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 12, 2014 to Friday, July 18, 2014 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!
- WWE has uploaded a look back at Bo Dallas' 14-match winning streak, available at this link.
- Adam Rose and the Rosebuds star in this week's Smackdown Fallout, available at this link.
- WWE has officially added Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose to this month's Battleground pay-per-view lineup. You can read the official match preview here on dot com.
- WWE officially announced at Saturday's live event in Osaka, Japan they have signed KENTA to a developmental contract. The signing was announced in a segment on the show with Hulk Hogan and Jimmy Hart. He'll report to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida.
Below is a photo:
Dot com covered the signing at this link with quotes from Triple H and KENTA himself. Below are excerpts:
“Kenta is an incredible performer who brings the crowd to its feet when he steps into the ring,” said Paul Levesque, Executive Vice President, Talent, Creative and Live Events, WWE. “WWE’s signing of Kenta reflects our continued dedication to creating a diverse roster that appeals to our global fan base.” “I am humbled to join WWE’s NXT division and look forward to honing my craft with the global leader in sports-entertainment,” said Kenta.
KENTA spent time at the WWE Performance Center in January, where he was evaluated by WWE officials. At the time, Triple H was leaning towards not signing him after feeling burned by the original Sin Cara. However, unlike the original Sin Cara, KENTA is known for his humility and is well-liked in the business. It was Daniel Bryan that put in a good word for him with the WWE office.
KENTA left Pro Wrestling NOAH in May and was believed to be WWE bound this summer. The only holdup to his signing -- in addition to announcing it on the Japanese tour -- was a work visa issue.
- WWE Studios and Lionsgate announced on Friday they'll host a panel at Comic-Con International: San Diego to highlight and share secrets from the set of soon-to-be-released collaborations "Leprechaun: Origins" and "See No Evil 2. Hornswoggle, Kane and others will take part on the panel in room #7AB at 7 AM PT on Thursday, July 24, 2014. Dot com has more at this link.
- The legendary Kenta Kobashi visited with WWE at their recent shows in Japan. Below is a photo with Paul Heyman and Cesaro:
- Below is a photo of Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns on the road:
- WWE has uploaded a clip of the WWE live event in Osaka, Japan, in which Hulk Hogan, along with Jimmy Hart, welcomed KENTA to the ring to sign his WWE contract. The clip is available at this link.
- The Miami Herald recently posted an article with quotes from Triple H, Chris Jericho & Adam Rose. Jericho put over Rose's entrance and music while Triple H weighed in on WWE's changing philosophy on entrances:
“In the past, we’d give a guy some music, and he goes to the ring. ‘What are you going to do when you come out? I don’t know. I’ll wave to the crowd and go up in the corner and put my hands up.’ That was just what you did. You just figure it out over time. “Now, with the beauty of the [WWE] Performance Center [the state-of-the-art all-purpose training ground for WWE hopefuls], we can step back prior to all that stuff and try to get these guys to a place where a lot of those kinks and things are worked out, so we’re not waiting six months to see that this guy now has a pretty cool entrance. It’s coming out the shoot when he first appears on Raw or SmackDown. He’s already got something really cool. Now, how can we make it even cooler. How can we make it more epic and more big main stage, and how can we make that more worthy of Raw or SmackDown. That’s all part of the process.”
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/07/11/4230313/adam-rose-wwe-bringing-their-talent.html#storylink=cpy
Click here to read the full article.
- Ric Flair caught Bray Wyatt with a stiff right hand at Saturday night's WWE live event at Madison Square Garden in New York City, busting him open. Bray bled heavily as he finished the exchange. Video of the melee has surfaced online at this link. You can also watch in the video embedded below:
The blood only added to Wyatt's gimmick, as can be seen in the photos below:
The match was Wyatt vs. John Cena for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, where Triple H was the captain of 10 lumberjacks and Flair the other 10.
- Wrestling News World reader Hiroaki Kawafuji sent word that Hirofumi Shimomura, who is Japanese minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, appeared in a video package at WWE's show in Osaka to wish KENTA well. You can watch the actual video of KENTA signing his contract at this link.
- WWE will return to Madison Square Garden in New York City for a live event the day after Christmas on Friday, December 26, 2014. The presale password to obtain tickets is WWENYC as it begins on Friday. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Saturday.
- Speaking of WWE running at Madison Square Garden, we're often asked why the company doesn't tape TV there more often. The short answer is - it's expensive. Not just to tape at Madison Square Garden but New York City in general. Jim Ross stated on his podcast last week, while referencing TNA taping in Manhattan, there were times when WWE had sold out gates at the Garden and still lost money. Profitable for live events, not for television.
- WWE posted a video of Santino's most memorable moments on YouTube. You can watch at this link.
It's interesting the company hasn't definitively announced Santino as retired. While Santino announced his in-ring career was ending due to a neck injury, WWE termed it a career-related announcement. In the video above, the description reads, "With the possible in-ring retirement of Santino Marella."
At this point it appears there is hope he won't have to retire but obviously, it seems he's more likely to retire than not.
- WWE has scheduled tryouts with eight New Zealand workers on next month's tour of Australia. The tryouts will take place prior to the August 7, 2014 live event in Melbourne.
- Natalya talked about Total Divas helping WWE's Divas division in an article by Newsday. Click here to read it.
- Drew McIntyre is determined to raise his profile outside of WWE before returning to the company. McIntyre told the Daily Record out of the UK it is a matter of "when" and not "if" he'll be back [in WWE]. He admitted to be initially annoyed about his WWE release but said now he's fired up. Click here to read the piece in its entirety.
- Vince McMahon was backstage at Saturday night's WWE live event at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Triple H Tweeted the following photo:
- CM Punk Tweeted the following on Sunday:
Punk's WWE contract expires at midnight on July 14, 2014 and he'll officially be a free agent. Because the agreement is expiring and will not be terminated early, there will not be a 90-day non-compete clause.
By all accounts, CM Punk is retired from pro wrestling. He walked out on WWE in January, one night after Royal Rumble 2014. Little was heard for months but according to sources, Punk was burnt out and "over it." Vince McMahon remained intent on getting Punk back, including a pitch in March to get him back for Wrestlemania 30 in April. Punk never wavered from his decision to retire and married WWE Diva AJ Lee last month.
His next promoted appearance is July 21, 2014 at the AP Music Awards.
- WWE held a press conference at Hard Rock Cafe in Tokyo, Japan on July 14, 2014 to announce the signing of KENTA. Former WWE Japan President Ed Wales and current WWE Japan President Kanta Nishizumi were in attendance. Thanks to WNW reader Hiroaki Kawafuji for sending this along.)
- Mick Foley posted a new blog on Facebook titled "Batista Deserved Better." You can read it embedded below:
- Raw Backstage Pass is not scheduled to air after Raw Monday night on the WWE Network. Instead, an episode of Beyond the Ring is scheduled for 11:06 PM ET. It certainly appears WWE has scrapped the idea of post-shows for now (which isn't a bad thing, in my opinion).
As we broke exclusively here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com on Friday, Sting'scryptic Tweets that pointed to 07.14.14 had to do with his inclusion in WWE 2K15, something similar to Ultimate Warrior's inclusion in WWE 2K14 last year.
We also noted [and repeated in our href="http://www.wrestlingnewsworld.com/wwe-raw-richmond-preview-big-main-event-sting-tease-open-thread-tonight/>Raw"] that Sting was not booked for Raw as of early Friday morning. It's worth noting some are speculating WWE will air a segment featuring the Stinger [via satellite] to promote his inclusion on WWE 2K15 and that's entirely possible, however, the basis of our initial report is still clear: Sting's Tweets had to do with the video game and he was not booked to appear live and in-person.
For those that missed the Tweets, we'll run them again below:
Sting and WWE are working together on a DVD/Blu-Ray compilation due out in September, that is confirmed. The extent of their relationship beyond that is unclear. I know there have been rumors about possible creative plans to use Sting at Wrestlemania 31 next year and he desires a match against The Undertaker. All of this hinges on a number of factors, none less important than the desire and health of Undertaker himself. As I reported shortly after Wrestlemania 30 this year, "the streak" ending means nothing in regards to the prospective dream match from happening.
- One Wrestling News World reader sent word via Twitter that Triple H broke kayfabe at Saturday night's WWE live event at Madison Square Garden in New York City and told Bray Wyatt to clean the blood off himself. Wyatt was legitimately busted open when Ric Flair, who was wearing his Hall of Fame ring, connected with a stiff right. We have video and more at this link.
- Our friend Jorge Romero Tweeted us the following photos:
- Rapper Flo Rida will perform on next week's episode of Monday Night Raw from the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, Florida. He Tweeted the following:
Triple H Re-Tweeted the Tweet to his verified account. Flo Rida last appeared for WWE at Wrestlemania XXVIII in a segment with Curt Hawkins, Tyler Reks and Heath Slater. Later in the night, he performed his hits "Good Feeling" and "Wild Ones."
- Bray Wyatt suffered a left eye injury literally at the hands of Ric Flair at Saturday night's WWE live event at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
We covered the injury here, as Wyatt was busted open when Flair connected stiff with a right hand. Due to the fact Flair was wearing his WWE Hall of Fame ring, Wyatt was busted open badly.
Below is a photo of Wyatt with a fan after the injury:
According to eyewitnesses, the cut was bad enough for Triple H, who was at ringside, to break kayfabe.
- There has been a notable power shift backstage in WWE. Sources tell WrestlingNewsWorld.com that BG "Road Dogg" James has ascended as one of Triple H's key men when it comes to "kicking around" booking ideas. While Vince McMahon is still head of creative, a lot of Road Dogg's ideas are being funneled through Triple H and it's Triple H that will present them to Vince. We're told Road Dogg is "very well liked" and quickly gaining influence on the creative side of things. Road Dogg has worked in WWE behind-the-scenes since 2011. He currently holds the job title of "Producer" but is gaining major clout in creative.
- WWE did a racier angle on weekend live events as Summer Rae & Layla teased a kiss after beating up on Fandango. You can watch the angle at Saturday night's show in Madison Square Garden at this link.
- We noted earlier on WrestlingNewsWorld.com that rapper Flo Rida was set to return to WWE and perform on next week's episode of Monday Night Raw in Miami, FL. Dot com picked up on his guest star appearance at this link.
- Last week's episode of WWE Smackdown did an average viewing audience of 2,540,000 viewers on SyFy. TV by the Numbers has data for the top 100 cable shows on Friday at this link.
- R-Truth, Xavier Woods, Adam Rose, Sin Cara, Heath Slater, Titus O'Neil, Zack Ryder, The Miz, and Diego have been added to the Intercontinental Championship Battle Royal scheduled for WWE Battleground this Sunday.
- Bad News Barrett will be at Battleground to present the Intercontinental Championship to the winner.
- Jack Swagger vs. Rusev has been confirmed for Battleground.
- After all of the speculation and rumors, WWE announced on Monday Night Raw that Sting will be available on the pre-order edition of WWE 2K15, which is set to release on October 28th.
Sting teased something would be happening today last week with the Tweet "7.14.14" and as we reported, it was about his appearance in WWE 2K15. Below are photos that were just sent out:
You can view the promo on WWE.com here.
- Cameron vs. Naomi has been announced for the WWE Battleground Kickoff Show.
- Ric Flair, Zeb Colter, Jack Swagger, Heath Slater & Titus O'Neil star in this week's Raw Fallout. Flair defends his Battleground prediction and talks about his daughter Charlotte, Zeb & Swagger talk about Swagger's match with Rusev on Sunday, and Slater & O'Neil show their frustration with each other and with what happened on Raw:
Flair's golden predictionWe the People!Heath Slater & Titus O'Neil react to not facing The Usos on Raw
- For those who missed it on Raw, the commercial announcing Sting's inclusion in WWE 2K15 as a pre-order bonus has been uploaded to YouTube, available at this link.
- Xavier Woods, Zack Ryder, Kofi Kingston & Big E reacted to Sting's inclusion on Raw Fallout, available at this link. WWE 2K15 will be released on October 28, 2014 (October 31, 2014 internationally) on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 & PlayStation 3.
- Seth Rollins appeared to be banged up at this week's episode of Monday Night Raw after a clothesline spot with Roman Reigns. Rollins went down and grabbed his leg and the referee threw up the X signal. He was not believed to be seriously injured and was more or less selling.
- Dean Ambrose's mouth was busted open when he was attacked by Seth Rollins, Kane and Randy Orton.
- Bray Wyatt had to have stitches after Saturday night's WWE live event at Madison Square Garden in New York City, where he was busted open by Ric Flair. Wyatt worked Sunday night and received treatment again backstage at Raw.
- After Raw went off the air, Erick Rowan and Luke Harper interrupted a John Cena/Roman Reigns pose off. The babyfaces cleared the ring to send the crowd home happy.
- WWE will return to The Richmond Coliseum in Richmond, Virginia for a live event on December 29, 2014. The pre-sale password to obtain tickets is HOLIDAY.
- The Undertaker and Michelle McCool attended Mick Foley's comedy show in Austin, Texas on Monday night. Foley thanked them on Facebook in a blog titled "A Bond for Life." You can read it below:
- The 2014 Home Run Derby aired head-to-head with this week's episode of Monday Night Raw but that doesn't mean WWE wasn't there either. Check out what back-to-back winner Yoenis Céspedes received:
- Here's a photo of Dean Ambrose and Renee Young arriving at Raw:
- WWE posted the following photo of Summer Rae and Layla backstage with Dolph Ziggler after their alliance on this week's Monday Night Raw:
- For those that missed it on Raw, Sonic had a product-placement advertisement in a segment with Damien Sandow and Adam Rose. This is something WWE has done more of lately with Diet Mountain Dew and Twisted Tea.
- Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson appeared on Tuesday morning's episode of SportsCenter on ESPN to promote the upcoming July 25, 2014 release of Hercules. In the appearance, Rock noted it was possible that he works one more match but didn't give a definitive answer. You can watch video of the appearance, which was hash tagged #RockonSC, at this link. Rock is rumored to be included on the Wrestlemania 31 card, which was fueled with the release of the first promotional poster at this link. We can confirm a bout that Vince McMahon desires for the show is Rock vs. Brock Lesnar but it's far from definite.
- 2KSports issued a press release on Tuesday to announce Sting's inclusion in WWE 2K15. In it, Sting is quoted:
“The only thing for sure about Sting is nothing’s for sure, except my debut in WWE 2K15,” said Sting. “I’m honored to have my legacy immortalized in a video game. It’s showtime!”
Click here for the press release in its entirety.
We broke the news of Sting's inclusion in WWE 2K15 on Friday here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
Backstage news from Monday Night Raw in Richmond…
- Jack Swagger received rave reviews for how he got over as a babyface. While Swagger has been a topic of contention due to in-ring blunders and his infamous marijuana arrest last year, he was once seen as a guy being groomed for stardom. What's interesting is that Rusev was originally scheduled to make quick work of Swagger at WWE Battleground, however, there's now talk of extending the program.
- Both Alberto Del Rio and Rob Van Dam took some heat backstage for the amount of blown spots and general sloppiness in their match.
- The main event received a lot of criticism, primarily due to making Roman Reigns and John Cena look weak when Dean Ambrose was taken out earlier in the night. The feeling was the main should have been Reigns & Cena vs. Kane & Randy Orton in the first place.
- WWE is now selling Sting merchandise so an agreement has clearly been reached in that regard.
- The Summer Rae/Layla alliance was in large part because they didn't have anything for Summer Rae after breaking her away from Fandango and with her on Total Divas, creative wanted to utilize her.
- For those that found it odd that WWE promoted the CM Punk special on the WWE Network, we're told it's Vince McMahon's way of making sure that fans remember him and showing Punk the company hasn't forgotten about him either.
The talk coming out of this week's episode of Monday Night Raw was that WWE retired the World Heavyweight Championship belt when John Cena handed it to Ric Flair on his way out for the main event. You can watch at the 3:20 mark at this link.
While I can't confirm this was indeed the belt's retirement, the plan going forward is for the new WWE title belt The Rock introduced in 2013 to be the long-term title belt for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. In fact, WWE has only listed that belt to represent the WWE World Heavyweight Champion on the Superstars page since the unification.
Here's a screen shot:
The new WWE title belt is used for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship history here on dot com as seen in the image below:
Another telling sign is WWE listing Randy Orton as the final World Heavyweight Champion after winning the unification bout at WWE TLC 2013 on December 15, 2013.
So to recap, while the World Heavyweight Championship belt could still be used, the long-term plan is for the WWE title belt The Rock introduced in early 2013 to be the belt for the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. That belt cost more than $50,000 to make and was in production for a year and a half. For those that missed our stats on the belt when it was first introduced, you can read about it at this link.
- This week's episode of Monday Night Raw did an average viewing audience of 4,153,333 viewers on the USA Network. Below is how the show did each hour in the go-home to Battleground:
Hour one - 4,000,000 viewers
Hour two - 4,231,000 viewers
Hour three - 4,229,000 viewers
The audience was down from the week prior to WWE faced stiff competition up against the 2014 Home Run Derby on ESPN. The MLB special garnered an average viewing audience of 5,402,000 viewers. TV by the Numbers has more data at this link.
- CM Punk has been removed from the official WWE roster and has instead been moved to the WWE Alumni section. As we previously reported, Punk's WWE contract has now expired as of today, July 15. Punk is now a free agent, and although he is not subject to a 90-day non-compete clause, he considers himself retired.
- After the news broke that CM Punk's profile has been removed from the active WWE roster page to the Alumni page, fans started tweeting "#ThankYouPunk" to the man himself. CM Punk then sent out a tweet from his official Twitter account
As we reported multiple times, Punk's contract expires today and he is now a free agent.
- Below are some photos from this week's episode of Monday Night Raw in Richmond, Virginia that were Tweeted to me:
- Sting spoke exclusively with The Mirror in the United Kingdom about his involvement in the WWE 2K15 video game. Below are the highlights from their article.
Working with WWE being now or never at age 55:
"I've done so many things in the wrestling business but the one thing I'd never done was wrestle or be a part of the WWE family." Sting commented. "I didn't want too hang it all up and retire and disappear again without having done that in some capacity."
One last match:
"I've made it clear I'd love to have one last hurrah, one last big match hopefully. And of course I've been outspoken about Undertaker being the opponent," he replies, when asked if he is open to negotiate lacing up his boots for the company." Sting told The Mirror. "I know what happened at Wrestlemania where Brock Lesnar broke his streak. I think, or at least I'm hoping, that Taker's still going to come back and that he's not done. If he's not done, and he would consider doing it, I'd love to work with him one time. "I'd love to wrestle him one time before I call it quits."
If he'll appear on WWE TV to promote his inclusion in WWE 2K15:
"All for it, just put it that way. I'm all for it," he says.
Sting went on to talk about a possible induction into the WWE Hall of Fame, his friendship with the Ultimate Warrior and more. You can read the piece in its entirety at this link.
Richard Reacts: Sting being in WWE 2K15 is one of two ongoing projects with the company as they'll be releasing a Sting DVD on September 23, 2014. I heard Undertaker's streak ending at Wrestlemania 30 this year had nothing to do with a possible dream match against Sting from not happening. Undertaker would be available for it if he desired it and was healthy enough to compete. I truly believe we will see Sting on WWE television before it's all said and done, I just hope it's carefully handled. Appearances like this have very short shelf lives and there is only one initial run.
- WWE is already airing commercials for SummerSlam that promotes John Cena defending the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Brock Lesnar in the show's main event. You can watch it in the video embedded below:
The main event plans originally leaked in June when a promotional poster for the show was posted on the DVD/Blu-Ray listing on Amazon.com.
WWE SummerSlam 2014 will take place on Sunday, August 17, 2014 from Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. We'll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage at WestlingNewsWorld.com.
- Brad Maddox has been found and he wasn't in a cave. Dot com covered his YouTube videos at this link and linked to the new one that you can watch at this link.
- Adam Rose beat Heath Slater in a dark match at this week's WWE Main Event/Smackdown tapings in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
- After the Smackdown taping concluded, Chris Jericho and Roman Reigns saved Dean Ambrose from another attack from Randy Orton and Kane. The Wyatt Family ran Jericho off but The Usos made the save. The babyfaces cleared the ring, hitting their finishers to conclude the taping and send the crowd home happy.
- BG James, a/k/a Road Dogg, wasn't backstage at this week's episode of Raw and watched the show from home. As we reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, James has gained major clout in creative.
- Emma worked her first match since being fired and re-hired on this week's episode of WWE Main Event. If you missed the show [or our coverage], video is available at this link.
- Below are other highlights from this week's WWE Main Event:
Sheamus vs. The MizThe season premiere of "Miz TV"
- Damien Sandow and Adam Rose have officially been removed from the Intercontinental Championship Battleground Battle Royal at Sunday's WWE Battleground pay-per-view. The updated list of participants are listed below:
The Great Khali
Rob Van Dam
Alberto Del Rio
Titus O'NeilBad News Barrett Tweeted that he'll be at the pay-per-view to present the new champion with their title:
Click here for the official match preview on dot com.
WWE Battleground will take place Sunday from the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida. We'll have complete live coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- Seth Rollins, who was the subject of injury concerns, was physically involved at this week's Smackdown taping. He is locked in to face Dean Ambrose at Sunday's WWE Battleground pay-per-view. We have complete taping results available at this link.
- The hashtag #ThankYouPunk trended Twitter on Tuesday night after news broke that WWE had moved his profile to the Alumni section on dot com (Punk's WWE Performer's contract expired on Tuesday). Alex Barie covered Punk's response, where he thanked fans with this Tweet:
Punk's "Don't ever take any shit from anybody" remark are his first comments in regards to his WWE departure since he walked out of the company the day after Royal Rumble 2014 at Raw in Cleveland, Ohio. They go right along with everything we've known and reported about his departure in that he was "over" the backstage politics and was generally unhappy with the usage of his character.
I responded on Twitter:
- Triple H returns in his weekly kayfabe sit-down interview with Michael Cole. Below is our recap:
Cole asks Hunter what it's like to actually have a vacation. He said he highly recommends it but doesn't plan on giving him one anytime soon.
Cole put over the free WWE Network preview and talked about the Battleground main event. He talked about Triple H pitting all members of The Authority against one in another in the main and a possible Plan C with Paul Heyman making some sort of offer to him on Raw. Hunter said things aren't always what they seem and at the end of the day he just wants stability back in WWE. He wants the correct face to be the WWE Champion and he has a plan to get there. He's the one that needs to know and just him.
Triple H predicted the person that he wants to be the face of WWE will walk out of Battleground the WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
Hunter questioned if Dean Ambrose can even show up for his "revenge" on Seth Rollins at Battleground. He said Ambrose was "taken to the hospital" and "refused treatment" after Raw. Triple H said Ambrose is scheduled for Smackdown and it will be interesting to see if he shows up at all.
Michael Cole asked Triple H about Sting's inclusion in the WWE 2K15 video game as a playable pre-order character. Triple H called Sting one of the biggest legends in the history of the industry finally in a WWE video game. He said this gives fans the opportunity to see what they've probably wanted to see for the last 20 years and that's Sting vs. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Sting against The Rock, Sting against The Undertaker, Sting against Triple H, Sting against every legend that's ever been in this business. It doesn't get any bigger than that. Triple H said if you're a video game fan or a WWE fan, this is what you have been waiting for.
Cole asked if Sting will ever step foot in a WWE ring in the flesh. Triple H said that's an interesting question and there's been a lot of speculation over the years. Then again, he'd heard that Bruno Sammartino would never be part of the WWE again. He heard for years that The Ultimate Warrior would never be part of the WWE again. He's also heard that Sting would never, ever be part of the WWE. If there's one thing he's learned over the years is never say never if it's best for business.
You can watch the interview in its entirety at this link.
- WWE is currently testing the WWE Network with international subscribers. The following email was sent out to prospective international users:
While that's for international test users, WWE is urging current domestic subscribers to log-in to their accounts before Sunday's Battleground pay-per-view. Our very own Jesse Sherwood received the following email:
- Brian Fritz has a new article online for the Orlando Sentinel about the WWE Performance Center celebrating its one year birthday. His piece features quotes from Terry Taylor, Bill DeMott and Bo Dallas. Click here to read it.
- Nikki Bella talked about her relationship with John Cena and dream of marrying him in a new article by the Daily Star out of the United Kingdom. You can read it at this link.
- WWE and NBC announced on Wednesday the upcoming world television premiere of Wrestlemania 30, set to air on the network on Sunday, August 3, 2014 from 7-8 PM ET. You can read the official press release at this link.
- The latest video blog of Brandi "Eden" Rhodes is online at this link.
- As previously noted, Emma returned to the ring on this week's WWE Main Event for the first time since being fired and re-hired on this week's episode of WWE Main Event. She also made her return to Twitter with the following Tweet:
The entire fiasco was put into motion when Emma was arrested for allegedly shoplifting at a Walmart in Hartford, CT.
- For those that missed it on this week's episode of WWE Main Event, The Miz read a letter reminiscent of fellow Ohio native LeBron James. Dot com has posted it at this link.
- Dean Ambrose discusses his hardcore past on the domestic independent scene in a new piece here on dot com.
- Cesaro and Rosa Mendes have been doing promotional work for WWE this week in Mexico. It was announced at a press conference on Wednesday the company will return to the country for live events on October 18th and October 19th. Tickets go on sale next week. Below is a photo:
- We noted on Wednesday that WWE and NBC announced the world television premiere of Wrestlemania 30, airing on the network on Sunday, August 3, 2014 from 7-8 PM ET.
In the official press release for the show, seen here at TV By the Numbers, there is a glaring exclusion. There is no mention of Daniel Bryan, who beat Triple H at Wrestlemania 30 and went on to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in a triple threat match that also involved Batista and Randy Orton.
Instead, the release promotes the opening segment featuring Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin and The Rock, John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt and Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar.
While up against a time constraint of one hour , obvious exclusions had to be made. However, many will argue that Daniel Bryan's two main event matches were integral parts of this year's Wrestlemania broadcast. The exclusion likely has more to do with uncertainty regarding his health. Bryan underwent neck surgery in May and possibly needs more as he has not recovered as hoped. Original plans were for him to defend the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Bray Wyatt at SummerSlam, however, they were scrapped due to aforementioned health issues.
As things currently stand, Bryan is officially listed as out indefinitely and is out of all WWE creative plans.
- John Cena will be filming his role in the upcoming American comedy film directed by Judd Apatow called "Trainwreck" this summer. As a result, he'll be off some WWE shows between Sunday's Battleground pay-per-view and next month's SummerSlam. Cena isn't on the official listings for next Monday's Raw in Miami, August 4th in Austin or the company's upcoming tour of Australia. You can read more about the film at this link.
- Someone asked me on social media about Big Show. He's been off shows recently filming his role in the WWE Studios/Lionsgate film "Vendetta."
- Lana's summer Diva photo shoot is featured by WWE in a video at this link.
- Your questions are answered in the latest episode of WWE Inbox at this link.
- Seth Rollins and Marek Brave are opening their own wrestling training facility in Moline, IL. You can read about it at their official website.
- Here's an "old school" promotional poster for Sunday's WWE Battleground pay-per-view:
- CM Punk merchandise on the official WWE website has been moved to the Alumni section. It's also marked down for clearance.
- Kaitlyn told The Baltimore Sun that her decision to leave WWE was "last-minute." She talked about her first year-and-a-half being "really hard" because of the travel and the physical and emotional stress that comes with it. Kaitlyn said it was awesome when she had her run but ultimately there were a lot of other things she wanted to pursue. You can read her comments in their original format -- which include a lot more -- at this link.
- WWE stock rose on Thursday due to buyout speculation. I wouldn't read anything into it.
- Triple H, Daniel Bryan, Cesaro and Seth Rollins discussed the signing of KENTA in a new article here on dot com. As previously noted, it was Bryan that pitched KENTA's name to company officials in the first place.
- The Moda Center, which will host the August 11, 2014 episode of Monday Night Raw, announced that Hulk Hogan will host the go-home to SummerSlam episode. Below is their promotional blurb available on their official website:
WWE PRESENTS MONDAY NIGHT RAW The WWE flagship broadcast, Monday Night RAW, returns to Portland on August 11. This is the first time RAW will air live from Portland in over two years. This will be your chance to see your favorite WWE Superstars live in action at the Moda Center! WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan is set to host what guarantees to be one hot show leading up to the SummerSlam PPV! SEE YOUR FAVORITE WWE SUPERSTARS INCLUDING: John Cena, Randy Orton, Kane, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Money in the Bank Contract Winner Seth Rollins, Bray Wyatt and The Wyatt Family, the WWE Divas and many more! *Lineup subject to change.
The Moda Center is located in Portland, Oregon. For ticket information, click here.
- TMZ has an article online clarifying Sting's contract status with WWE and desire to wrestle The Undertaker at Wrestlemania 31. He doesn't have a deal [with WWE] to wrestle but would welcome a dream match at the show in March 2015. You can read their article at this link.
There's nothing to see here folks, nothing that we haven't already written a dozen times. I did find it entertaining that Sting himself used a quote I used to describe him in a possible WWE dream match in Thursday's Ask WNW. It's now or never.
So since I made this post -- and told you nothing new -- the least I can do is give you a laugh:
Some of you will get this, others will not.
- Less than a week after The Atlanticposted an article about WWE's race problem, Mark Henry & WWE Hall of Famer Koko B. Ware appeared on HuffPost Live to discuss racism in WWE.
They discuss the unique situation of scripted sports entertainment and how that affects who gets pushed and who gets titles, as well as stereotypical gimmicks that have historically been implemented in WWE and the effect it could have on young viewers. In one example, Henry notes that he came up with his "silverback" gimmick, but eventually decided he could not do it because his kids were watching him at home. They also discuss characters such as Kamala and Akeem the African Dream, and analyze reactions from R-Truth and Kane.
The full discussion is available at this link or embedded below:
- Wrestling News World'sJesse Sherwood sent word that Advanced Management announced they have signed R-Truth and Maria Kanellis. You can read about their respective signings at this link.
- The verified Twitter account of Vince McMahon Tweeted the following about Sting's inclusion in WWE 2K15:
- Brian Fritz conducted interviews with Sami Zayn, Charlotte, Adrian Neville, and Tyler Breeze at a Be-a-Star anti-bullying rally on Orlando, FL. You can watch them at the links below:
Sami Zayn on Message to Kids, Fully Invested in NXTNXT Women's Champion Charlotte on Talking to Kids, Family PressureAdrian Neville on WWE Be a Star Rally, Being NXT ChampionTyler Breeze Talks WWE Be a Star Rally, Taking Steps Forward in Career
- KENTA was at this week's WWE NXT tapings at the campus of Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida. Triple H posted this photo of him on Instagram.
- Solomon Crowe defeated Travis Tyler via a rope assisted splash in a dark match at this week's WWE NXT tapings. Sami Zayn and Adrian Neville defeated Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel in a match that was also dark.
- After this week's WWE NXT taping had concluded, Bray Wyatt came out. He beat up on Kidd and Breeze (that were out for the aforementioned dark match) and asked if Full Sail missed him. Wyatt discussed his success over the last year and said he can look at the fans at Full Sail and tell he truly does have the whole world in his hands. He wanted to personally thank everyone there because without them there would be no Bray Wyatt. He said NXT will always belong to him.
- The next set of WWE NXT tapings will take place in two weeks on July 31, 2014 with Big Show as guest.
- We have complete NXT Taping results - which includes episodes July 31, August 7 and August 14 at this link.
- b>WWE released a promo for "CM Punk: Best in the World" on the WWE Network on their official YouTube channel. You can watch it at this link.
- The Miami Herald has a new article online featuring quotes from Chris Jericho. In it, he talks about the cross-over of being a musician and a pro wrestler and told a cool story about SummerSlam a couple years ago. Below is in excerpt:
“For me, it’s just business as usual,” Jericho said. “I remember we were at SummerSlam a couple of years ago [at the Staples Center in Los Angeles], and I was outside on the floor doing something, and I looked up, and Slash is sitting there with his son. I was like, ‘Dude, I didn’t even know you were here,’ and he’s like, ‘Dude, I didn’t know you were here.’”
Click here to read the piece in its entirety.
- UFC Fighter Ronda Rousey wants to be the female version of The Rock. Read her comments to The Hollywood Reporter at this link.
- In some circles Dean Ambrose has been awarded the nickname Titty Master. He set the record straight in an interview to promote Sunday's WWE Battleground at this link.
- The Masked Man from Grantland interviewed Sting on his inclusion in WWE 2K15 and then previewed Sunday's Battleground pay-per-view. Click here to read the piece in its entirety.
- Episode 86 of The JBL & Cole Show is now online as you can watch at this link.
- Challenge TV and TNA Wrestling have officially announced the return of British Bootcamp. The series is a reality show where the company searches for the United Kingdom's next wrestling superstar. The network has ordered eight episodes that will air on Challenge this Autumn.
- There's a possibility that Josh Mathews signs with TNA Wrestling. While we can't confirm a deal has been reached, there are a few notes to make.
Just hours after being released from WWE last month, Mathews showed up backstage at TNA's Impact tapings in New York. Now, the company is following him on Twitter.
However, I will caution a Twitter follow is usually meaningless. In fact, the verified Impact Wrestling account follows Steve Austin and Roddy Piper but given Mathews' background and him being at TNA in New York, it's not beyond the realm of possibilities he ends up working there in some capacity.
Mathews was released from WWE as part of the company's ongoing budget cuts.
- Vince Russo revealed on his new site, Pyroandballyhoo.com, that he actually has involvement with TNA Wrestling. Vince sent out an email to Mike Tenay and Taz as TNA Wrestling asked for his services as a consultant to help with their announce team. As the email was sent, it was also sent to a "third-party" candidate which it was then leaked online. You can see the statement below:
Recently, I accidentally sent an e-mail to a third-party that was not meant for their eyes. The e-mail concerned my current involvement with TNA Wrestling. TNA rendered my services as a consultant to work with their announce team of Mike Tenay and Taz. The condition from their side was that I kept it confidential between the two parties. As their employee, it was up to me to honor their wishes, so that’s what I intended to do. My integrity means everything to me, so I just hope you can understand and forgive. Peace.
Back in January, Richard Gray spoke with TNA Wrestling about the relationship between them and Vince Russo and TNA stated that Vince was "not a TNA employee".
- There are a lot of people interested in Kurt Angle's future, especially after his interview on the podcast of Jim Ross last week. For those that missed it, Angle stated his contract with TNA Wrestling expires on September 21, 2014 and he has declined an extension. As I've reported on numerous occasions, Angle is looking to keep his options open and knows this is his last chance at a respectable contract.
In regards to possible WWE interest in Angle, we're told there is currently very little (if any) interest in him returning as an in-ring performer. I'm told by one WWE source they could see the company hiring him as an NXT trainer on down the line but he shouldn't expect an offer for his in-ring services.
On the flip side, we're told Jeff Jarrett wants to build Global Force Wrestling around Angle, so even if WWE interest is minimal, he 's certainly not rushing to re-sign with TNA (where he's been unhappy for quite some time).
However, all is not well for Jarrett and his upstart promotion. We're told he is "having major trouble" finding a TV outlet and his investors do not want to start signing high priced talent before they are confident they can get on TV.
- Bobby Lashley is returning to Mixed Martial Arts, TNA Wrestlingannounced on Wednesday.
According to an official release, the current TNA Champion has signed a deal with Bellator MMA to face Josh Burns on September 5, 2014 at Bellator 123. Lashley's MMA record stands at 10-2, while Burns is 8-7.
Bellator 123 will be headlined by Pat Curran and Patricio Pitbull, a Featherweight Title fight, with King Mo also on the card. The show will emanate from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut and will air live on Spike TV.
- TNA Wrestling announced on Friday they'll return to the Manhattan Center in New York City from August 5th-7th and on the first night, they'll tape the Hardcore Justice themed episode of Impact. Announced for the show is the return of the Six Sides of Steel with matches and participants to be announced soon. You can read the official announcement at this link.
- This week's episode of Impact Wrestling from New York City did an average viewing audience of 1,403,000 viewers on Spike TV. This was the highest viewing audience of the summer and the highest since the April 10, 2014 episode (which garnered 1,415,000 viewers). TV by the Numbers has data for the top 100 shows on cable for the entire day at this link.
- TNA Wrestling ran a live event from Louisville Slugger Field in Louisville, Kentucky on Friday night. Wrestling News World reader Jeff Lile was in attendance and sent these photos as the show was underway:
This straight off the heels of Impact Wrestling's viewership increasing big from New York City.
Why does WWE keep wrestlers like Mark Henry, Kane & the Big Show around when they've pretty much faced everyone in the business. I know that all three are very popular but it gets a bit boring to watch the same matches over & over.
There is always a spot for savvy veterans in this business and all three of the workers you mentioned are valuable assets to WWE in and out of the ring. Mark Henry, Kane and Big Show have proven they are able to portray multiple gimmicks successfully and provide WWE with a recognizable name to help others. In the locker room, they serve as great mentors to younger workers that are just getting their start. Someone Tweeted me a couple weeks ago that having veterans such as this still in prominent storylines on TV was a sign WWE wasn't creating new stars. Nothing could be further from the truth as WWE has done a good job in developing the next wave of talent, while blending in aforementioned veterans. Speaking of which, Mark Henry, who hasn't been healthy, was on the road with the company over the weekend.
I was just reading an article about Bret Hart and he was talking about the infamous "Montreal Screwjob." I wasn't very old at that time or watching wrestling. Now that I am an avid fan, what did that all entail and was it scripted or not?
Bret Hart was about to leave the WWF for WCW in 1997 and he was the WWF Champion. Hart had worked out a deal with Vince McMahon where he would go into Survivor Series 1997 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada against Shawn Michaels and defeat him and vacate the title the following night on Monday Night Raw. McMahon went behind Hart's back and altered the finish of the match without Bret knowing. McMahon told Shawn Michaels and referee Earl Hebner what to do and they executed it. This is extremely abbreviated but is the overall gist of what happened.
Do you think the way CM Punk left WWE will keep him out of the company's Hall of Fame?
History will be kinder to CM Punk but I have no idea what his departure means for a possible WWE Hall of Fame induction. From what I've been told, Vince McMahon hopes Punk will get the itch to come back, while Triple H is ready to move on. Punk's WWE contract is up this week and by all accounts, he's retired. To be quite honest, I wish him the absolute best and we'll try to keep tabs on what he does but I'm tired of talking about it. Punk had a great career but left on his own terms. While I understand this is a tough business and Punk can be stubborn, I believe he left a lot of money on the table by walking away. That's commendable but if he ever chooses to come back, I don't think he'll be as hot as he was when he had the chance. However, that may not even matter to him.
Why has Roman Reigns kept The Shield gimmick, while Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins have moved on?
WWE is in the process of differentiating The Shield members as singles participants, even keeping Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns away from one another last week (although they'll tag with John Cena on this week's Raw). The Shield had already been converted into a babyface faction and with the time and resources spent on the gimmick; the decision was made for Reigns to keep it. He's seen as the top Shield member, even though it was Seth Rollins picked to turn heel and align with The Authority. Out of the three, I'm more worried about the gimmick of Dean Ambrose. The "wife beater" and jeans is too similar to Luke Harper.
From the Ask WNW vault…
July 2013: After watching Daniel Bryan over the last several weeks I’m convinced he’s on an entire different level. I’m convinced he can realistically challenge John Cena for WWE’s top spot. What are your thoughts? - Daniel Bryan is a star but this is nothing new to many of us in the IWC. Many (including me) have been saying Bryan could be a main eventer in WWE for the last decade. Vince McMahon continuously pushed back on the notion but after all these years, he’s changed his mind. Daniel Bryan is not only proving to be the best worker in the world (surpassing my #1 ranking of Kurt Angle) but he’s showing to be the best worker of a generation. Did you hear the audience at WWE Raw this week? Bryan is as over as anyone in the company and he absolutely has a realistic shot at surpassing John Cena as “the guy.” Daniel Bryan is a “LeBron James type talent” and is finally getting to prove what so many have known all along.
Do you think Lana has the potential to become the next great Diva in WWE? I think she is great on the mic and she has a very bright future in the company.
Lana is dynamite on the mic, proving week in and week out she's more over than Rusev. I'm not sure it's completely Rusev's fault but Lana is what keeps that gimmick relevant. Her segment with Zeb Colter was excellent on this week's Raw. In addition to her voice and heel-like tendencies, she has great facial expressions. I don't know if we can call her "the next great Diva" until we see how she does in the ring but her mic skills are very good.
Was Seth Rollins legitimately injured on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw?
One of the first things I mentioned on Tuesday morning was the status of Seth Rollins. As I reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, Rollins was fine after Raw. I know it looked bad but the word is, no serious injury occurred and he was more or less selling. I am awaiting to hear more but he's good for the pay-per-view as of this writing.
How approachable are Vince, Stephanie and Triple H as bosses in the WWE? Can superstars work with them on matches, pitch ideas, and/or just BS with them, or would they be separated by numerous channels within the management structure of WWE?
This will surprise some people but Vince McMahon is approachable. Unlike a lot of people in his position, he's still very hands on with the product. Vince micromanages a number of things and is involved far more than some realize. Triple H is also approachable and that's understandable as he was "one of the boys" for years. From what I understand, Stephanie isn't as approachable but it depends on who you talk to. Some people like her; others would rather deal with Vince or Hunter.
Don't you think it's a little absurd to accuse WWE of discrimination? I mean, it's not like every world champ has been white. There have been plenty of Mexican champions, a few Samoan champions, and like you said there have actually been two black champs. And the fact that WWE has less black wrestlers than any other race is stupid to me. There's always going to be a minority.
Discriminatory issues such as racism or homophobia can't be ignored in any company or organization. While I believe most of us would like to see these issues eradicated for good, we can't be so naive to pretend they don't exist either. For as long as I've been doing this, I truly do not believe Vince McMahon is a racist or a homophobe. I believe Vince wants what is best for business and he's intent on pushing talent that have the best chance to succeed, regardless of any other factor. However, there are issues that are far too often swept under the rug and I believe this article by The Atlantic did a good job in examining them. There's a middle ground here and I believe that's where I stand. I do not believe WWE nor its brass is inherently racist but I do believe there are issues. Read some of the comments in this post, you can get opinions from all sides.
From the Ask WNW vault…
May 2012: When are we going to see Dean Ambrose called up to the main WWE roster? - Dean Ambrose’s debut on the main WWE roster seems imminent, as he has been working pre-show dark matches. He, along with Bo Rotundo and Bray Wyatt (formerly Husky Harris), are on the short list for a call-up to the main roster.
If WWE did indeed retire the World Heavyweight Championship belt on this week's Raw, what are your thoughts?
My reaction to WWE retiring the World Heavyweight Championship belt is simple: It's about time. WWE has had one world champion for over 7 months now. I understand the initial point of having the champion carrying two belts, to accentuate the victory, but this is long overdue. WWE spent $50,000 on a new title belt that took a year and a half to make, that's their new world title and that's the belt the champion should carry. Obviously, two belts means more merchandise to sell but WWE has never had a problem selling throwback merchandise before. As for the criticism of the new WWE World Heavyweight Championship belt, the same people that hate it are the same people that emailed us for years about their disdain for the "spinner" belt. Some people cannot be pleased and that's unfortunate.
I was watching Raw on Monday when a CM Punk promo in regards to his DVD aired. Is there a reason why WWE would do this on the final week of his Performer's Contract? Is this due to the amount of fans chanting his name? I would have thought WWE would do everything they could do prevent any hype due to the way he parted ways? What's your take on it?
I'm told the CM Punk promo was two-part. One, it was to make sure fans remember him and two, it was to show CM Punk the company hasn't forgotten about him. Attempts to re-sign CM Punk were unsuccessful as he was unwilling to negotiate a new WWE Performer's Contract. If anything, Punk proved a great point. He'll move on with his life having left the biggest professional wrestling promotion in the prime of his career. However, as a Punk fan, I just hope he doesn't end up regretting it. Punk could have come back -- at any point -- and cashed in big time, with the potential of surpassing his stardom. He didn't and with every week that goes by, that momentum only decreases. Steve Austin said you should never leave money on the table and that's what Punk did. I wish him well and am thankful for the CM Punk memories.
Do you think it would help Bray Wyatt if a new female member was added to The Wyatt Family?
I don't think Bray Wyatt needs any help. He's getting over just fine on his own, he has phenomenal mic skills and the in-ring abilities to go with them. I suppose I view The Wyatt Family differently than a lot of people. When I look at the Wyatts, I look for ways to elevate all three. I don't look at it and say: OK, who should WWE add now? If we look back through wrestling history, we can easily see how this type of thinking "waters down" factions and dismantles early momentum. Almost every faction I can think of was destroyed by adding to them.
I have been asking this question ever since Sting has been rumored to join WWE. What would you think of Triple H vs. Sting at Wrestlemania 31?
Triple H spoke about Sting in WWE in this week's kayfabe sit-down interview with Michael Cole. In it, he listed four possible dream match scenarios for people that pre-order WWE 2K15 and obtain the playable Sting character. Those matches were Sting vs. Steve Austin, Sting vs. The Rock, Sting vs. The Undertaker and Sting vs. Triple H. If you pre-order the game, you can play each one of them. Sting hasn't been shy about wanting one more match -- one against the Undertaker. WWE now has the use of Sting and while they're starting with merchandise, I believe a final dream match isn't out of the question. I know there were creative rumblings about utilizing him at Wrestlemania 31 next year before Wrestlemania 30 this year. As for an opponent, it will depend on the situation but I would be fine with any of those mentioned on Wednesday by Triple H.
From the Ask WNW vault…
August 2013: Do you think John Cena should get an extended break like CM Punk got? - There has been concern about John Cena burning himself out both physically and mentally but John is a workaholic. He’s a guy that wants to be out there performing in the ring. This aspect, which is often highlighted in his promos, is just part of who he is. WWE does feel they need him as he remains the face of the company and their top draw.
A few days ago you explained the Montreal Screwjob to a reader. Considering that WWE would never televise anything they wouldn't want fans to see, is it completely out of the question to think that maybe the screw job indeed was a work?
It's not out of the realm of possibilities that the Montreal Screwjob was a well orchestrated elaborate work, however, I truly believe it was a shoot. If you go back and read Bret Hart's book and catch-up on comments he's made about Montreal, you'll learn how deeply it hurt him. Bret felt that Vince McMahon not only betrayed him but did so in his home country. I've examined the difficult position that Vince was in (his company was in jeopardy and his champion was heading to WCW, the root of all their problems), however, I believe the finish Bret signed off on [at Survivor Series 1997] was not the finish that was executed. I am glad that all has been resolved -- creating one of the most memorable moments in the business in 2010 -- with Bret and Shawn Michaels making amends over the situation.
I have seen a lot of comments where people have said they do not want to see Sting wrestle at Wrestlemania 31 because he had been putting on less than stellar performances during his final days in TNA. While he has clearly lost a step (anyone would at 55 years old), do you feel his performance could have been a reflection of how much work he wanted to put in because of how he felt about the company?
Do I think Sting "mailed in" his final matches in TNA Wrestling? That's possible as he knew he was going to have to take a significant pay cut to stay with the company he had helped put on the map over the past decade, however, no one can say for sure. I understand why people are not interested in Sting working at Wrestlemania 31. He's 55 (and will be 56 at the time of the show) and will not be a full-time performer in any situation. A lot of people are "over" part-time workers coming in and taking main event spots from the guys that do the heavy lifting. Further, there are concerns about a 56-year-old being able to carry a main event match at WWE's biggest show of the year. There are no guarantees that Sting will wrestle for WWE, however, the relationship has been established. A lot of people thought we were crazy when we talked about Hulk Hogan's inclusion in WWE 2K14 being part of a bigger deal -- remember Eric Bischoff's ridiculous rant? Fast-forward nearly a year later and we can see -- just as we reported -- Hogan's inclusion was the beginning of his deal to return to WWE. While Sting is currently being used for the video game and forthcoming DVD, the relationship has been established. From a fan perspective, I want to see Sting work a WWE match. I don't want it to be a main event caliber match at Wrestlemania 31 next year, however, the fan in me wants to see it. It's now or never so why not now?
I understand why TNA would allow Bobby Lashley to return to fighting but if he loses wouldn't that look bad for the company? Why risk it?
It's unfathomable to me that TNA Wrestling would allow their current champion to compete in an MMA fight knowing there is a chance he could lose or get injured. However, before we get on our soapbox about Dixie Carter "not knowing what she is doing," let me remind you that sources have told me Vince McMahon would allow Brock Lesnar to compete for UFC while under WWE contract. While it's one of these things I would have to "see to believe," my sources indicate if it was an opponent Lesnar would be "guaranteed" to beat, Vince would be open to it. Again, I think it's one of those things Vince just goes along with to appease Lesnar, knowing the chances of him fighting for UFC again are virtually zero. However, back to the question. Why should TNA risk it? When I first read that Bellator MMA had signed Lashley and he would be fighting at Bellator 123 on September 5 live on Spike TV, the following thoughts went through my head - Spike TV owns Bellator, Lashley on Spike TV, TNA's TV agreement with Spike TV is up in October. While TNA has a lot going against them in contract re-negotiations with Spike TV -- and things haven't been going well -- one thing they have going for them is the network's intrigue about cross-over possibilities between Bellator and TNA. When Spike was in on the WWE TV negotiations, one of the biggest things they were interested in was how it would help Bellator. Ultimately they walked away because they found out WWE was "playing them" but in a sense, this could save TNA Wrestling.
Is it too early to start considering AJ Lee one of the best Divas of all time?
It's too early to start considering AJ Lee in the GOAT conversation. Look, I'm an AJ Lee fan and I think the amount of heat she gets from jealous haters is hilarious. She's not only WWE's top Diva but she's the face of the Diva's division. However, let's slow down on the GOAT conversation and continue to follow along. She has many hurdles to cross before being in the company of workers like Trish Stratus and Lita.
From the Ask WNW vault…
December 2011: Whatever happened to Bret Hart? He was touring with WWE earlier this year but is now nowhere to be found. - Bret Hart still has a good relationship with WWE but does not have a recurring role on television. While Bret is a WWE Hall of Famer and a Legend, he’s limited in what he can do because he cannot compete. I criticized WWE earlier this year for the way they used Hart, not making a “big enough deal” about him appearing. When Bret finally returned to WWE TV in 2010 it was monumental but the use of him lately is more like seeing someone such as Sgt. Slaughter on TV. Any appearance of Hart should be heavily promoted and portrayed as something extraordinary.
Do WWE commentators such as JBL, Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler travel to live events?
No, the commentators do not travel to live events unless they are being used. WWE only flies talent to shows that are being used for that particular show and most of the time, there is no need for commentators at live events.
My question is around the opposition to Sting vs. Undertaker. I'm a big football (a/k/a soccer) fan and we get the chance to see a testimonial game to certain players as a tribute who have been with a certain club a long time. The quality is normally poor but fans cheer anyway as they know it's a tribute. As an Undertaker fan, I see Sting as the perfect testimonial opponent. A way to say thank you while still keeping the interest. Could WWE do it this way and would you be interested?
I'm familiar with the testimonial concept in football (not all Americans call it soccer) as my favorite club -- Manchester United -- held one for Rio Ferdinand last year. I think this is a great way to look at Undertaker vs. Sting, without placing unreachable expectations on it. I'm on record as to writing I want to see Sting wrestle in a WWE ring and he's on record as to saying he wants too. I'll actually be more surprised if he doesn't wrestle for WWE at this point. I believe WWE will look to include him on an upcoming pay-per-view and that pay-per-view is most-likely Wrestlemania 31. His opponent is a different story. While Undertaker is an obvious choice, that hinges on Undertaker's health and desire for such a match. He was banged up pretty good this year and may opt to call it a career now that he no longer has the pressure of the streak weighing on him. However, I learned my lesson long ago about trying to predict Undertaker's final match. We'll see how things play out but do not be overly concerned about, "is Sting under contract?" because the fact of the matter is this. He'll never be under a full-time WWE Performer's Contract at this stage in his career. If WWE gets a plan together for him to work, it will be on a part-time basis.
Given his new babyface momentum with Zeb Colter, do you think Jack Swagger could return one day to the main event?
It's possible. Original plans were for Rusev to make short work of Jack Swagger at Battleground on Sunday but the response at Raw has caused some people to re-think that. One observer pointed out how Swagger at one time had the full support of Vince McMahon before he screwed up and got arrested for DWI while under the influence of marijuana. It's hard to feel bad for Swagger though considering his push was derailed based on his own careless actions.
Which WWE superstar do you think is given the least credit for their talent?
Wouldn't many of you like me to say Dolph Ziggler and wrap this up? It's not that easy. Just to get signed to a WWE developmental contract a worker must possess something extraordinary. Whether that's talent, a look, etc, it's no small feat to get signed to a WWE developmental deal. Once in developmental, a worker has to prove why they are worth a limited spot on the main roster. Once to the main roster, a worker must prove they are capable of an even more limited spot on television and then to an even more limited spot in the main event. It isn't easy and not everyone can work in the top of the card. It's a hard concept to grasp because the business is not objective. In sports, the best players get the most playing time. But that's not always how it works in WWE and depends largely how the crowd reacts. Sometimes -- someone extremely talented -- is given a lame gimmick and there's nothing they can do to salvage it. Think about Bray Wyatt before he was Bray Wyatt. I give you Husky Harris. The gimmick was lame, the look did nothing for him and he was lost in the shuffle. Now, Wyatt is being seen as a future top star.
From the Ask WNW vault…
November 2013: Who is your favorite worker and why? - Picking a favorite worker is not a desirable thing for me to do because readers will accuse me of having an unfair bias towards a particular individual. The truth is, I just want to be entertained. I don’t care who it is or what they do, I want to watch matches and segments on television and pay-per-view that are entertaining. My favorite style of wrestling is workers that can tell a story with their work and don’t have to rely on 100% high-risk insane spots. Some interpret this as me backing a slow and methodical style of wrestling, which isn’t true either. I love watching smaller guys go all out and really “wowing” with their high spots, however, the business is more than that. There’s something to be said about John Cena, who can move the needle on his own, despite the fact that 9 out 10 of you will claim to hate him. I know it sounds cliche but I want what’s best for business and that is anyone that makes me want to watch.