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 13, 2013 to Friday, July 19, 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
- Mark Henry was on Busted Open with Doug Mortman and Mike Riker. In it, he revealed that five years ago when he signed his latest WWE contract that he took a 50% pay cut. He also discussed his late rise to main event status. Below are some excerpts: Details behind his "retirement" promo:
Well five years ago when I signed my contract, my last contract. I took a 50 percent pay cut. And a lot of people don't know that because I never said nothing about it. And I wanted this these last five years—the reason that I've had this steadily incline is because I wanted to validate myself financially as well as career wise. And I've been able to make a good living over the last five years. But I ain't made nothing compared to John Cena. The Randy Ortons, the Brock Lesnars and The Rocks of this world. I ain't making that kind of money. And Money in the Bank it's just funny that it all happens to be about the money. But a lot of it is about the money. And it's about the respect that comes with the money. Donald Trump. Great business man. Unbelievable business man. Is he known for being a business man? No. He's known for the money. And I'm trying to get mine, man. I'm trying to get mine. And John Cena is the stepping stool, the foot hole or whatever you want to call him, to me getting my paper.
Late rise to main event status:
I think a lot of it was focus, a lot of it was desperation. A lot of it was umm—that epiphany. That day you wake up and go damn! Is this what it is? Like sometimes the trigger don't happen until something stimulates. And when I sat there in that chair in WWE headquarters, and they say hey we wanna resign you but we can't sign you for this money. This is what we offer. And it was nothing.
- Brian Fritz interviewed WWE United States Champion Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns at the grand opening of the WWE Performance Center. You can watch the interview at this link. - Mark Henry told Brian Fritz that he and The Rock were WWE's first two developmental talents. You can watch the interview at this link. - Sheamus, who benefitted greatly from WWE developmental, spoke to Brian Fritz at this link. - Rob Van Dam has been added to WWE's upcoming tour of South Africa. He's scheduled for several upcoming television appearances following his return to the company at Sunday's Money in the Bank pay-per-view. RVD's return to WWE Monday Night Raw and Smackdown is scheduled for this week. - TMZ is reporting that an arrest warrant has been issued for Ric Flair's ex-wife, Jacqueline Beems, for allegedly threatening Flair's current girlfriend Wendy Barlow Kidder. The threats were reportedly made back in October 2012, when Flair and Beems were still legally married. It's unknown why the complaint was just filed at the end of June. However, Beems is a wanted woman in the state of North Carolina. - Sam Roberts has a new interview online with Josh Mathews. Mathews talks about announce changes in WWE the debut of The Wyatt Family, fans chanting Husky Harris and more. You can watch now at this link. - The Ultimate Warrior is scheduled to a playable character in WWE 2K14. Warrior is scheduled make promotional appearances on behalf of WWE and 2K Sports to promote his inclusion. Speaking of WWE 2K14, there is a "big announcement" scheduled for Monday that relates to WWE's next video game. We'll have more information as it becomes available. - Arda Ocal recently caught up with Triple H and discussed the WWE Performance Center, his philosophy toward Superstar development, his upcoming DVD project, and more. The video is available at this link. - The announced attendance for WWE Money in the Bank was 18,147 from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The show was a legitimate sellout. Jim Ross added the show had over a $1,000,000 gate. The following is from JR's verified Twitter:
- Damien Sandow won the World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank ladder match, assuring him a title shot within 365 days. During the match, Sandow's partner, Cody Rhodes was legitimately busted open. He received medical attention in the ring immediately following the bout. - Randy Orton won the WWE Championship Money in the Bank ladder match at the pay-per-view in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Sunday. As the storyline goes, Orton has 365 days to "cash in" the MITB "contract" to challenge for the WWE Championship. - CM Punk was badly busted open when Paul Heyman hit him directly in the face with a ladder. Punk, bleeding everywhere, rolled out of the ring where he received medical attention to stop the bleeding. - CM Punk & Rob Van Dam received staples in their heads following their performances at the WWE Money in the Bank pay-per-view last night. According to the official WWE website, Punk received 13 staples, and Van Dam received 14 staples. Joey Stylesreported that both men received a total of 32 staples and 1 chipped tooth. Photos of both men being treated by medical personnel are available at this link. Punk posted a graphic image of his head wound on his Twitter account, as well as the treated wound, which is embedded below:
Both Punk and Van Dam are advertised to appear at tonight's WWE Raw at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. - Ryback's defeat over Chris Jericho was his first on WWE pay-per-view since Money in the Bank last year on Sunday, July 15, 2012. His opponents then were Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks. - For those that missed the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, the company continued to build towards CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam with Paul Heyman turning on Punk. The spot, which featured Heyman slamming Punk with a ladder, left Punk injured. We have more at this link. - When WWE Money in the Bank went off the air, Rob Van Dam got some time to celebrate with the Philadelphia crowd. The referee raised his hand to celebrate with the crowd to send them home happy. - Chris Jericho wrote the following on Twitter about Ryback's victory over him at WWE Money in the Bank:
- WWE has posted several kayfabe interviews from backstage at WWE Money in the Bank. You can watch them by clicking on the links below: John Cena discusses whether this was one of his toughest tests after defeating Mark Henry at Money in the Bank 2013.Paul Heyman leaves the building after costing CM Punk the chance to win the Money in the Bank briefcase.Rob Van Dam talks about the energy from the WWE Universe in Philly at Money in the Bank 2013.Cody Rhodes speaks to WWE.com about Damien Sandow's betrayal and the crushing defeat that followed at Money in the Bank 2013.Damien Sandow comments on betraying his best friend at Money in the Bank 2013.Alberto Del Rio talks about the respect that he deserves for defeating Dolph Ziggler at Money in the Bank 2013. - We reported earlier here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com that The Ultimate Warrior will be a playable character in WWE 2K14. We can now confirm you can play as Warrior if you pre-order the game. You can watch a trailer confirming the news at this link. - Mick Foley and Sheamus offered comments about the Money in the Bank All-Stars match. You can view them below:
- If you missed the stellar WWE Tag Team Championship match on the WWE Money in the Bank Kickoff with Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns defending against The Usos, you can watch it now at this link. - Christian chipped some teeth in the All-Stars Money in the Bank ladder match at the pay-per-view on Sunday night. It happened after Sheamus connected with a stiff blow to his face. - Congratulations to Shane "Hurricane" Helms, who announced this weekend that he and longtime girlfriend Karen are engaged to be married. - Cody Rhodes required five stitches to close the cut above his right eye suffered in the World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank ladder match. - WWE sent out an email blast earlier on Monday, confirming what we've already noted about The Ultimate Warrior being a playable character in WWE2K14 when you pre-order. You can put in your order for the game, due out in October, at this link. - The Bella Twins took part in a WWE Hangout with Renee Young to talk "Total Divas". You can watch now at this link. - The New York Daily News has a new Q&A online with Brie and Nikki Bella to promote E!'s "Total Divas." In it, Nikki references John Cena and the importance of squats.
NIKKI: One thing my boyfriend taught me is it’s all about the booty and the squats. They’re the key to killing cellulite and getting a bigger butt.
Click here to read the article in its entirety. - Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and The Usos were heavily put over backstage for their Money in the Bank Kickoff match. For those wondering the reason for the pullback in The Shield's push, it has do with the fact there is "nowhere to go from the top." However, we are told there is some backstage heat on Roman Reigns. While details are sketchy, it has something to do with a spot at a live event several weeks ago involving Randy Orton. Apparently Reigns confronted Orton over a blown spot and it rubbed him the wrong way. Seth Rollins was reportedly involved, but only in trying to tell Reigns it wasn't a good idea to confront Orton in the first. While it's believed Orton was in the wrong, he still has a lot of backstage influence and it's never a good idea to to complain on him or at him. - We're told no fine will be issued over the CM Punk/Paul Heyman spot that saw Punk get busted open the hardway on Sunday night. - Randy Orton going over in the Money in the Bank All-Stars match was not a last minute thing. It'd been mentioned but many felt it was a smoke signal to detract from the proposed SummerSlam match for the WWE title between John Cena and Daniel Bryan. In a sense, Orton going over was a swerve but we're told the plan for SummerSlam is still Cena vs. Bryan for the title. They'll look to blowoff the stuff with Mark Henry before moving on. - Speaking of SummerSlam, the main event of the show is considered to be Brock Lesnar vs. CM Punk with everything else secondary. Lesnar is scheduled to appear on several episodes of Monday Night Raw including this week in Brooklyn. The biggest issue here is who to put over. Punk has racked up the losses (even after beating Chris Jericho at WWE Payback) but putting him over Lesnar would likely hurt Lesnar's drawability for Wrestlemania XXX. It's a problem and there were multiple ideas pitched to quell it. So far, there's no solution I can share with you. - The talk coming out of Money in the Bank was to book Cody Rhodes as a babyface. Another program likely for SummerSlam is Big E Langston vs. Dolph Ziggler involving WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee. - Deadspin.com has an article online on a Reddit user under the name of Dolphins1925 spoiling the outcome of every single WWE pay-per-view match with 100% accuracy since Elimination Chamber. The article notes the user had no problem revealing the winners for Sunday's Money in the Bank pay-per-view, accurately revealing every winner including the MITB ladder match winners. You can read the article at this link and check out the user's profile at this link. - Scott Fishman of The Miami Herald has a new article online covering the grand opening of the WWE Performance Center online at this link. - Sheamus is interviewed to promote WWE's upcoming tour of South Africa at this link. - Chris Jericho posted a photo in front of the communications office of the Discovery Channel with the following hostags on Instagram - "Ready for my big pitch...! #tvshowcreator #thenewkurtsutter #fingiescrossed." You can view the photo on Instagram at this link. - Dave Batista (sorry, I'm not going to revert to the legitimate spelling of his last night for continuity purposes) took to Twitter to dismiss a recent rumor that he's negotiating with Triple H regarding a return to WWE. The following is from Batista's verified Twitter account:
While Batista is referencing a report written by another publication, he's not being completely honest. Batista was at the March 21, 2013 WWE NXT tapings in Winter Park, Florida where he spoke with Triple H. I wasn't in the room but was told they talked about short-term booking scenarios. - Jim Ross has a new blog entry online where he gives his thoughts on WWE Money in the Bank. Click here for his latest in its entirety. - Sam Roberts caught up with The Ultimate Warrior and discussed topics such as his inclusion in WWE 2K14, the possibility of one more match, and more. The interview is available at this link. - John Cena appeared on "Live With Kelly & Michael" this morning, and participated in a sumo wrestling match with Michael Strahan. The official WWE website has footage at this link. - Last week's episode of WWE Smackdown, the go-home to Money in the Bank, did an average viewing audience audience of 2,275,000 viewers on SyFy. The show ended up with a 1.71 cable rating. - The announced attendance for this week's episode of WWE Monday Night Raw was 15,803 from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The show was a legitimate sellout. - John Cena will defend the WWE Championship against Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam. As the storyline goes, Cena was "allowed by Brad Maddox" to pick the opponent of his choosing, however, Cena asked for help from the audience. After "consulting with the audience," Cena selected Bryan to a huge pop from the crowd. WWE has wanted to do Cena vs. Bryan and I'm told they're looking to tie the program in with content that will air on the "Total Divas" reality show premiering on E. - Following this week's episode of Monday Night Raw, WWE Champion John Cena beat Ryback in a Tables Match. Ryback destroyed two tables when he threw the steel ring steps, missing Cena. Cena's opponent had been advertised locally as Mark Henry. - Sheamus didn't work this week's WWE Monday Night Raw due to inflammation in his left quadriceps. The swelling was due to bumps he took in the Money in the Bank All-Stars match at the pay-per-view on Sunday. Speaking of Sheamus, the latest 1-800-Fella vignette is online at this link. - WWE posted a video of a fan that won two tickets to Raw in Brooklyn courtesy of Doritos Jacked and getting the chance to meet Daniel Bryan. You can watch the video at this link. - Speaking of Doritos, Variety has a new article looking at WWE landing the Frito-Lay brand as their primary sponsor of SummerSlam. The publication details the contests attached to the deal. Click here for more. - Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro are now going by The Real Americans as their collective tag team name. - Natalya hosted an anti-bullying rally on behalf of WWE on Monday in Trenton, New Jersey. You can watch highlights at this link. - Chris Jericho praised working with Rob Van Dam on this week's Monday Night Raw and said this year has been one the favorite years of his in-ring career. The following is from Jericho's verified Twitter account:
- After the angle with Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar on this week's Monday Night Raw, WWE posted the following "injury update" on Punk on dot com:
In what sounds more like an injury report from a car crash than a fistfight, medical officials have told WWE.com that Punk suffered whiplash and strained ligaments in his left knee and right ankle. Punk’s ribs are also bruised, potentially broken, as a result of the attack.
Click here for kayfabe coverage by dot com. - Vince McMahon didn't appear on WWE Raw as advertised. This was believed to be a result of one of the several show re-writes that I'll have more on shortly. For those that missed this week's WWE Raw, The Wyatt Family destroyed R-Truth as their second "victim." The "attack" was also to "send a message" to Kane. - As we reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium, the current plan is to do Dolph Ziggler vs. Big E Lagnston w/AJ Lee at SummerSlam. The angle on Raw with Langston taking out Ziggler was seen as the start of the program. - Deadspin.com has updated their story on the Reddit user spoiling pay-per-view outcomes with a statement from WWE. The statement is as follows:
"We may have a modern day Nostradamus on our hands. We might have to monitor these posts in advance of our next pay-per-view to see how good he or she really is."
- WWE is getting a lot mainstream exposure on Tuesday after Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones gave the winner of the 2013 Home Run Derby, Yoenis Cespedes, a WWE title belt that was given to him by creative writer Kevin Eck. Check out SportsCenter's "Highlights of the Night" featuring the belt at this link. - To recap some of Sam Roberts' interview with The Ultimate Warrior that Brooks posted here, Warrior said he doesn't work with Vince McMahon and WWE about his role in the game. He said he isn't fighting with WWE right now. Warrior said he doesn't watch WWE programming but is aware of the top guys. - "Mr. Monday Night" returns and more in this week's episode of "Backstage Fallout" Raw. You can watch now at this link. - In a neat "where are they now?" note, former WWE star Gene Snitsky worked as a member of New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez's security staff for his rehab start for the Trenton Thunder (Double-A) on Monday night. Backstage news & notes from Raw in Brooklyn… - We're told there were several re-writes for this week's episode of WWE Monday Night Raw, which was the reason for some segments lacking flow. As previously noted, the main objective of the show was to setup the following for SummerSlam - Big E Langston vs. Dolph Ziggler, Brock Lesnar vs. CM Punk and John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan. The company feels they accomplished this goal by beginning the framework for all three (despite actually starting on Punk/Lesnar a couple weeks ago). - The Raw Active poll with The Usos was done to gauge if the fans "buy" the team as a viable threat. WWE got the answer they were looking for in the vote. - Both Rob Van Dam and Chris Jericho were given high marks for their match on WWE Raw. We're told Vince McMahon has always liked RVD and was "eating that Van Dam flavored ice cream" afterwards. The match was also done to give Jericho a chance to work RVD before he left and a subtle shot at TNA Wrestling, who thought RVD has "lost it." - No challenger has been determined for Alberto Del Rio and the World Heavyweight Championship for SummerSlam as of this writing. There's a chance they go with RVD as his name was brought up after Raw. - The original plan was to blowoff Mark Henry/John Cena on Raw, however, the company knew the "cat was out of the bag" regarding Daniel Bryan, so they decided to go with it. This still doesn't mean they won't blow off Henry/Cena next week but it was on the original script. - We're told Daniel Bryan's t-shirt was the most sold merchandise item last week and that was further evidence to WWE officials the time for a top push was now. The backstage segment with Triple H suggesting Cena was going to pick Bryan and that Vince McMahon was going to "lose it" was a rib at Vince. We're told by sources close to McMahon that he realizes he was wrong about Bryan. - Believe it or not, CM Punk is going out of his way to develop a relationship with Brock Lesnar. Punk wants to get the best out of Brock for their program and wants both the build and actual in-ring work to be great. While Brock typically walks in and asks what they want him to do and does it, Punk has been going to him and discussing the program. This was evident with the segment on this week's Raw and many felt it had a "big fight feel," which is exactly what they want. - To follow-up on Ric Flair's ex-wife Jacqueline Beems being sought by North Carolina police, The Charlotte Observer is reporting that she turned herself in on Tuesday morning in Charlotte. She was later released on bond after being charged with a misdemeanor. The charge reportedly stems from threats that Beems made against Flair's current girlfriend Wendy Barlow Kidder in October 2012. - This week's episode of WWE Monday Night Raw did an average viewing audience of 4,101,000 viewers on the USA Network. Below is the hour by hour breakdown: Hour 1 - 3,926,000 viewers Hour 2 - 4,108,000 viewers Hour 3 - 4,268,000 viewers The show ended up doing a 3.04 cable rating. - Houston Texans offensive lineman Brennan Williams has WWE aspirations following his playing career in the National Football League. NESN has the story and quotes Jim Ross from WWE's meeting with the NFLPA a couple months ago. Click here for more. - The Orlando Business Journal has an article online with Triple H talking about WWE aspiring to build a physical Hall of Fame. While Hunter was relatively mum regarding potential plans, he said Orlando is "the first place" the company would look. Click here for more. - Jim Ross has a new blog entry on his official website with thoughts on this week's episode of WWE Monday Night Raw. Due to computer problems, there are no paragraph breaks but you can read it at this link. - Booker T & Vickie Guerrero made their return to Smackdown this week. For complete details on what happened during their returns, click here for this week's spoilers. - In addition, it was announced that The Big Show will return on next week's Raw. - The Charlotte Observer is reporting that a judge has issued an order of arrest for Ric Flair. Flair was held in contempt earlier in July for not paying his ex-wife, Jacqueline Beems, more than $32,000 in spousal support. Flair, whose real name is Richard Fliehr, was ordered to pay Beems $4000 per month when she filed for a legal separation last summer. The money was intended to go towards her car payment, health insurance and legal fees. The arrest warrant was issued on July 3 but Flair could avoid jail time if he pays what he owes. Flair blamed non-payment on the death of his son Reid as well as time in the hospital for a blood clot in his leg. He plans to pay what he owes on Wednesday. Ironically enough, Jacqueline Beems surrendered to authorities Tuesday morning on a misdemeanor charge from allegedly threatening Flair's currently girlfriend back in October 2012. - WWE is reporting that Randy Orton suffered an injury while in action during this week's Smackdown tapings (full taping results available here). Orton reportedly suffered a cervical strain and cervical neuropraxia. Click here for more information. Orton completed his match on Smackdown and went on to team with Daniel Bryan & Rob Van Dam against The Shield in the 6-man tag dark match main event, though his involvement was limited. - John Saboor represented WWE at Cowboys Stadium last week in a proposal for the venue to host Wrestlemania 31 in 2015. In addition to Saboor, Dallas Mayer Mike Rawlings and Arlington Mayer Robert Cluck attended the meeting. Dallas/Arlington is one of many locations being considered to host future Wrestlemania pay-per-views. WWE will announce the pay-per-view's host city early next year. - Randy Orton says he's fine following Alberto Del Rio kicking him in the neck at Tuesday night's Smackdown taping in Providence, Rhode Island:
Dot com claimed Tuesday night that Orton suffered a cervical strain and cervical neuropraxia. - Get up-close and personal with new WWE Diva Eva Maria in a new video at this link. - TMZ covered Brock Lesnar's post-Raw meal at Fresco restaurant in Montclair, New Jersey on Monday night. Dining with his wife, Rena, Lesnar racked up a bill north of $500 and left a "very generous" tip to everyone that stayed late to serve him. You can see what all he ate here at TMZ. - Dave LaGreca and Mike Riker interviewed Chris Jericho less than 24 hours after his match with Ryback at WWE Money in the Bank. You can watch the interview at this link. - Chris Jericho's 2013 run with WWE concluded at this week's Smackdown taping in Providence, Rhode Island. Jericho addressed his status on Twitter:
As Jericho mentioned, he'll return to his band Fozzy for their upcoming tour dates. - Prior to this week's Smackdown taping in Providence, Sin Cara beat Ted DiBiase in a dark match. After the taping, RVD, Randy Orton & Daniel Bryan beat The Shield in a dark match main event. - Nikki Bella's injury is to her leg, believed to be a shin injury. This is why she hasn't worked and has been on crutches. - WWE will return to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for a live event on Sunday, September 8th. Those looking to obtain tickets can do so using the password WWELIVE. - There have been a lot of complaints lately about how much and how often Vince McMahon is changing the script for WWE Monday Night Raw each week, typically on very short notice. One of the biggest issues is Vince's own indecisiveness in terms of how he wants the show structured. When the show first went to three hours last July, the focus was on having the show's four biggest segments spaced out at the top of every hour (8 PM, 9 PM, 10 PM and 11 PM). When ratings declined, Vince was convinced it was because viewers "figured out the formula" and were tuning out at the top of each hour. He then tried to mix the most important segments at random times during each hour to try and "force" the viewer to watch the entire show. We're told there have been many weeks where Vince wants "the best of both worlds" and tries a little of both. The problem is, Vince changes his mind so frequent the writers show up with one structure and Vince wants the other. As one observer points out, no matter how much the show is analyzed and broken down, it's still a three hour show. The fact of the matter is there are many that feel Vince is driving them crazy in finding a way to make something work that just might not work. The decline in ratings could have to do with viewer fatigue and the fact that three hours is too long for one show. However, none of the writers want to challenge Vince about dropping the extra hour as Vince remains pleased with the extra money the company gets for it. The majority of the time writers "bite their tongues" and try their best to give Vince McMahon what he wants each week. - Jim Ross checks in with a new blog entry at this link. - MVP hinted at a return to the ring in the United States in a new interview with The UK Sun. Below an excerpt:
“If I did return to wrestling in the States — which I most likely will — the clock is running down. I’m 40 in October. “I started training when I was 27 and signed with WWE when I was 31. But I don’t have the wear and tear that most guys my age have, I got some time left."
Click here to read the piece in its entirety. - The first screen shots of WWE 2K14 are now online at this link. - Rosa Mendes says she will be at Thursday night's NXT live event from the Tampa Arena in Tampa, Florida. The following is from her Twitter:
- "Live with Kelly and Michael" posted a video of WWE Champion John Cena challenging Michael Strahan to a rematch. You can watch the video at this link. - Mick Foley provided an update on the future of WWE Saturday Morning Slam, which has not been taped since April:
Foley also mentioned the return on Facebook, saying that Saturday Morning Slam "should be resuming taping soon." WWEissued a statement to Wrestling News World in May regarding the future of the program, indicating that the company's plan was to begin airing a second season in August, if an agreement with The CW were to be reached. - WWE has moved their upcoming television taping from the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania due to a scheduling conflict. Originally scheduled for a Smackdown taping on Tuesday, September 17, the event has been moved to Monday Night Raw on October 7, 2013. The following is from Consol Energy Center's Facebook page:
Due to a scheduling conflict, World Wrestling Entertainment has rescheduled the September 17 WWE Smackdown Event at CONSOL Energy Center. The event will now be WWE Monday Night RAW and has been moved to Monday, October 7 at 7:30 PM. All tickets purchased for the September 17 WWE Smackdown Event will be honored on Monday, October 7. Fans that cannot attend the rescheduled date should go to their point of purchase for refunds. World Wrestling Entertainment would like to thank all of our fans that have purchased tickets for this event.
- Nikki Bella has a stress fracture in her right tibia, which is why she is on crutches. Speaking of Nikki, she and Brie have been busy. The sisters were at ESPN's "ESPY" awards on Wednesday night, appeared on NFL AM Thursday and are scheduled for KTLA Morning News in Los Angeles. They're also scheduled to appear on E!'s "Fashion Police." Terrence J interviewed The Bella Twins on the red carpet of the ESPYS at this link. - Hornswoggle, who is currently filming the WWE Studios project "Leprechaun: Origins," says he broke his arm. The following is from Twitter:
- MVP appeared at Booker T's "Reality of Wrestling" TV tapings in Houston, Texas last Saturday wearing an eye patch. He didn't wrestle at the show. - Rob Van Dam says he won't be signing at San Diego Comic Con. The following is from Twitter:
Click here for the WWE names that will be appearing at Comic Con starting Thursday. - I had some questions to my Twitter account about Xavier Woods representing NXT talent at last week's grand opening of the WWE Performance Center. Not only is Woods held in high regard for his in-ring work but the company is high up on his intelligence. Woods is currently working on his PhD dissertation. WWE is assisting him, allowing him to be part of a tuition reimbursement program. - Trish Stratus recently answered questions from fans about her pregnancy at this link. Included in the aforementioned link is a recent photo of Trish. - Randy Orton suffered a legitimate neck injury at Tuesday's Smackdown taping in Providence, Rhode Island. The injury occurred while Orton was working World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio in the main event of this week's show. The injury wasn't serious and Orton was able to return for the dark match main event. Many people backstage didn't even know Randy was injured with Orton himself trying to dismiss reports of his injury, even though the news was broke by dot com. - The Undertaker is now listed as doubtful for SummerSlam and is recovering from a recent surgery on his shoulder. At this point, there are no immediate creative plans for him. There was a lot of talk earlier this summer about Undertaker feeling good enough to work a program at SummerSlam, however, WWE wants to be careful when they use him. He is still in the "penciled in" plans for Wrestlemania XXX next year. - What gets Sheamus revved up? Find out in the latest episode of WWE Inbox online at this link. - The Wyatt Family made their WWE Main Event debut on Wednesday. You can check it out at this link. - Fox Sports Australia has a new article online featuring quotes from Ryback and The Miz. Below is an excerpt: Ryback on the injury that threatened his career:
"I took a drop kick and tore my ankle out in three places," Ryback told foxsports.com.au. "I finished the match, running with my ankle dangling and it spiraled up and shattered my leg all the way up to my knee ... I had three surgeries; I was out a year and told I would never wrestle again."
The Miz on no one liking him:
"From the fans to the locker room ... coming in everybody thought I just got a contract because I was on The Real World but that wasn’t the reason. But I wasn’t one to say 'Hey I was on the indies for three years' because you don’t go around saying that. "My first or second year in WWE I got kicked out of the locker room and I would have to find a new place to change every time we were in a new arena. I remember one time I had to use the rest room so I had to go out to the fans corridor and use the rest room and little kids were like 'is that The Miz?'
Click here to read the article in its entirety. - Hot 97'sPeter Rosenberg interviewed Mark Henry on Thursday. Henry reflected on his career and talked about his late career resurgence. He put over Antonio Cesaro and his tremendous strength and put over many of the up and comers in the company. You can watch the interview at this link. - The Austin Chronicle has a new article online featuring quotes from Damien Sandow. Sandow remains in-character in the piece, below is an excerpt:
"I shall separate myself and, from this point on, call myself 'Sir Money in the Bank.'"
Click here to read the article in its entirety. - We reported earlier there was talk at one point of doing John Cena vs. Ryback vs. Mark Henry in a triple threat match for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam. Obviously this plan was later changed in favor of the current direction that ties in Daniel Bryan, Cena and the WWE title with the new "Total Divas" reality series. Had WWE have gone that route, we're told Ryback would have been involved in the finish to Cena vs. Henry at Money in the Bank to set it up. We're told Henry is still nursing a rib cartilage injury and it might have factored in WWE's decision to blowoff the program with Cena prior to the pay-per-view next month. - Triple H posted an image of the cover of his upcoming DVD on his Twitter account:
Triple H discussed his DVD being more open and thorough than past releases in a recent interview. - Comic Book Resources is reporting that Papercutz will be publishing two WWE-related comic series. Below is an excerpt from their coverage:
The first title is a ongoing monthly comic series starting in December simply titled WWE, which is essentially the wrestling world come to life. WWE Hall of Fame wrestler (and New York Times bestselling author) Mick Foley will write stories set in the actual continuity of WWE storylines, complete with matches, backstage segments and of course the company’s superstars — both past and present. “WWE’s Superstars are truly larger-than-life, with the kind of personality and raw power that makes a comics page crackle with excitement,” said Papercutz Editor-In-Chief Jim Salicrup in a press release. “It’s the kind of action and drama that’s just perfect for comics, and Mick Foley is just the WWE Legend we need to make it happen.” Foley is no stranger to comics: He’s written a miniseries for 12 Gauge Comics, partnered with Jill Thompson on several kids books, and was even a childhood friend of the son of comics legend John Buscema. This WWE comic series is described by the publisher as “Teen+”, and will be part of a full line of titles for that age group to be revealed later this year. ”I am very excited about this new partnership and comic book series,” Foley is quoted as saying in a press release. “Writing is a great outlet for me, and sharing stories of WWE Superstars, both past and present, make it possible to introduce a whole new generation to WWE.” The second WWE title doesn’t have a name yet, but it will be targeted squarely at kids and “tied into a new WWE initiative, according to Papercutz Marketing Director Jesse Post. It will launch in June 2014 as a series of graphic novels released three times per year. Papercutz is set up this week at Comic-Con International in San Diego (booth #2546), and Foley will be on hand Thursday from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. to sign autographs.
Click here for more on ComicBookResources.com. - Vince McMahon wrote the following on Twitter:
- BG James, also known as Road Dogg, is now working as a member of the WWE creative team. James has been working as producer in the company since October 2011. - Rey Mysterio won't be appearing at the San Diego Comic Con on Friday as advertised due to his mother being in critical condition. The following is from Mysterio's Twitter:
- Billy Kidman has transitioned from a WWE NXT trainer to a producer in WWE. I'm not sure how new this piece of information is as Kidman has been working as a producer at TVs for a long time now. - James Fullington, better known as The Sandman, is wanted in Delaware County, Pennsylvania for unpaid child support. Fullington owes $8,017.84. - The Rock shared a compelling comeback story about his cousin, WWE Diva Tamina Snuka, on Instagram. Attached along with a photo of the two together, Rock wrote:
10 years ago my cousin, Sarona Snuka divorced, decided to go back to college to complete her education and be a great example for her two beautiful little girls she was raising - all while working as a janitor. Today, she's one of the WWE's most successful Divas, a proud (and hot;) single mom who will be making her big screen debut w/ me in HERCULES and more importantly, a shining example to women of all ages around the world that thru endless hard work you can achieve anything when you make up your mind to achieve it. #Inspiration #SweatEquity #Respect #WeAlwaysActSillyAsHellFollow
Click here to view the photo. While Tamina's role in "Hercules" is unknown, we reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com on July 12, 2013 that Snuka would be in the movie. - The Bella Twins taped an appearance on E!'s "Fashion Police" on Thursday with Joan Rivers. You can view a photo of them on the set below:
The episode airs next Friday at 10p/9c. - Sheamus says he marked-out for the return of Ultimate Warrior to WWE. The following is from Twitter:
- The Phoenix New Times has a new article online featuring quotes from WWE Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel. In it, he addresses criticism of his mic work:
I don't know where that comes from. I just never really have a chance to talk. Now that I'm shown more on TV, I'll have more of an opportunity. People say what they want just from one little rumor, so I don't pay attention to any of that crap, what people say about me. I just do my thing and I know what I can do and I do well, and I don't let that stuff worry me.
Click here to read the article in its entirety. - We noted here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, citing a report by ComicBookResources.com, that Papercutz will publish two WWE-related comic series. You can view the artwork at this link. - TMZ has released footage from the set of the upcoming Total Divas reality show in which John Cena's girlfriend, Nikki Bella, asks if marriage is in their future. The footage is available at this link. - This week’s episode of The JBL & Cole Show is now available at this link. - Ultimate Warrior recently spoke with WWE on the heels of the announcement of his inclusion in the upcoming WWE 2K14 video game. In the interview, he discusses creating his character, his relationship with Vince McMahon, and more. The interview is available at this link. - The general feeling backstage was that with "Total Divas" on E! debuting this month that WWE had to go ahead and do John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE title at SummerSlam. We're told this was a way to get the most out of the show and the publicity that will be generated with the real-life boyfriends of The Bella Twins squaring off at the pay-per-view of the summer. Bryan was still slated for a big push but some felt it would be delayed until the fall, however, the "Total Divas" tie-in was the determining factor. - Expect speculation regarding the Money in the Bank briefcases to be rampant, however, the only thing that is for sure (if there is such thing in this business) is that WWE officials want one of the cases "cashed in" soon. This way, they are able to capitalize off momentum from the pay-per-view and they do not have to worry about both being around in the long-term. - WWE officials are not souring on Curtis Axel but there is some second-guessing about the booking of his character. Some believe the cheap count-out victories have hurt getting him over as a credible heel and they need to make sure to "protect him" as the initial idea isn't working. - CM Punk is expected to "absolutely destroy" Brock Lesnar with some sort of gimmick on an upcoming episode of WWE Raw. According to a source, the company wants it to come across that despite the size difference, Punk is "capable of anything" because he has "snapped" after being "betrayed" by Paul Heyman. - We're told WWE would like to call-up 3-5 developmental workers from now until the end of the year. Obviously this could mean roster cuts but nothing is confirmed. - Following an injury at WWE Money in the Bank, Sheamus posted the following update on his Twitter account:
- Steve Austin recently took part in an "Ask Me Anything" Q&A session on Reddit and spoke on a variety of topics surrounding his WWE career and more. Some notable excerpts are below: On whether he has any regrets regarding his career:
"i wish i had not walked out of the company when i did...bad decision."
On how much long he would have wrestled, had it not been for his neck injury:
"maybe another 5-6 years..."
On what life was like after leaving WWE:
"took a while to deal with it. it was damn hard."
On how much Jim Ross meant to his career:
"Jim Ross is a close personal friend who helped me through some hard times and gave great advice when i needed it. I dont know that i would have had the career i had without his help. Not many people walking around on planet Earth know the business like Jim. I truly value his and Jans friendship."
On his work with Vince McMahon and whether he was worried about going "too far" during beatdowns:
"everything i did with vince was done with lots of physicality. it was the only way to do that kind of business. lots of potatoes from both sides.(more from me)...Vince is a tough SOB. bottom line."
On WWE's PG direction:
"the direction WWE has taken is the right direction as far as continued main stream growth. believe me, the company is making money."
On why he was not known for coming off the top rope:
"tore my tricep off my elbow jumping off the top rope in japan in about 1994...Figured i better keep my dumb ass on the mat."
On "What?" chants:
"i cant believe the WHAT chants are still around. some people hate it. some people love it. go figure. WHAT!?"
On his favorite WrestleMania match against The Rock:
On what he was saying as he talked to himself while walking toward the ring, and whether cursing was involved:
"yes. it was. i was extremely energized by the crowd reaction and at my competitive best, i was a laser guided missile that went out to do one thing-ENTERTAIN THE CROWD AND KICK ASS..MAKE PEOPLE GLAD THEY SPENT THEIR MONEY ON A TICKET, GOT THEIR MONEYS WORTH...AND WANTED TO COME BACK NEXT TIME WE WERE IN TOWN TO SEE IT ALL AGAIN. many thanks to all of you for coming to the shows. i had a damn blast. it was a pleasure and an honor to work for you."
On potentially having his own hunting show like Shawn Michaels:
"i am currently laying some ground work for a hunting show...stay tuned."
Click here for more. - As we reported earlier this week, Big Show will officially return to WWE on next week's episode of Monday Night Raw. Show has been out with a torn labrum and as we reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, the plan all along has been for him to return at the middle of this month. You can watch a return vignette at this link. Next week's episode of Raw emanates from the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas. Make sure you join us Monday night at 7:30 PM EDT for our "Open Thread" Watch Party featuring exclusive streaming results and discussion. - WWE Hall of Famer Dory Funk, Jr., citing the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, sent word that WWE has signed Cory "Wild" Weston. Weston was student of Funk's Funking Conservatory. - TMZreported on Friday that Matt Osborne, formerly known as Doink the Clow, died of an accidental overdose of morphine and hydrocodone. Borne also suffered from heart disease, which was a "significant contributory factor" in his death. - WWE issued the following on Friday:
STAMFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- WWE (WWE) announced that its Board of Directors today declared the Company’s regular quarterly dividend of $0.12 per share for all Class A and B shares of common stock. The record date for the dividend will be September 13, 2013, and the payment date will be September 25, 2013.
- The Miz announced on Friday at the San Diego Comic Con that he will be the host of this year's SummerSlam pay-per-view. You can watch the announcement at this link.
- Jay Bradley brings his boomstick to "The List" in this week's episode of with Robbie E and SoCal Val. You can watch now at this link. - TNA is doing a new "Impact Wrestling Podcast" with Jeremy Borash and Christy Hemme. You can listen now at this link. - TNA Wrestling is promoting hot July photos of the Knockouts at this link. - A new episode of "Girl Talk" with Christy Hemme, Velvet Sky and ODB is online at this link. - TNA Wrestling just announced on their official Twitter account that they released for Knockout Champion Tara, real name Lisa Marie Varon, from her contract. Tara has been with the company since 2009 after leaving the WWE in the same year. Below is the official tweet:
- D.O.C., whose real name is Drew Hankinson, announced Tuesday on Twitter he has parted ways with TNA Wrestling. The following is from his verified Twitter account:
Alex Barie noted earlier the company has also parted ways with Tara. - Once word broke out that Tara (article found here) and Doc (article found here) have departed from TNA Wrestling, Eric Bischoff gave his thoughts on each superstar. Below are his tweets from his official Twitter account:
- D-Lo Brown has departed TNA Wrestling. The company is in the process of restructuring to cut costs and are asking road agents to work on per night agreements. Brown agreed to restructure his deal but was reportedly let go. - Bruce Prichard's future with TNA Wrestling remains uncertain as he was asked to restructure his deal but apparently rejected to do so. Prichard has been working as TNA's Senior Vice President of Programming and Talent Relations since 2011. He's been with TNA since 2010. - Al Snow noted on Twitter that Jigsaw will be at this week's TNA Destination X/Impact Wrestling taping in Louisville, Kentucky. - Madison Rayne has started a blog and posted an update on her pregnancy at this link. - Bruce Prichard is in fact out at TNA Wrestling. We reported Wednesday morning here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com that he was asked to restructure his contract but rejected to do so. This, compiled with recent complaints over issues managing talent contracts, ultimately resulted in his departure. Prichard has been working as TNA’s Senior Vice President of Programming and Talent Relations since 2011. He’s been with TNA since 2010. - TNA Wrestling has been in the process of restructuring by renegotiating contracts and releasing talent they have nothing for. While Matt Morgan wasn't released, he requested to be let out of his TNA contract and his request was granted. Below is a recap of all the recent TNA departures: Talent departures:Christian YorkCrimsonD-Lo BrownD.O.C.Joey RyanMatt MorganMadison RayneTaeler HendrixTaraOffice departures:Bruce PrichardLindsey Bynum - D'Lo Brown addressed his departure from TNA Wrestling with the following post from his Twitter account:
I guess it's time to address the rumors surrounding me over the last few days. It is true that my employment with TNA has come to an end. I consider myself fortunate to have worked so closely with some of the best up and coming talent in the business. I also had the privilege to work closely with some of the greatest this industry has produced. I can tell you this for sure I will miss sharing a locker room with some of the most genuine men and women (you know who you are) that I have ever been around. I want to say thank you to the many fans that have shown support for me over the years. I will keep everyone updated on what my future plans are. In the meantime all booking inquires should be directed to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Recognize #YNWA
- There seems to be a lot of debate and over-analyzation about TNA Wrestling looking to save money. The formula is simple, when costs exceed revenue, the company will look to balance it. This is being done by restructuring contracts and releasing people there is either nothing for or are getting paid more than their value to the company. Taping television on the road is expensive and has considerably increased the company's costs. Concerns regarding TNA's structure at the top is confusing but it's always been confusing. Are Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff in charge or does Dixie Carter have the final say? What about Panda Energy and Janice Carter? This has not changed. - TNA Wrestling posted the opening to Destination X at this link. - TNA Knockouts Champion Mickie James performed in Nashville last week. TNA Wrestling posted a video clip at this link. - TNA will unveil a new X Division Championship title belt on this week's Destination X themed episode of Impact Wrestling, according to Dixie Carter on Twitter. The following is from Carter's verified account:
- Samoa Joe appeared on "Great Day Live" Thursday morning to promote Impact Wrestling in Louisville. In the segment, he revealed he is currently dealing with a scratched cornea. - TNA Wrestling issued the following statement on the departure of Bruce Prichard:
STATEMENT FROM TNA ENTERTAINMENT REGARDING SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF PROGRAMMING AND TALENT RELATIONS BRUCE PRICHARD NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 18, 2013) – TNA has parted ways with Senior Vice President of Programming and Talent Relations Bruce Prichard. “TNA is headquartered in Nashville, and, as we move forward, our creative team and executive leadership will be here in Nashville with us,” said President of TNA Dixie Carter. “Bruce’s dedication and passion for TNA and IMPACT Wrestling will be missed, and we thank him for the incredible work he has done for us. We wish him all the very best.”
- Dixie Carter Tweeted a photo of the new TNA X Division Championship belt that will debut on this week's Destination X themed episode of Impact Wrestling. You can view it below:
- Trent Barreta, under his real name Greg Marasciulo, worked this week's Destination X/Impact Wrestling taping. - DOC, whose real name is Drew Hankinson, told Inside the Ropes that negotiations between him and TNA for a new contract broke down on Tuesday night. He is unaware if TNA is in financial trouble but said he hopes that isn't the case. Hankinson said he left on good terms and the door is not closed. - The word going is that Devon will replace D-Lo Brown as an agent in TNA Wrestling. - Chris Sabin beat Bully Ray on this week's Destination X episode of Impact Wrestling to win the TNA Championship. The match broke down with a brawl between Aces and Eights and The Main Event Mafia. When the fight finally got to the back following a referee bump, Ray tried to hit Sabin with a hammer in the ring but Sabin countered. When Bully went for a powerbomb, Sabin hit Ray with the hammer and pinned him to get the victory and win the title. - If you missed Chris Sabin beating Bull Ray for the TNA Championship on this week's Destination X episode of Impact Wrestling, you can watch the tape at this link. - For those that missed this week's Destination X, Homicide, Jigsaw and Greg Marasciulo (f/k/a Trent Barreta) worked the show. Alex Barie has the results available at this link. - Manik, Sonjay Dutt and Greg Marasciulo face off in an Ultimate X Match for the X Division Championship on next week's episode of Impact Wrestling. You can check out the winner here on our taping results. - This week's Destination X episode of Impact Wrestling saw viewership spike to 1,494,000 viewers on Spike TV. This is the largest Impact viewing audience since the January 31, 2013 episode. The show ended up with a 1.2 cable rating. - The August 15th episode of Impact Wrestling will be "themed" as Hardcore Justice. The show will be taped from Norfolk, Virginia and will be headlined by Chris Sabin defending the TNA Championship against Bully Ray in a Steel Cage match. Aces and Eights and the Main Event Mafia will be banned from ringside.
Do you have any information on the ladder spot between CM Punk and Paul Heyman? As I talked about in Richard Reacts to WWE Money in the Bank, I'm sure CM Punk and Paul Heyman had time to talk about what they wanted to do [at Money in the Bank] before they did it. Whether or not they wanted the spot to come off as violent as it did is anyone's guess. There were several "finable spots" on the pay-per-view and I simply can't say who WWE will fine, if they fine anyone at all. Punk was busted open badly by the ladder spot, rolling out of the ring and receiving medical treatment as blood gushed down the side of his head. He required 13 staples in his head to close the wound. What were your thoughts on the WWE Money in the Bank All-Stars Match? I thought it was great and featured tremendous work. I agree, the WWE Money in the Bank All-Stars Match was entertaining from top to bottom and featured a surprise finish with Randy Orton going over. The overwhelming assumption was Daniel Bryan was going over, so I don't think many had Orton winning the briefcase. There were a lot great spots but it didn't come without a cost. The match was very physical and featured several spots that could have seriously injured the participants. So far I can confirm injuries to CM Punk (cut), Rob Van Dam (cut) and Christian (chipped teeth). Sheamus took some of the most gruesome bumps of the bout but Tweeted, "The reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated. #MitB"Why wasn't Brock Lesnar utilized at WWE Money in the Bank? There were never plans to utilize Brock Lesnar at WWE Money in the Bank. WWE wanted to progress the upcoming program with CM Punk [for SummerSlam] at the pay-per-view and did so with Curtis Axel and Paul Heyman. While Lesnar is under WWE contract, the company is hesitant to burn through his appearances unadvertised on pay-per-view. Lesnar is advertised for this week's episode of Monday Night Raw and I expect a follow-up to officially kickoff the build to SummerSlam. Do you feel Cody Rhodes emerged as a future main eventer after WWE Money in the Bank? Cody Rhodes has been held in high regards by many for years and his work at WWE Money in the Bank was very good, however, if there is one worker that walked away from that match as a "future main eventer," it was Damien Sandow. Vince McMahon has wanted to push Sandow in singles for months, which is why they tried to break up The Rhodes Scholars in the first place. When WWE decided to pull back, they put the tag team back together. Now with Sandow "costing Cody the win," it appears Sandow will be pushed as a viable challenger for the World Heavyweight Championship. Is it safe to say that WWE has a restored confidence in Randy Orton as a main event talent? Yes, WWE has restarted on Randy Orton as a main event talent. As the world found out last week, Randy is not only making "main event money" but he's making top guy money. The reason he's been relegated the mid-card over the last 14 months is due to another violation of the WWE Wellness Policy. He had a lot of heat in May 2012 but has obviously regained favor backstage. Orton once again has a lot of influence and stroke. It's been great watching Chris Jericho "pass the torch" in his latest run with WWE, however, do you think he'll be rewarded for doing the business a favor for putting over workers like Fandango and Ryback? Perhaps another title reign? Chris Jericho has had a great year and has "given back" to the business by agreeing to work guys such as Fandango and Ryback. I don't think a title reign is likely at this point in his career but we can never be sure in this business. Some are concerned about the number of losses Jericho has had but losses aren't going to hurt him at this point. He's not in the plans for SummerSlam and had an outstanding match on Raw against Rob Van Dam. Jericho's position in WWE is similar to the position of Shawn Michaels towards the latter part of his career. Available to work angles and compete in top level matches but out of the title picture. Is Rob Van Dam back as a full-time wrestler? Rob Van Dam is back in WWE under a part-time schedule. He's working a lot of dates early on but has likened his contract to that of the aforementioned Chris Jericho. It's amazing how much momentum RVD has back in WWE following a month of vignettes and two return matches. He's also scheduled for this week's Smackdown taping. Is Cody Rhodes slated to turn babyface, do you agree with this? The plan coming out of Money in the Bank (and continuing on this week's Raw) was to program Cody Rhodes with Damien Sandow with Rhodes as babyface and Sandow as heel. The idea is to push both of them at the same time. I'm all for pushing younger talent so any storyline for Rhodes is an improvement from where he's been booked lately. Who do you see WWE putting over at SummerSlam - CM Punk or Brock Lesnar? The most difficult thing about CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam will be who to put over. Neither Punk nor Lesnar need a loss but obviously a loss is inevitable. There's no way to predict an outcome as I can't even make a valid argument myself who goes under. Punk will have more opportunities to be built back up following a loss but it would be his fourth loss in five pay-per-views. While Lesnar has been booked better recently, a loss won't do him any favors in terms of drawability for Wrestlemania XXX. Is WWE going with Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena at SummerSlam because they are dating Brie and Nikki Bella? Yes, one of the reasons why WWE is doing Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena at SummerSlam is because they can tie it in with the upcoming "Total Divas" reality show on E. Not only will the new reality series help WWE expand their demographic but it will give them even more network penetration in promoting the pay-per-view. I am very high up on the "Total Divas" reality show and think it's a concept that should benefit the business What will be The Wyatt Family's first program? The current plan seems to be programming Kane against The Wyatt Family. Whether or not this means a return of The Undertaker remains to be seen but the fact that Bray Wyatt mentioned Kane again on Raw points to a future program and the "attack" last week was not a one time thing. Expect to see Kane return and "seek vengeance" after being "cost an opportunity" at a WWE title shot. With Ultimate Warrior striking a deal to appear in WWE 2K14, do you see this is a new way for him to appear on WWE television or be inducted into the Hall of Fame? The Ultimate Warrior made it clear his deal to be in the game is not with WWE and Vince McMahon but I have to believe the fact he is in the game only increases the chance of him appearing on WWE TV and/or being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Warrior seems to be downplaying his relationship with WWE but I've heard for years he's wanted a way back in. We hear a lot about WWE performers violating the Wellness Policy. What are these violations usually for? WWE has a banned substance list attached to their Wellness Policy. If a performer tests positive for one of these substances they must be able to produce a valid prescription for what they are taking that causes the positive result. If they are unable to produce a valid prescription, they are flagged with a Wellness test failure and are given a "strike." There are substances that are banned outright and will cause an immediate Wellness strike whether or not the performer has a valid prescription. If a worker tests positive for taking a drug known under the trade name of Soma or Miltown, which are common muscle relaxers, they are flagged with a Wellness violation regardless of a valid prescription. With all this being said, I have serious questions about the validity of the WWE Wellness Policy given the list of suspensions. Is John Cena's WWE title defense against Daniel Bryan the most important defense of the title since SummerSlam 2002 between The Rock and Brock Lesnar? I do not see that as being the case as the main event of this year's SummerSlam is considered to be Brock Lesnar vs. CM Punk. The WWE title bout is seen as a co-main event as a way for the company to tie in the new "Total Divas" reality show. Daniel Bryan is very deserving of this opportunity and hopefully he comes out as a main event staple, regardless of the outcome. Who pays Hulk Hogan in his work for TNA Wrestling? Is it Spike TV, TNA or Panda Energy? Hulk Hogan, like everyone else in TNA, is paid by Panda Energy. Panda Energy accounting handles the payroll for the company and it's out of their office where checks are issued. They are the financial backing for the company and are the reason TNA is able to operate as they are. With the myriad of TNA departures is the company in financial trouble? TNA is dealing with a significant rise in expenses by moving television to the road. The added expense has to be dealt with in one of two ways. Either, it's offset by increased revenues or offset by decreased expenses. Since revenues have not increased, the company is cutting back expenses. This is how a budget is managed whether it's a company or a personal bank account. What would be more problematic is if TNA saw the added expense and did nothing to offset it. Do you find WWE's statement that they "…may have a modern day Nostradamus on our hands…" in reaction to the Reddit user leaking storylines a bit odd? It seems like a strange response considering how serious Vince McMahon takes creative leaks? For those that need to catch-up, Deadspin.comreported on Monday there is a Reddit.com user that has accurately spoiled the outcome of every WWE pay-per-view match since Elimination Chamber 2013. The story has gotten a lot of play, prompting the aforementioned statement by WWE (you can read the full statement here. WWE is very concerned about the leak and no matter how nonchalant they are acting to the public, they are working diligently to stop it. Some of you may remember we used to spoil WWE pay-per-views before they aired and here's how WWE stopped us. The company gave a different set of outcomes to everyone in the know and the outcomes that ended up online, ended up catching the leak. Since that happened, we've stopped posting match outcomes. We will report on "talks" or "direction" (as we did when we broke the news about Damien Sandow emerging as a MITB winner) but we will not post match outcomes because of how WWE operates. As for WWE's response to the leak, they are downplaying it because the fact of the matter this is a major problem and something they do not want to have to deal with it. I was curious that after so much build-up and hype regarding Mark Henry's quest to win the WWE title, is he out of the title picture after just one match? There is still a chance WWE blows off John Cena/Mark Henry [before SummerSlam] but it looks like they are heading straight into Cena/Daniel Bryan. Mark Henry is still suffering from a rib cartilage injury and WWE had already planned to do Cena vs. Bryan for the WWE title at SummerSlam. Henry was a stopgap program but there are a lot of people that wouldn't mind getting the nod to challenge at the top of the card. How do workers know when to do "their spot" in matches like the Money in the Bank? E.g. Sheamus going through the ladder, Randy's winning moment, etc. Matches like Money in the Bank and the 30-man Royal Rumble are laid out just like any other match. The chain goes from creative (after it's approved by Vince McMahon), to the producers to the workers. The workers will get together and discuss what they want to do. There is a lot of communication before the match but during as well, with workers "calling spots" in the ring. The latter is discouraged with WWE broadcasting in HD but it's still done all the time. It just doesn't look good for TNA these days. Do you see Panda Energy selling it to Vince McMahon? I think TNA has a lot of talent but no one seems to know how to run that promotion or promote it well. I'm going to push back on this because the fact of the matter is - no one knows the financial state of TNA Wrestling. TNA is backed by a huge corporation in Panda Energy and as long as they are interested in backing the company, they will survive. The massive round of cuts and departures do not make TNA look good but the fact of the matter is, the company is trying to manage a budget. Whenever you are trying to manage a budget, you have to make moves that are unpopular. I refuse to bite on this conjecture that TNA is in its dying days. If they were "dying," do you think they would have called in the extra names that were used on Destination X? I realize it's not expensive to use an "extra" but TNA wouldn't be doing it if they couldn't afford it. Taping television on the road is expensive and unless I hear 100% otherwise, I'm taking the cuts/restructuring as part of an attempt to save money.