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 14, 2012 to Friday, July 20, 2012 as well as all five Ask WNW segments from the week. Use this newsletter as your own personal tool to catch up on any of the news that you may have missed during the week. Below is a table of contents:
Note From Richard: For those that have asked, the Newsletter is organized with the news posted on Saturday at the top with the most recent stories at the bottom. We have it organized this way so you can read the news in the order in which it happened. Thanks for your support!
- The official WWE website is reporting that Zack Ryder, Dolph Ziggler, & Justin Roberts were involved in a car accident after leaving San Diego Comic Con. The car they were traveling was rear-ended around 5 PM PT. The website also reports that those involved were evaluated by paramedics, and that no serious injuries were found. Click here for more information.
- Charlie Sheen's Twitter account, located at Twitter.com/CharlieSheen, has been deleted. WWEissued a press release that Sheen would Tweet during the 1000th episode of Raw to his 7.5 million Twitter followers on July 23, 2012 as the show's "social media ambassador."
- WWE has updated their accident report on Zack Ryder, Dolph Ziggler and Justin Roberts over on dot com. The piece features a picture of their rear-ended limousine and features quotes from Ryder and Roberts. In it, Ryder says he landed on the floor and his neck "hit the edge of the chair." Justin Roberts noted he suffered a minor cut on his knee. For more coverage, you can read dot com's article at this link.
- WWE Royal Rumble 2013 will take place on Sunday, January 27, 2013 from the US Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Tickets are now on-sale through Ticketmaster.com.
- Wrestling News World reader Logan Walker sent word WWE has trademarked the term "WWE Spotlight."
- Wrestling News World reader Samantha Reichle sent word that Kharma Tweeted she is not currently taking bookings. Below is the Tweet:
- A Limited Liability Company out of New York called "Mocker" registered the trademark to "ECW" for wrestling use back in March. WWE apparently let the trademark expire and the registration was assigned to an examiner for review last week.
- Dolph Ziggler won the Money in the Bank ladder match for the World Heavyweight Championship "match contract" at the pay-per-view. Ziggler went over Damien Sandow, Tyson Kidd, Christian, Santino Marella, Tensai, Cody Rhodes and Sin Cara as all were in the match.
- The Miz returned to WWE at Money in the Bank and announced himself as a participant in the Money in the Bank ladder match for the WWE Championship match contract. Miz, who called himself a "movie star," has been away filming The Marine: Homefront, a WWE Studios production.
- John Cena won the Money in the Bank ladder match for the WWE Championship match contract at the pay-per-view. Cena beat The Miz, Big Show, Kane and Chris Jericho who were all participants in the match. While the briefcase accidentally broke loose, giving Cena the win early, I'm under the impression he was still scripted to go over in the match.
- WWE Champion CM Punk wrote the following on Twitter:
- I can confirm the plan was for John Cena to go over in the Money in the Bank ladder match for the WWE Championship match contract. While the briefcase handle did break, the finish happened a few minutes early. Cena was scripted to hit BIg Show a few more times with him crashing down off the ladder but I'm told company officials thought the briefcase breaking made it "actually look better."
- Dolph Ziggler and Sin Cara were both upset after the blown spot in the Money in the Bank ladder match for the World Heavyweight Championship contract. Cara gave Ziggler some stiff shots in the match and the two were voicing their displeasures to different people backstage.
- WWE has signed Ryan Collins to a developmental contract. You can read more by SandSpringsLeader.com at this link.
- The official WWE '13 roster page is online at this link.
- Rey Mysterio returned to WWE on this week's Raw Supershow, hitting Alberto Del Rio with the 619. Del Rio had just beaten Zack Ryder and had him in a cross-arm breaker before Mysterio made the save. Rey has been out all year with a knee injury and 60-day suspension due to his second violation of the WWE Wellness Policy.
- Next week's 1000th episode of Raw will open with a D-Generation X reunion, as Shawn Michaels and Triple H will kickoff the show in its new 8 PM EDT timeslot.
- Rikishi returned to WWE on this week's Raw Supershow to squash Heath Slater. After Rikishi squashed Slater, the lights went out and Jimmy & Jey Uso appeared with with him and danced. Rikishi, the real-life father of the Uso's, appeared as part of the Legends that have been brought back to celebrate next week's milestone episode.
- As the storyline goes, Daniel Bryan will "marry" AJ Lee at their "wedding ceremony" on next week's 1000th episode of Raw.
- Christian will defend the WWE Intercontinental Championship on next week's 1000th Raw. Christian's defense was determined by a poll over on dot com where fans were asked whether they wanted to see Santino Marella defend the WWE United States Championship, Layla defend the WWE Divas Championship or Christian defend the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
- John Cena announced on this week's Raw Supershow that he plans to "cash in" his "contract" for a WWE Championship match on the 1000th episode of Raw next week. This confirms Cena vs. CM Punk for the title on the milestone show.
- Triple H appeared during the commercial break after Daniel Bryan & AJ Lee vs. The Miz & Eve Torres on this week's Raw Supershow. After the match, Miz called for a "boss to come out" so he could complain. Hunter came out and hit the Pedigree.
- John Cena b. Big Show & Tensai in a 2-on-1 handicap match in a dark match main event. John Laurinaitis accompanied Show and Tensai as Cena was victorious after pinning Tensai.
- Bill Goldberg and "Rowdy" Roddy Piper have Tweeted about the 1000th episode of Raw. Goldberg rules out the possibility of appearing, while Piper wants to roll Vince McMahon. The following is from their respective Twitter accounts:
- WWE Champion CM Punk wants Jim Ross To call his title match against John Cena on next week's 1000th Raw. The following is from Punk's Twitter account:
- WWE's war with the Darien Times has continued with a new editorial posted last week where writer Joshua Fisher has more strong criticism of Linda McMahon for her WWE past.
Mrs. McMahon loves to point out how she’s created jobs. But she does not like to answer questions about those jobs. While CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, she created jobs that included making fun of retarded men, demeaning women and possibly encouraging steroid use — this does not even touch on how it possibly has influenced the future bullies of American schools. But all of this is apparently forgotten because now WWE television shows are rated TV-PG and the company calls it “family entertainment.” We assume that you and your entire family can’t wait each week to pop some corn and gather ’round the flatscreen for another episode of “Monday Night Raw.” Fisher wrote here on DarienTimes.com
WWE responded with the following letter that was published on dot com on Monday:
Dear Mr. Fisher:
It is regrettable that we find it necessary to once again point out that you have made inaccurate statements and mischaracterizations in the Darien Times regarding WWE, this time in your editorial on July 12. (READ THE EDITORIAL) Although this was an opinion piece, you are still required to report accurately and not distort the truth. This is now at least the second instance in which you have made misstatements that damage WWE’s corporate reputation.
Your assertion that WWE has made “fun of retarded men” is inaccurate, takes our content completely out of context and fails to factually portray a storyline. WWE featured a character — an actor playing a role — named "Eugene," who was a person with intellectual disabilities. He was often faced with difficult challenges, situations and rivals, including some of the most villainous and dastardly WWE characters. What you failed to convey is that Eugene, like most of WWE’s “good guys,” overcame the obstacles, prevailed and was a hero to our millions of fans.
Your statement that WWE was “demeaning women” is also inaccurate and again takes our content out of context and makes no mention of storylines. WWE has produced a variety of powerful and heroic female characters throughout the years that have come up against malicious villains, who are also actors playing a role. And yes, those “bad guys” do reprehensible things, but they eventually pay a price for their behavior. Our television audience would not be nearly 40 percent female if we were degrading women.
As it relates to the foregoing clarifications, it is important to note that WWE programming, like Hollywood movies and Broadway shows, is an exciting blend of action, characters and fictional storylines of good versus evil that entertains millions every week. Without Darth Vader there is no Luke Skywalker. We, too, create protagonists and antagonists and tell stories of good versus evil.
You also wrote that WWE has been “encouraging steroid use,” which is a blatant misstatement of fact. WWE prohibits steroid use and conducts a minimum of four random drug tests per year for all talent, and any performer that tests positive is suspended. WWE began testing for steroids in 2006, before many major sports leagues, and we currently have one of the most comprehensive talent wellness programs in all of sports and entertainment, managed by world renowned third party medical experts. Additionally, WWE has always encouraged its talent to live a healthy lifestyle, as they are the company’s greatest asset. For more information about WWE’s talent wellness program, please visit www.corporate.wwe.com.
In your editorial, you also state that WWE “influenced the future bullies of American schools.” The fact is that WWE promotes anti-bullying and has created a global initiative called be a STAR (ShowToleranceAndRespect) designed to teach children how to deal with conflict in the real world. We recognize the power and influence of our brand and spend a considerable amount of time and resources to make sure children understand the difference between what they see on television, where storylines and conflicts are resolved in the ring, versus how to deal with challenges in everyday life.
WWE expects you will print this letter in as public a manner as that in which you made the foregoing false statements. In the future, we request you contact us for factual information about our company before attempting to characterize our programming as you continue to do so erroneously.
Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications
- WWE Hall of Famer and former Tag Team Champion Road Warrior Animal returned to WWE TV during this week's Smackdown tapings. He was the latest legend to return during the build to the 1000th episode of Raw, defeating Heath Slater.
-The official WWE website has posted a video in which Nick Dinsmore, who portrayed Eugene on WWE TV, discusses the character. The video was posted in response to an editorial that singled out the Eugene character as "making fun of the mentally challenged." Click here to watch the video.
- TMZ is reporting that Halle Berry was rushed to the hospital on Tuesday night after taking a nasty fall while filming a scene for the upcoming movie "The Hive." This is wrestling-related as WWE Studios is co-financing the film. As for the condition of Berry, she reportedly suffered a minor head injury but there was concern after she began to vomit after falling.
- Wrestling News World reader John Stone sent in the following:
According to THQ's WWE '13 roster webpage, the game will feature 38 current superstars, 32 superstars from the attitude era, and 7 Divas. There's still the possibility of adding more characters through DLC.
- Many have asked about the WWE Network and I have obtained an exclusive update. I'm told that if the projected November 2012 launch happens at all, it will be a very "soft" launch in just a few select markets. January 2013 is becoming more and more likely for the launch but the company is also trying to see if they can technically launch the network in some form in November and expand in January. Under this model, the plan would be for Royal Rumble 2013 to be live on the WWE Network. The big selling point for the network would be that Royal Rumble would be the first of "ten super cards" on the WWE Network next year with Wrestlemania and SummerSlam remaining on pay-per-view. The company has gone back and forth on whether or not to leave the Rumble on pay-per-view but Vince McMahon's current decision is for it to be free on the network and used as a way to get the network as much penetration as possible. The current plan for pricing is a launch price of $14.95 a month with a plan in place to get the price to $19.95 within the first 30 months of launch, most likely via 2-3 small price increases during that 30 month period. The company wants that $20 monthly price point, but realizes it's a bit high to launch at that price right off the bat. As for clearance, WWE has pretty much "completely given up" on being a digital tier network. After spending all year trying to get clearances, they failed to get enough systems to agree to carry them to even clear 10% of the country, which was really a "complete disaster." Launching as a premium subscription service is their only option but because it's a complete change in direction from the original plan, not only are they still struggling to get clearances, they're also having to renegotiate the few clearances they were able to get in the first place. All and all, that's where things stand. To recap, a possible "soft" launch in November 2012 followed by an expanded launch in January 2013. All pay-per-views moving to the network with the exception of Wrestlemania and SummerSlam with the channel being a premium channel that is paid for like that of HBO. As plans change, we will make sure to update.
- ThePitch.com has a new article online featuring quotes from WWE referee John Cone. Below are the highlights:
Bumping for Brock Lesnar:
“It was kind of exciting to get clotheslined by Brock Lesnar,” Cone says, “I gotta admit.”
How WWE found him:
John Laurinaitis came to a wrestling camp that Harley Race was having, and I was one of the referees there. At the end of the day, John Laurinaitis came up to me and asked for my information, said he’d like to stay in touch. Probably about three months later, there was a show at Kemper Arena, and I was invited to come down and have a tryout match. Then I got another tryout match in St. Louis, and I got hired.
Most memorable match ever:
It was just a couple of months ago at Extreme Rules, Daniel Bryan against CM Punk. I was honored to referee that match, and those guys tore the house down. It was just fantastic, probably one of the purest wrestling matches that I’ve ever refereed. It was great.
What a typical work day looks like for him:
If we’re on live events, I’ll go in at 9 a.m. and help to set up the show. We’ll set up the ring and the barricade around the ring. Then we’ll have some free time after that — usually three to four o’clock in the afternoon — so we’ll have some lunch, visit with friends, things like that. Then once we come back in the afternoon, it’s just preparing for the show. ... We really have no idea what matches we have until that lineup comes out, so there’s no preparation as far as anything I have to do in the match itself.
How referees are determined:
That is something the talent-relations department does. They’ll just see who is available that day, which refs are booked for the show, and just go down and assign us usually at least two matches if we’re doing a TV taping. But it can be anywhere from two to four matches a night. When we’re doing five shows a week, you could do potentially up to 20 matches in a week.
It's also mentioned that Cone and his wife are owners of Donut King in Kansas City. You can read the full article at this link.
- Songwriter Jimmy Papa is suing WWE over royalty fees regarding songs that were used on the album "WCW Slam Jam 1." You can read full details by The Dallas Morning News at this link.
- WWE Champion CM Punk will headline the Wizard World Ohio Comic Con in September. For more on the convention that will run September 28-30 from the Greater Columbus Convention Center, click here.
- Rey Mysterio spoke to dot com about his return to WWE on this week's Raw Supershow where he boldly proclaimed he's back to stay. You can watch his comments in a video located at this link.
- TMZ is reporting that John Cena and his now ex-wife Elizabeth Huberdeau have privately settled their divorce. Liz's attorney, Raymond Rafool, told TMZ the following:
"All matters [in the divorce] have been settled and resolved amicably.”
Things were expected to get very nasty after Liz claimed that John "blindsided" her by filing for divorce back in May.
- The Miami Herald has a new article up with quotes from WWE Hall of Famer Jerry "The King" Lawler. In the article, he talks about his favorite Raw moments, the origin of his "Puppies" catchphrase, why Raw has remained so successful, and more. In the following excerpt, Lawler explains how his long tenure as a WWE announcer began:
“When the Monday Night Wars really got started, I was already there basically as a wrestler,” Lawler said. “Macho Man Randy Savage was doing the color commentating with Vince McMahon, and I was doing the wrestling on Raw.
“In the midst of the Monday Night Wars, several guys jumped ship and left WWE without notice and showed up down in Atlanta for WCW, and Macho Man Randy Savage was one of them.
“I’ll never forget we were about an hour away from going on the air live, and at that time WCW went on the air an hour before us. I remember Vince was looking around, ‘We need to find Randy. We’re going to go over what we’re going to have on the show.’ Suddenly somebody came in and said, ‘Vince, you need to turn on your TV,’ and he looked, and there was Macho Man Randy Savage, walking onto WCW. He left, jumped ship, without telling anyone.
“So Vince came to me and said, ‘King, can you help me out and do color commentary tonight, and by next week I’ll find somebody else to do it full time.’ So I agreed, and I’ve been there ever since.”
Click here to read the full article.
- Jim Ross wrote the following on Twitter:
- David Otunga, who has a roll in the WWE Studios film "The Hive," posted the following on Twitter regarding Halle Berry's accident that resulted in her being rushed to the hospital:
- WWE has launched an official Twitter account for their Investor Relations Department. You can follow the account at Twitter.com/WWEInvestor.
- Evan Bourne posted the following injury update on Twitter:
- To update an earlier item, WWE's sponsorship with the National Guard can continue. The House of Representatives voted on Wednesday night to continue military sports sponsorship. On a vote of 216-202, the House rejected an amendment by Reps. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., and Betty McCollum, D-Minn., that would have trimmed $72.3 million for sports sponsorships from a $608 billion defense bill for fiscal 2013. Click here for an article written by The Associated Press.
-As Raw 1000 approaches, Trish Stratus has posted lists of her Top 5 personal favorite matches and moments from her time on Raw, including her main event match with Lita. Click here to view the lists.
-After being rushed to the hospital with a head injury, actress Halle Berry has returned to the set of the WWE Studios-financed film "The Hive." Click here for more information.
IGN has a new interview up with "Mr. Money in the Bank" Dolph Ziggler. In the interview, Ziggler discusses the Money in the Bank ladder match, his backstage mentors, hosting WWE Download, and more.
In the following excerpt, Ziggler discusses his confrontation with Chris Jericho and where it may be heading:
"I don't know where we're going to go with it right now. He came out on Monday and interrupted me and...you know, believe it or not, whenever I get to talk, I also just get to tell the truth. Mick Foley came out a few months ago and all I did was tell the truth about him. Jericho came out and interrupted me, which was a very Jericho thing to do, and it was supposed to be my big moment. I was just finally grabbing the mic for the third time in years. And I was a huge fan of his when I was growing up, but all I did was tell the truth and ask him 'When's the last time you won something? Or did something important?' And now I would love to see what he has to say back to me on Monday. Because I left him speechless. I'm the first guy in forever to do that."
Ziggler also discusses the "Let's Go Dolph!" chants that have recently appeared in the following excerpt:
"I'm a little torn about it because on one hand that means I'm not doing my job and selling myself as a bad guy. But for some reason, the people at our arena shows and our live events and Pay-Per-Views are rooting for me, I would have to say, because I'm just really good at what I do. Whether I win or lose or whether I'm a good guy or a bad guy."
Click here to read the full interview.
- I'm told John "Bradshaw" Layfield has been slowly lobbying for a return to WWE later this year and is hoping to end up with a match at Wrestlemania XXIX. "He doesn't want to wrestle much beyond that, if it all." One source told me under the condition of anonymity. JBL is one of several guys that wants to return for a payoff at Wrestlemania and he is back on good terms with the company after they sponsored his mountain climbing effort earlier this month. While no formal negotiations have been known to take place, he has sent out feelers to gauge interest in him returning to television.
- Road Warrior Animal was on 100.3 FAN-FM and implied Steve Austin would be on next week's 1000th episode of Raw, teasing that Heath Slater would get the Stunner. He also said he would be there and talked more about the show at this link.
- According to Linda McMahon's 2010 federal income tax return, which was released on Friday, she and Vince made a total of $30.6 million that year. $4.7 million was paid out in federal income taxes. The McMahon's have not released their 2011 tax return as it has not been completed. Click here for coverage by The Associated Press.
- Hulk Hogan has rebuked WrestlingNewsWorld.com on Twitter after we posted details about a Hogan retail establishment opening later this month at the Pelican Walk Plaza in Clearwater, Florida. Hogan informed us that our timeframe was "way off" and clearly implied the project is far from set in stone. Below is his Tweet:
I apologize for the error and do not know where the wires got crossed but have removed the original article. Thanks to Hogan for the acknowledgement, brother!
Kurt Angle was scheduled to be inducted into the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame at the Dan Gable Museum this weekend but backed out of the appearance due to a prior commitment.
Gerald Brisco ended up auctioning Angle's award off for $250. Angle angrily responded on Twitter. The following is from Angle's official Twitter account:
A couple hours later, Angle calmed down and wrote the following:
- It didn't take long for Kurt Angle to get his award back. The following was posted by the Dan Gable Museum on Facebook:
It's true! Kurt Angle's plaque is at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum with Lou Thesz's widow, Charlie Thesz. Gerry Brisco had the plaque back within an hour and it will be sent to Kurt Angle.
As we reported earlier here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com, when Angle missed his scheduled appearance this weekend to accept the award, Gerald Brisco auctioned it off for $250.
- Eric Young posted the following on Twitter:
- Hulk Hogan has successfully underwent another back surgery and is being taken care of by nurse Jimmy Hart. The following is from Hogan's official Twitter account:
- Arda Ocal of The Baltimore Sun has a new article online featuring quotes from Mr. Anderson to promote Friday's live event in Aberdeen, Maryland. Below are the highlights:
Decision to go to TNA, working as a pro wrestler:
“It took a while [to decide to go to TNA]. It was not one of those things that I couldn't wait till my 90 days was up so I could jump over. It was like nine months, almost a year, where it was talked about a little bit. At that point, I was kinda not done with the business but nice to step back and take some time off and re-evalute and figure out what I wanted to do. ...
"I always wanted to do something in the entertainment industry, if it was acting or something in show business. When I found wrestling I was like, 'This has got everything that I like.' It's got showmanship, it's highly athletic and highly competitive. We are a scripted television show, however it is a very competitive business and it's one of the most competitive things I've done in my life and I have played competitive sports before. It is just as competitive as legitimate sports. People just don’t understand that -- people don’t ever get a chance to. We don’t peel the curtain that far back to let you in. It is an extremely competitive environment.”
Current state of the product:
“I really like where the product is going," he said. "We don’t sit around and talk and pat ourselves on the back. ... We are our biggest critics. You have a lot less criticism floating around in the locker. [The wrestlers] are happier now, they're happier with what they're doing, they're happier with their story line. Nothing is scripted like it used to be. The thing that drives me nuts is when someone hands you a script and says, 'Be yourself and say this right here' -- exactly the way that I have written [it].”
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
- Impact Rewind, which was scheduled to precede Impact Wrestling on a weekly basis, has been canceled by Spike TV. I'm told the network originally planned to give the show a 6-week trial period, however, with their new run of shows and some of their repeat airings getting double the 0.21 cable rating with a 231,000 viewing audience the show did last week, the decision to cancel it was a "no-brainer." Spike officials are still high up on TNA but felt the show in the 7 PM timeslot wasn't going to work. My source indicated they would not be surprised if Spike gave TNA another hour of programming in a different timeslot. TNA posted this week's show on their official YouTube channel as you can watch it at this link. The company was already hyping "three hours of TNA Impact Wrestling every Thursday night on Spike TV" as you can see by the following line in last week's official Impact Wrestling preview:
Don’t miss three hours of TNA IMPACT WRESTLING every Thursday night on SpikeTV! Get your weekly TNA recap starting at 7/6c with the new “Rewind” broadcast immediately followed by IMPACT WRESTLING LIVE at 8/7c!
- The word making rounds in many TNA circles this week is that this month's Destination X pay-per-view failed to do 10,000 buys.
- Dixie Carter announced Thursday on Twitter that Chavo Guerrero is coming to TNA and will debut on the July 26th episode of Impact Wrestling. Below is her Tweet:
- Josh Stewart has a new article online on Newsday.com featuring quotes from TNA Champion Austin Aries. In it, Aries discusses his decision to go vegetarian and progression to TNA Champion. Below is an excerpt:
“If you really do some studies into cattle farming methods and meat production, you’d have real problems arguing the benefits to my health,"
“When I think about it, the progression in the last 18 months, I have always been confident that I could be in this position. I don’t know if surreal is the word,”
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
- The wedding of the Food Network's Robert Irvine and Gail Kim will be featured in a special called "Wedding Impossible" on Saturday, August 17, 2012. Below is a description of the show courtesy of FoodNetworkGossip.com:
"When he's not rescuing a restaurant, Restaurant: Impossible's host Robert Irvine is busy planning the wedding of a lifetime: his own -- and you're invited! This new "mission" gives viewers an intimate look into the personal life of the star chef, Robert Irvine, as he gets ready to marry wrestling star and entertainer, Gail Kim. Featuring famous culinary guests and set against one of the most magnificent backdrops in the country, Napa Valley, Robert will introduce us to his family, his friends and allow viewers to be a part of one of the most important moments of his life."
Robert and Gail tied the knot back in May.
- TMZ is reporting that Snooki of Jersey Shore fame received an invitation to Kurt Angle's wedding this weekend. The two know each other through Snooki's boyfriend, who recently wanted to train with Angle. Snooki reportedly declined the invitation due to "prior obligations," but sent a coffee pot as a gift. Click here to read the full article. (Thanks to WNW reader Logan Walker for sending this in.)
- Following the announcement that he has been signed by TNA Wrestling, Chavo Guerrero took to Twitter to make his first public statements:
- Viacom and DirecTV have reached an agreement, ending the blackout of the 17 channels that DirecTV customers have been out without for what is going on two weeks. This news is noteworthy for wrestling fans as Spike TV was one of the channels blacked out, resulting in two weeks of Impact Wrestling being missed. If you missed this week's Impact Wrestling, you can read full results at this link.
- In addition to Luke Gallows and Mike Knox, who I mentioned earlier today in Ask WNW, Wes Brisco is also a member of the Aces and Eights faction on Impact Wrestling. D-Lo Brown played a member of the faction on this week's show but it's unknown if he'll end up in the final group as he works backstage in TNA as an agent.
How do you see The Miz being booked going forward?
The Miz, who returned at WWE Money in the Bank, will likely resume his role as an upper mid-card talent. He received some babyface reactions at the pay-per-view so it will be interesting if WWE explores his character or has him cut a heel promo on Raw to keep him that way. I look for him to get a bigger push when "The Marine: Homefront" is released as filming for the movie has wrapped. Also, was it just me or did The Miz "Vince McMahon" his hair? Think about it.
What are your thoughts about the botched ending of the Money in the Bank ladder match for the WWE Championship match contract at the pay-per-view?
I thought it was funny when the briefcase handle broke, laughing out loud at Cena's shocked reaction. For those wondering what the original plan was, I have already posted full details at this link. If you are not yet a Premium Member, you can sign-up now at this link.
With John Cena winning the Money in the Bank contract for a WWE Championship match, do you think WWE plans to have him win the title and have a rematch with The Rock?
Vince McMahon has been considering The Rock vs. John Cena II at Wrestlemania XXIX again next year but no plan is set in stone as of this writing. I do not see Cena carrying the MITB briefcase around long and could have seen him "cashing in" as early as the pay-per-view. It obviously wasn't in the plans with the Money in the Bank ladder match going last, however, I could see him cashing in on the 1000th Raw or even sooner.
What's going on with Kelly Kelly?
Kelly Kelly is on approved leave of absence from WWE. The company is allowing her to accept independent bookings, which is something very unusual for someone with an active performer's contract. I have more details on the unusual situation available at this link. If you are not yet a Premium Member, you can sign-up now at this link.
Do you see Randy Orton returning on the 1000th episode of Raw next week?
Randy Orton's suspension ends on July 30, 2012 so he's going to miss the 1000th episode of Raw by one week. Given my serious questions of the WWE Wellness Policy, I won't completely rule an Orton appearance out but it's unlikely due to the fact that his suspension has been announced to the public.
After Chris Jericho's attack on Dolph Ziggler, does this indicate plans of a potential program and possible Jericho babyface turn?
WWE is certainly looking to program Chris Jericho and Dolph Ziggler but it will be interesting to see who they turn babyface. Let's not forget about all the babyface reactions Ziggler has garnered over the past several weeks and even though WWE has tried to tame them by overemphasizing his alliance with Vickie Guerrero, he could be the one to turn. Regardless, WWE needs more top heels and fewer top babyfaces.
Why did WWE just want until next week for Rey Mysterio to return?
WWE wanted Rey Mysterio to work this week's Smackdown taping in his hometown of San Diego, California so they probably wanted him to officially return on the live show before appearing on Smackdown. Rey was actually backstage at Raw on July 2nd so I thought he could end up appearing there, however, the company has been in "no hurry" to bring him back. Next week's show is going to be loaded so Mysterio's return could have gotten lost in the shuffle.
Were the results of the online poll WWE did on this week's Raw Supershow to determine which secondary title would be defended on next week's 1000th Raw a shoot or a work?
Most of the time WWE has done polling on dot com, the results have been legitimate. You can expect to see a lot more of this with Raw Supershow going three hours as the plan is to make the show the most interactive program on television, utilizing the Internet and social media like never before. Unless I receive word otherwise, I'm under the assumption that Christian legitimately received more votes to defend the Intercontinental title than Santino Marella (US title) or Layla (Divas title).
Do you feel Linda McMahon's past affiliation with WWE is hindering her run for a seat in the United States Senate?
Let's be clear; Linda McMahon didn't have an "affiliation" with WWE, she was and is WWE. While she left WWE to pursue a career in politics, Linda will always be connected with WWE not only because she is a McMahon and the wife of Vince but because she played an integral role as an executive of the company for almost 30 years. The criticism Linda has endured is part of the political landscape in America and anyone that runs for public office in this country can expect to be attacked for anything even close to being controversial. Linda has the money and resources to get in the public eye and as a result has a good shot at winning the race, however, there is something unsettling about a McMahon in Washington.
It is known that Goldberg was unhappy with WWE's storylines being adult oriented and not suitable for a younger audience. So, he left WWE. But, he was part of WWE for a few years and it would've been nice to see a wrestler of his popularity to make an appearance on the 1000th episode of Raw. What exactly happened between Goldberg and Vince/WWE? Did they part under unhappy terms?
You are correct. Goldberg left WWE because he was unhappy with the state of the product, specifically referencing the Super Hero In Training storyline (with Rosey), so he departed after Wrestlemania 20 when his contract expired. Goldberg said last year he doesn't have a positive thing to say about Vince McMahon and didn't like the way he handled his character. Regarding a possible appearance on next week's 1000th Raw, Goldberg said he wouldn't be appearing Monday on Twitter.
Who does WWE currently see as their top two guys right now?
John Cena and CM Punk are seen as the two top performers in WWE. Cena shouldn't surprise anyone but CM Punk earned his spot, by forcing the company to push him and meet his contract demands. Randy Orton's second documented Wellness Policy violation further solidified Punk's status as the second "face of the company" and has been deemed largely unreliable.
I enjoyed the segment on this week's Raw Supershow where Jack Swagger attacked Ryback only for Ryback to recoup and take him out. Who do you think looked strong and more in line for a push?
Ryback is being pushed as Vince McMahon is very high up on his look and gimmick. Jack Swagger, while he didn't get pinned by Ryback, has seen his stock plummet and doesn't appear to be in line for anything.
When workers do media appearances are they supposed to be in-character or out of character?
It really depends on the worker and the appearance. Sometimes workers are 100% in-character, sometimes they are 100% out of character and other times, it's a combination of the two. In the interviews I've done, I've experienced a little bit of everything and found it all depends on the worker's objective. There are some workers, such as Sheamus, that are usually always in-character which is definitely the "old school" mentality. However, there isn't one universal way to behave and it depends on the aforementioned factors.
What has Beth Phoenix done to get into the WWE doghouse?
Beth Phoenix has been booked horribly as of late and I don't have the answer as to why. When she dropped the Divas title to Nikki Bella after holding it for over 200 days, I thought it was a way to get the belt off Beth so they could program her in a competitive feud with Kharma. However, that hasn't been the case and Beth has gone from a dominant Diva to an afterthought.
With Road Dogg working as a WWE producer and Sean Waltman and Billy Gunn on the independent circuit, could we see a complete reunion of D-Generation X on Monday's 1000th Raw?
Jerry Lawler told The Miami Herald that he thought Road Dogg would be returning on the 1000th Raw next week. Sean Waltman said late last month that he had not been contacted by WWE to appear. I haven't heard anything from Bill Gunn but as is always the case, nothing can be ruled out.
Has WWE considered going back to one WWE Champion, an Intercontinental Champion and Tag Team Champions rather than the current setup?
I talked in detail about the title landscape in WWE here in this week's WNW Premium Mailbag. I like the model of having both a WWE Championship and World Heavyweight Championship but wouldn't mind seeing one secondary belt (keeping the Intercontinental title), the Divas Championship and Tag Team Championship. I like the two world titles because it gives WWE the opportunity to push two people as "top main event stars," however, there has been unification talk for years and I wouldn't be surprised if it happened. Aside from the touring schedule, the brand extension is over.
Is Kharma coming back or has she been quietly release?
As we reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, Kharma has been quietly released from WWE. No one knows the details behind her release and given how private Kharma is, the details won't be out until she wants them out. The speculation that "creative had nothing for her" is ridiculous and a product of people guessing.
Earlier this week, Jerry Lawler shed new light on replacing "Macho Man" Randy Savage on commentary. Could this be the reason he was blackballed on WWE television and held in a very low regard by Vince McMahon?
Jerry Lawler's comments that WWE was getting ready to go live only for Vince McMahon to learn that not only was Randy Savage not there but was in Atlanta for WCW were the first I've heard. After all the nasty rumors and speculation over the years, Lawler's comments seem to indicate the first real reasons to why Savage was considered taboo in WWE. Almost anyone in the business could tell you that Vince despised Randy but no one knew why. Lawler seems to have cleared it all up as there is no reason not to believe him.
Who are the members of the Aces and Eights on Impact Wrestling?
I heard former WWE stars Mike Knox and Luke Gallows were telling people they were part of the Aces and Eights but cannot confirm those claims.
Throughout the past several weeks we've heard from WWE names about their favorite Raw moments. What is your favorite Raw moment?
As a long-time wrestling fan, I have many favorite Raw moments but for the sake of conversation I will mention a few. One of my best memories of the Attitude Era was Steve Austin driving the beer truck in the arena and hosing Vince McMahon. A lot of my favorite Raw moments from the Attitude Era included Austin as it was edgy programming that was very entertaining. The night that Shane McMahon showed up on WCW Monday Nitro was a memorable one as it was something I don't think anyone would have imagined just five years prior to it happening. As for a recent memory, CM Punk's worked shoot promo on Raw last summer was one of my favorites and elevated him to an entire different level.