured in this week's episode of "Backstage Fallout" Smackdown that you can watch now at this link.
- Former WWE and TNA office worker Brian Wittenstein, who was listed as a defendant in TNA's lawsuit against WWE last year, was backstage visiting at Friday night's TNA "Basebrawl" live event in Brooklyn.
- Speaking of Friday night's live event in Brooklyn, attendance was good but the matches were limited. There was a fireworks show planned for 9:40 PM so workers were limited in what they could do. Hot 97'sPeter Rosenberg accompanied Velvet Sky to her match against Mickie James for the TNA Knockouts Championship.
- I'm able to confirm that Lindsey Bynum, who had been working as the Manager of Live Events Publicity in TNA Wrestling, has left the company. Her last day was Friday, June 28, 2013. Bynum had taken on more responsibility in TNA's public relations department following the departures of Jules Wortman and Chris Thomas. She began working for TNA in February 2012. Lindsey described her decision to leave as "difficult" but she will now look for other opportunities to further her PR career.
- The reason for the cuts in both the TNA office and to the talent roster are completely budget related. The company is spending more money with television and production on the road and is being forced to "trim the fat" in whatever ways possible. Dixie Carter, who has a reputation for being extremely caring, takes the cuts personally and doesn't notify talent herself. Al Snow has had the daunting task of informing talent.
- lohud.com has a new article online featuring quotes from TNA Champion Bully Ray and Devon. Below is an excerpt:
“When they love me they love me a lot; when they hate me they hate me even more,” said Bully Ray, the current TNA World Heavyweight champion, who along with Devon, has been in the business for more than 20 years, wrestling in ECW and WWE before joining TNA in 2005. “I’ve been just as successful being loved as I have being hated, but if you give me my choice I’d rather be hated.”
“The more we can get that crowd into a riot, the more we got excited and the more we did it,” Devon said. “We knew how to get underneath their skin to the point where people really wanted to jump that railing and come at us.”
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
- Magnus discusses joining the Main Event Mafia in a new "Inside Impact" clip at this link.
- Last week's 4th of July episode of Impact Wrestling did an average viewing audience of 1,053,000 viewers on Spike TV. The show scored just a 0.78 cable rating on the holiday in the United States.
- Pro wrestling promoter Phil Varlese, in a statement issued to Gerweck.net, claims that a male participant in the TNA Gut Check Challenge filed a discrimination complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against TNA Wrestling in April 2013. According to Varlese, the EEDOC found there was enough to move forward with a case but TNA has yet to issue a response.
The wrestler's name has not been disclosed, according to the statement. TNA has not responded to multiple requests from the agency.
- Can Gail Kim get on The List? Jeremy Borash stands in for SoCal Val with Robbie E on this week's show. You can watch at this link.
- I'm able to independently confirm that Matt Morgan requested to be released from his contract with TNA Wrestling and his request was granted. Morgan first came to TNA Wrestling in August 2007 and is a former two-time TNA Tag Team Champion. He was also involved in the company's Ring Ka King promotion in India where he reigned as their first heavyweight champion. Unlike the releases last week, this was Matt asking out of his contract and not a cut made for reasons related to budget. This was ultimately Matt's request and his request was granted.
- Following up Matt Morganrequesting his release from TNA Wrestling, both parties have commented on Twitter.
Impact Wrestling statement:
Matt Morgan statement:
- Eric Bischoff wrote the following on Twitter regarding Matt Morgan:
- TNA Wrestling issued the following press release on Wednesday:
TNA IMPACT WRESTLING takes another step forward in Europe by announcing a new tie-up with Portugal’s leading sports broadcast, SPORT TV. The contract will bring global wrestling stars including ‘The Immortal’ Hulk Hogan, ‘The Icon’ Sting, ‘The Charismatic Enigma’ Jeff Hardy, Olympic Gold Medallist Kurt Angle, Velvet Sky and Magnus back to Portuguese TV screens. TNA IMPACT WRESTLING will air every Tuesday at 10.30pm on SPORT TV, with repeats each Thursday at 7.30pm. TNA’s monthly One Night Only and PPV events – including Lockdown and Bound For Glory – will go out on Monday nights at 9.30pm. Other sports broadcast by SPORT TV in Portugal include NBA, NFL, NHL, Formula 1, NASCAR, UFC and soccer from around the world including the Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and German leagues, as well as UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europe League games. SPORT TV Programming and News Director Nuno Ferreira said: “SPORT TV wishes to integrate in its programming the most important and prestigious international competitions to reinforce the quality that our subscribers are looking for. “TNA is now another extraordinary brand that we are proud to work with. Our wrestling fans are certainly very happy with this partnership.” TNA Executive Vice President Andy Barton added: "Europe is a key growth area for TNA IMPACT WRESTLING and we are delighted to be returning to TV screens in Portugal. “Portugal has always been full of fanatical wrestling fans and now they can watch the most innovative experience in professional wrestling each and every week – only on SPORT TV.” TNA IMPACT WRESTLING is currently the No1 rated weekly wrestling programme in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Australia and Switzerland. The show also airs in France, Poland, Romania, Israel and more than 120 countries around the world.
- Mickie James played a free show Wednesday night at The High Watt in Nashville, TN. Dixie Carter and her husband, Serg Salinas, attended live.
Serge Tweeted the following photo from the show:
Dixie Tweeted this photo:
- Adam Pearce used Twitter to give his thoughts on participating in the TNA Gut Check Challenge. Below is an excerpt from his lengthy post:
"u got fkd by tna".
I wholeheartedly appreciate the passion and the sentiment. I really do, and I am still blown away by the crazy positive support that I got as a result of the GutCheck experience. It was both refreshing and unexpected. But guys, let's take an OBJECTIVE look at it.
Through GutCheck, I got National TV exposure with an authentic presentation of my "character". And even though I wish the match itself was better and got over the things it was supposed/designed to, I did what I could, and I saw an immediate increase in attention to my character and booking inquiries about it. That led directly to $$$. I do this for a living, remember.
Through GutCheck, I found myself working once again with a litany of awesome professionals that at one time or another I've wrestled with, booked for, or produced television with. It was such a natural and seamless fit into that process that I think it probably caught some execs more unfamiliar with me off-guard a bit, and that couldn't be anything but a positive.
Through GutCheck, I made new contacts and opened doors. People that might have only heard of me in passing got an upfront sense of what I am about, both behind closed doors and when the cameras are on, how I operate in the ring, and maybe more importantly how I put things together outside it. That exposure alone might have been more positive, and perhaps more valuable for me, than SpikeTV's.
Click here for Adam's latest in its entirety.
- We're told despite budget cuts that Bruce Prichard still insists that TNA Wrestling pursue a "big name" free agent. With Matt Morgan departing the company earlier this week, we're told Prichard is expected to push once again for the company to go after MVP. MVP has been very candid about not negotiating with TNA but not ruling it out either. Prichard has pushed to bring him in and feels with they could use his talent. He would not be able to use the MVP name.
- Dixie Carter had some noteworthy Tweets during the airing of this week's Impact Wrestling. In addition to congratulating new Main Event Mafia members Magnus and Rampage Jackson, she put over Taryn Terrell and Gail Kim and revealed names for TNA Destination X.
The following is from Dixie's verified Twitter account:
- Christopher Daniels was on "4th & Pain," where he explain why it's unlikely that he joins WWE. You can watch at this link.
- TNA Wrestling published the following details on next week's Destination X on Spike TV special:
TNA's IMPACT WRESTLING on Spike TV is coming to Louisville, KY on Thursday, July 18 at the Broadbent Arena at 7:00 pm. This SPECIAL LIVE IMPACT will feature "Destination X" - that night, the spotlight will be on TNA's high-flying X Division superstars! TNA brings the Destination X epic event to SpikeTV! Watch TNA's aerial acrobats pull off some of the most insane moves you will see in professional wrestling! X Division stars from the past and present collide - and Bully Ray will defend the World Heavyweight Championship against Chris Sabin! Check back to ImpactWrestling.com for more info!
*Times: Doors open: 6:00PM | Showtime: 7:00PM - Tickets are on sale at all Ticketmaster locations, online at www.ticketmaster.com or charge by phone at 800-745-3000.
On Thursday night, TNA presents the special DESTINATION X LIVE IMPACT on SpikeTV at 9/8c! For the first time ever, TNA brings the Destination X epic event to television, showcasing the high-flying superstars of the X-Division - LIVE from the Broadbent Arena in Louisville, Kentucky!
- On the huge broadcast, Bully Ray of The Aces and Eights will defend the World Heavyweight Championship against Chris Sabin! Each year, the X Division champion has the option to cash in their gold for a shot at the World Title - and Sabin is prepared for his chance at making history on Thursday night! On the biggest yearly stage for the X Division, can Sabin beat Bully Ray for the World Title on Thursday night in the main event? Don't miss it!
- The battle lines are set between the new Main Event Mafia and the Aces and Eights, and all hell will break loose on Thursday LIVE on IMPACT! The fight is on between the two alliances, and the future of TNA hangs in the balance! The war begins on Thursday night between the Mafia and the Aces!
- The "Bound For Glory Series" continues on Thursday's special IMPACT, as Austin Aries will battle Bobby Roode in a rematch from the Destination X 2012 event! Former tag team partners will collide with BFG Series points up for grabs!
- Plus, Qualifying Matches will take place on Thursday night as X Division stars from the Past, Present and Future battle to determine a NEW X Division Champion!
All this and much more on Thursday's special Destination X LIVE IMPACT on SpikeTV at 9/8c - don't miss one of the biggest IMPACT events of the year, from the Broadbent Arena in Louisville, Kentucky!
- Kidsday (from the Newsday publication) interview Jeff Hardy at this link.
- TNA Wrestling posted a Destination X video preview at this link.
- Highlights from the Knockouts Ladder Match between Gail Kim and Taryn Terrell are online at this link.
- This week's episode of Impact Wrestling did an average viewing audience of 1,190,000 viewers on Spike TV. The show ended up with a 0.99 cable rating.
I can't help but notice similarities between Dolph Ziggler and Shawn Michaels. I understand that this is a lot to put on Dolph but I feel he has just as much potential as Michaels did back in the 90's. What do you think about this?
I am high up on Dolph Ziggler and feel he has all the tools to be a major star in this business. I'll remind everyone the three things I evaluate talent on and that is look, in-ring and mic work. I give Ziggler high marks on all three, however, I want to push back on the comparisons to Shawn Michaels for now. We all want to find "the next Shawn Michaels" and get behind one of these younger guys to be the "next legend" but it's premature. Let me give you a good example why it's not a good idea to make this comparison. Remember John Morrison? Prior to the rise of Ziggler, people were saying he was the "next Shawn Michaels." Morrison has now been out of WWE for two years and is nowhere near the legacy of HBK. We have to be careful when comparing current talent to past legends.
When the WWE Network launches is it possible that NXT will air on it or will they continue with Hulu Plus?
There is a good chance NXT will be included on the WWE Network when/if? it launches. One of the things the WWE Network will provide is a guaranteed home for any of WWE's programming. NXT is a great program to help familiarize the WWE audience with talent before they make it to the main roster so WWE wants as many eyes on it as possible. This was actually the idea behind the original NXT series that overtook the ECW series on SyFy.
Do you have return updates on Big Show, Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne?
Big Show is slated to return to WWE at the middle of this month as he's been out with a torn labrum. The storyline explanation is he has an "iron clad contract," that allows him to work when he wants. Kofi Kingston is on the booking sheets for WWE's tour of Australia later this month. He underwent surgery on his left elbow in May. The storyline explanation for Kofi's absence is an "attack" from Ryback. Finally, there is no return date set for Evan Bourne but I'm told "no one" is excited as Evan to get back to WWE.
Do you think Randy Orton will ever get back to the main event level?
WWE is already teasing the idea of Randy Orton back in the main event after a year of regressing him to the upper mid card due to a Wellness violation in May 2012. Randy has made plenty of mistakes but he's only 33 and has a lot of time left in the prime of his career.
What was your opinion of the debut of The Wyatt Family on WWE Monday Night and who do you see them feuding with in the near future?
I was thrilled with the debut of Bray Wyatt and company on this week's Monday Night Raw. Social media is a great tool but it's full of humor. We had one reader dismissing the faction before they even debuted. After they debuted, I saw people calling the faction a failure because the crowd chanted "Husky Harris" and promising they'd be reduced to job roles within six months. Hey, they'd chant "Michael McGillicutty" at Curtis Axel but it's impossible to chant the name McGillicutty. There is absolutely no way of knowing a gimmick's future after one week. We have to see how things play out and give them a chance to settle in. Just as you cannot judge a sports team after one game, I feel some are wanting to put a stamp on The Wyatt Family after a couple minutes into it. You can't do this in wrestling. There will be people that will do it, however, it's not smart. Bray Wyatt received very high marks in developmental and has people, such as Chris Jericho, that know what they are talking about putting him over. I think there is a lot of potential in the faction but don't take my word for it, take Jericho's word. He's a future WWE Hall of Famer and one of the most successful workers in the history of this business. However, I will also caution, just as we can't promise The Wyatt Family will fail, we can't promise they'll succeed either. We need to give it some time and see where it goes. My initial reaction was a positive one.
What's the purpose of Ryback vs. Chris Jericho at WWE Money in the Bank? The match just seems odd on a card that otherwise has great matches.
I think Chris Jericho vs. Ryback is a good bout for the WWE Money in the Bank undercard for a couple of reasons. One, Ryback gets to work with someone that can have a good match with anyone in Jericho, who also seems intent on "passing the torch" to some of the younger blood in WWE. Two, Jericho is about to re-join Fozzy so this could provide Ryback the opportunity to write Jericho off television. This would not only give Ryback some much-needed momentum but it would also provide Jericho an angle to return later on down the road.
With the attack on Kane from The Wyatt Family, is he legitimately injured and in need of time off?
I have not heard the reason why WWE did the angle with Kane and The Wyatt Family on this week's Monday Night Raw. It seems almost immediately people are linking the two for a possible match at SummerSlam but everything we've heard prior to Monday was there was some consideration of doing Kane and Undertaker vs. The Shield next month. Let's hold up on SummerSlam and get through Money in the Bank first. Kane's status for the WWE Championship MITB Ladder Match is almost certainly into question but should be followed up on Smackdown. I would expect WWE to role footage of the stretcher job they did off-air on Raw.
Who runs the show when Vince McMahon is on WWE television?
There is a chain of command at WWE television tapings. Kevin Dunn is Vince's right hand man at TVs and is backstage calling the shots, when Vince is on screen and when Vince is backstage. Vince obviously has the final say but Kevin's impact on the show cannot be understated.
Today's installment of Ask WNW is now online in audio format. This is just a test of our new audio equipment and not a permanent replacement. Ask WNW will return in written format on Thursday, July 11, 2013.
To listen push the play button below:
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What is the backstage opinion of The Prime Time Players? I feel both have a lot of talent.
I haven't heard anything bad about Darren Young or Titus O'Neil and think WWE views them as a viable tag team. The booking of the team seems to follow the uncertain direction of the tag division in the company but the fact they worked CM Punk & Curtis Axel, who are obviously held in very high regard, indicates positive standing backstage. As for my thoughts, I'm high up on both and feel Titus O'Neil has one of the best looks in the company.
What has become of Rey Mysterio?
Rey Mysterio has remained out with issues related to his knee and is currently shooting for a return to WWE by SummerSlam. He remains under WWE contract and isn't ready to retire but he's already tried to rush back, only to end up back on the sidelines. Mysterio is best suited to let his injury heal before trying to get back into the ring.
Will The Shield fall into the curse of tag team champions who lose non-title matches? I'm speaking specifically of the clean job they did on Smackdown against Christian and The Usos..
While the aforementioned bout obviously did not involve the WWE Tag Team Championship, I get your point. I'm not a fan of the way The Shield has been booked lately but WWE is clearly pulling them back. As much as I'm high up on Christian, I don't understand why they booked him to get a clean pin [against The Shield] on the June 28th episode of Smackdown. The Shield avenged the loss the following week on Raw, then Christian went on to beat Damien Sandow on Main Event. He later did jobs to Randy Orton on Smackdown then to Kane on this week's Raw. My point is why put The Shield under at all in that spot? Many are optimistic WWE is pulling back on the faction only to see a resurgence but I do think we are seeing the unfortunate results of booking backwards. While the WWE Tag Team Championship match is on the Money in the Bank Kickoff show, the program with The Usos is beneath where the faction has been working. When you don't "book upwards" and start at the top, there's nowhere to go but down. I hope we don't see Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns going under in non-title matches (as well as Dean Ambrose and the United States title) but there's nothing I can write that will say it won't happen either. There is a bigger picture but The Shield is clearly below where they were their first six months in WWE.
Is there any chance at all Mark Henry will pin WWE Champion John Cena at Money in the Bank on Sunday?
There is always chance as anything can happen in WWE although I look at John Cena as a "heavy favorite" to retain the WWE Championship against Mark Henry at the pay-per-view on Sunday. Match placement will be interesting, as WWE knows they are going into a "hostile environment" in Philadelphia, and this won't garner the reaction the return of Rob Van Dam in the WWE Championship Money in the Bank Ladder Match will draw. Another thing to consider is WWE's plans for SummerSlam. Will Henry remain in the title picture or will WWE opt to do something with Daniel Bryan? CM Punk already has a program with Brock Lesnar although Ryback's name has been thrown in as a possible contender. Let's wait and see but I'm predicting Cena to go over.
When do tickets for Wrestlemania XXX go on sale?
Tickets for Wrestlemania XXX in New Orleans are scheduled to go on sale some time in November 2013. We'll be covering it extensively and as soon as we get a firm date with pre-sale information, we'll be sure to pass it along.
It seems like WWE is going with a lot of Tweeners such as Dolph Ziggler, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Vince McMahon, Triple H and so on. I like the direction, do you?
WWE has a lot of tweeners (a character between a heel and a babyface) right now because Vince McMahon felt programming was bland and they needed to "shake things up." The problem is this can get very confusing and will be interesting to see how the Philadelphia crowd reacts at Money in the Bank on Sunday. While tweeners, clearly Dolph Ziggler and CM Punk are leaning babyface while Daniel Bryan and Vince McMahon are leaning heel. Triple H is leaning babyface. I expect the roles to get further defined as we approach SummerSlam next month.
In light of the recent reveal of Randy Orton's take home pay, do you have details of other top level wrestler earnings to give an idea of what they're paid?
WWE is very careful about leaking information when it comes to how much workers get paid. Given the fact workers are listed as "independent contractors" and not "employees," means there is no set pay structure. WWE is best suited in negotiating contracts with workers to keep these numbers as quiet as possible so they have all the leverage. Randy Orton's salary reveal is going to cause problems. While the assumption was Orton was getting paid as a top guy, no one thought he was making $291,666 a month. I've spoken with a lot of people close to other top names that have confirmed other names aren't getting paid "anywhere near" the numbers revealed for Orton. While there is still a certain level of disbelief, the locker room is reacting whether WWE wants them too or not. As for other top names, Brock Lesnar is believed to have a contract worth close to $9 million for his next two years with the company while I haven't heard the numbers The Rock worked under. As far as I know, Lesnar is making more than any other performer in the company. John Cena is believed to be "on up there as well" but since I do not have the numbers, I'll go with what I have.
What are your thoughts on TNA Impact Wrestling and the company's current state? Do you see them crumbling or becoming a viable threat to WWE?
TNA Impact Wrestling has a great partnership with Spike TV, a significant financial backer in Panda Energy and a talent roster that rivals only that of WWE. However, there are problems with the way the product is marketed, there is no set structure of who is in charge and they are growing at a pace much slower than many had hoped. TNA will continue to exist as long as Panda Energy is willing to back the promotion. Should they ever decide to go in another direction, the company would be in trouble. As for becoming a viable threat to WWE, it's going to be very difficult for any company (not just TNA) to compete with them. WWE is so far in front of everyone not only when it comes to television ratings and pay-per-view buys but in merchandising, globalization and let's not even start with corporate structure. This isn't the same WWE that WCW challenged over a decade ago. WWE is built for the long-term and is ready to continue to grow and expand. Anyone that is going to ever come close to competing with them will have to have the aforementioned components that TNA has along with hundreds of millions of dollars to invest. It's possible, but it's not likely.
You often hear about guys traveling together on the road (such as CM Punk & Kofi Kingston or Daniel Bryan & Ryback). Over the years, have you ever heard of there being resentment over a push (was Kofi upset / jealous of CM Punk getting a push)?
There is backstage drama in WWE just like there is in any other company or corporation. As long as there are human beings there are going to rivalries, some out of legitimate beef and others out of jealously and envy. As for your example, Kofi Kingston gets along with everyone backstage. Remember when Trent Barreta kayfabed about heat with Kofi? The guy just "fits in" and gets along. There are others who are lightning rods for controversy but that's just the way it is. Everyone wants a top spot and when you have some workers making under $100,000 a year with others making nearly three times that per month, there is going to be drama. Everyone feels "they are worth a push" so when someone else gets one, it's only natural for there to be a response