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 15, 2012 to Friday, July 27, 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!
- William Regal wouldn't mind being the new General Manager of Raw and Smackdown. The following is from his official Twitter account:
- Chris Jericho has a new Tout online with some wild contact lenses. You can watch it at this link.
- Bloomberg Businessweek has a new feature online on Vince McMahon. In it, Vince reveals the following for his managerial secrets to success. They are as follows:
- Listen to Your Employees—and Yourself
- Treat Every Day Like Day One
- Don’t Cultivate Fear
- Clear Your Head and Find Your Zone
- Don’t Settle for BS Answers When Interviewing Job Candidates
- Complacency Is Your Worst Enemy
In the piece, McMahon discusses his hatred for sleep but love for bodybuilding. You can read the very interesting piece at this link.
- STLToday.com has a new article up with quotes from Triple H. In the article, Triple H discusses how WWE pioneered reality television, the PG initiative, how he feels about professional wrestling being called "fake," and more. In the following excerpt, he gives his thoughts on suspended talent Randy Orton, as well as his philosophy on grooming new talent:
Not on the bill? St. Louis wrestling superstar Randy Orton. WWE scratched Orton after he committed his second violation of the WWE’s wellness policy. Levesque won’t say what Orton did wrong, only that the man they call “the legend killer” will be back after completing his 60-day suspension.
“It is important to remember that all of our wrestlers are human but they also have to be accountable,” Levesque said.
These days, Levesque spends more time in gray suits than spandex briefs. His job is to find the next generation of big names. He admits it’s a struggle.
“We’re trying to teach them to be the Stone Colds and the Undertakers of tomorrow, but the one thing we can’t teach is charisma,” said Levesque. “You can teach people to do moves and create story lines and the psychology of what we do, but you can’t teach someone to be the Rock. It’s an innate ability to walk into a room and have everyone pay attention. Put aside the athleticism and what happens in the ring, what our business is really about is connecting with people emotionally. If you are emotionally connected to your character, then people will want to see you. It’s true in Hollywood and movies. You don’t have to be the best actor, just be a presence.”
Click here to read the full interview.
- Rey Mysterio posted the following on Twitter regarding his in-ring return:
- AJ Lee has been seeking advice from CM Punk and John Cena during her latest run in a main event storyline.
- As it turns out Brett DiBiase didn't appear on Friday's Raw live event in Jackson, Mississippi. It was actually Ted DiBiase who returned to the ring in a match against Jinder Mahal at Saturday night's Smackdown show in Sioux City, Iowa.
- For those that missed it in our house show results, WWE developmental talent Leakee worked Saturday night's Raw show in Little Rock, Arkansas. Leakee is the son of WWE Hall of Famer Sika of The Wild Samoans. His brother is former WWE star Rosey, who worked the S.H.I.T. gimmick. You can view his developmental profile at this link.
- Deadline.com has some interesting YouTube channel data for July 12-18 that features WWE. You can check it out at this link.
- In a recent interview with Chad Dukes Wrestling, Dolph Ziggler discussed his lack of mic time, his social media presence, Vickie Guerrero, Jack Swagger, and more. In the following excerpt, Ziggler explains how he feels about legends that have returned and taken airtime from the full-time talent:
"You can get angry about it, you can use it to motivate you, but here’s the fact: if they didn’t draw ratings, or money, or people, or merchandise, we wouldn’t bring them back. Obviously, somebody or everybody wants to see these guys and I understand that. These guys are the guys who over the last 10-15 years have been carrying the show, they’ve been the superstars, they’ve gone on to bigger and better things, and they’re an attraction. They’re a draw. You’d be dumb to say you didn’t want to see what they’re gonna do. They’re taking my spot theoretically and I wanna see what they’re gonna do. All I can do is go out there and do my best and work harder than everyone else, stay outspoken, not change, and do everything, so those other 320 days a year when I’m out there, I let everybody know that this is gonna be the next guy."
Ziggler goes on to discuss working with Vickie Guerrero in the following excerpt:
"I love having Vickie in my corner. Since day one I thought that this was a great, we compliment each other, we talk to each other, even during matches. I love having her out there with me. She’s gotten me so far I think, I’ve kept her relevant at certain times, she’s kept me relevant at certain times, we compliment each other. And I think one day down the line we will have a split up and maybe we’ll go our separate ways, but right now I love what I’m doing."
Click here to listen to the full interview.
- Vince McMahon recently took part in a Q&A session with The Hollywood Reporter, and discussed topics such as the Monday Night Wars, WWE's recent social media kick, competing with UFC, and more. McMahon gives his thoughts on UFC in the excerpt below:
THR: UFC gets big pay-per-view numbers.How do you stack up against them?
McMahon: "We're in show business, they are a sport. Their ratings are abysmal. They are in the pay-per-view business, and they do reasonably well there. We just set a record for WrestleMania. We had 1.3 million buys for this year's WrestleMania, and our pay-per-view numbers for our shows have been up 30 percent since then. So, we are looking pretty good."
McMahon also comments on the tendency of former talent to pursue film careers:
THR: Why has so much of your talent, like The Rock, gone on to film careers?
McMahon: "Our talent is taught not to be prima donnas, to be on time and know their lines. And quite frankly, people in Hollywood, once they see what we do, they are amazed. Our talent doesn't demand the biggest trailer or a certain amount of grape juice or whatever the h--- it is. Our talent is extremely flexible and knows how to act, so it's a logical extension for them."
Click here to read the full article.
- WWE has released an official Metro app for Microsoft Windows 8. The free app features news, roster information, and more. Click here for more information.
- Kelly Kelly posted the following on her official Twitter account:
- As Brooks noted here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, Kelly Kelly is returning to the road with WWE. Her time off has ended strangely enough with the news that John Cena's divorce was quietly and privately settled. As I reported here on Richard's Backstage Blog, the rumor was Kelly was concerned about her name coming up in the Cena divorce because of an alleged relationship they had while he was married and was granted time off. WWE allowed Kelly to take outside bookings while still collecting her downside which was a very unique situation.
- The Baltimore Sun has a new Q&A online with Jerry Lawler to promote the 1000th episode of WWE Raw. Below is an excerpt:
Through the years, you’ve worked with a number of different commentary partners. What has it been like working with such a cast of characters?
I first started as a color commentator when I took the place of “Macho Man” Randy Savage when he jumped ship during the Monday Night Wars. He was doing the commentary with Vince McMahon at the time. I’ve got to tell you; I really, really enjoyed calling the matches with Vince McMahon.
He was so much fun to work with. He never really came out and said it, but he was the perfect foil for me. This was before he was the overbearing CEO of the WWE. I got to make so much fun of him. He even perpetuated the myth that he wore a toupee. Every week, I would say something about his toupee — which of course he didn’t have; he always had a healthy head of hair. I would make fun of him in all sorts of ways and he was so gracious and went along with it. I really enjoyed working with him.
Then, of course, it switched to me and good ol’ J.R. for years and years and years. Man, I don’t know if there’s ever been or will ever be anyone who’s as good at wrestling play-by-play as good ol’ J.R. Nobody who’s going to be more prepared, nobody that’s going to know any more, know all the facts, know all the history, know all the statistics.
That’s just J.R.; he was perfect. He made my job so easy in the fact that I just had to show up and off the cuff come up with a few hopefully witty remarks. J.R. did all the groundwork; he did all the real hard work on the team.
Now, of course, I’m working with Michael Cole, and he’s a different kind of character. He’s sort of taken the place of what I was years ago when I worked alongside J.R. He’s the devil’s advocate, so to speak. He’s not out there trying to win any popularity contests with the fans. He tells it like it is in his view.
He’s easy to work with, and one thing that I can do with Cole that I never would have done with good ol’ J.R. is if Cole gets too out of line and too annoying, I can just look over and just say, “Shut up, you idiot.” And so it’s not too bad working with Michael Cole.
What are your thoughts on your rivalry with Cole?
It’s had its definite ups and downs. He started this thing off with some disparaging remarks about my mom right after she passed away. That was kind of tough to swallow and tough to live with, but by the same token, that led into something that may be my crowning achievement as long as I’ve been in the WWE. That led into my first ever WrestleMania match.
I’d called a lot of WrestleManias but never actually wrestled or performed on a WrestleMania until I got to have the match with Michael Cole the year before last. That was my biggest financial payday that I’ve ever made in the 42 years of my wrestling career.
That was very gratifying, so it’s hard for me to say too many bad things about Michael Cole because so much good for me personally has come out of that rivalry.
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
- Variety is running a piece to promote the milestone 1000th episode of WWE Raw with quotes from Stephanie McMahon in it.Below is an excerpt:
"We're going to use social media in a more enhanced fashion," besides just promotion, Stephanie McMahon Levesque, executive VP, creative for WWE, told Variety. "Our fans will affect some type of content in the show every week."
Doing so "keeps your audience tuned into the broadcast for the entire three hours," she believes. And if it works, the move could pave the way for other shows considering ways to keep distracted auds from changing channels.
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
- WWE has announced that Extreme Rules 2013 will take place from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri on Sunday, May 19, 2013. A pre-sale to obtain tickets will begin during the 1000th episode of Raw.
- There was an incident involving WWE Champion CM Punk Sunday night at the airport in St. Louis, Missouri. Apparently a fan rudely requested an autograph from Punk and resulted in Punk rejecting him. This reportedly caused another fan to react angrily that resulted in Punk throwing the fan's autograph book in the trash.
TSA had to get involved, with Punk visibly upset at the behavior of the fans. Punk wrote the following about the incident on Twitter:
Ricardo Rodriguez witnessed the incident and wrote the following on Twitter:
- Chris Shays, who is challenging Linda McMahon for the Republican nomination for the United States Senate Seat out of Connecticut, says he wouldn't support Linda McMahon is she won the primary.
“I have never run against an opponent that I have respected less — ever — and there are a lot of candidates I have run against,” Shays told the New Haven Register editorial board on Friday. He also accused her of buying the nomination, and refusing to hold similar meetings with newspaper boards: “It is a huge distortion to say she is out there meeting the public and that is the better way to do it — bulls***.”
Click here for more.
- The announced attendance for tonight's 1000th episode of WWE Raw was 18,318. The show was a legitimate sellout from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri.
- Billy Gunn, Sean Waltman and Road Dogg joined Triple H and Shawn Michaels during the opening segment of the 1000th episode of Raw.
- Jim Ross joined Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler on commentary for the 1000th episode of WWE Raw to help call the 6-man tag team match which featured World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus, Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara beating Chris Jericho, Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio.
- Charlie Sheen made an appearance on the 1000th Raw via Skype from Los Angeles. Originally scheduled to be the "social media ambassador" for the show, Sheen will check-in throughout the night via Skype after deleting his Twitter account. The logic here is flawed as Sheen claimed to be watching the show live but the show doesn't air on the west coast for another couple of hours.
- "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, Mae Young and an oversized hand (appearing as May's "son") made cameos during a backstage segment with WWE Divas Champion Layla and AJ Lee.
- I've been asking around to find out just what exactly Jack Swagger has done to earn the blatant humbling he's received on WWE television (as he just jobbed to Brodus Clay on the 1000th Raw). I'm told there really haven't been any recent incidents involving Swagger, he's just more or less been on the black list ever since his main event push went to his head a couple years ago. One source said he has failed some marijuana tests and just paid the fines the way top guys that smoke pot and test positive would. This did get some extra heat on Swagger because the office didn't like him acting like he was indispensable. However, these are things that happened in the past and he's just now paying the price for them.
- Trish Stratus appeared in a backstage segment on the 1000th episode of WWE Raw, doing yoga with Triple H and D-Generation X.
- Mick Foley appeared as Dude Love during Brodus Clay's squash of Jack Swagger, even getting a blow in himself after the match.
- Slick served as the "minister" for the AJ Lee/Daniel Bryan wedding segment.
- Vince McMahon announced on the 1000th episode of WWE Raw that AJ Lee is the new General Manager of Monday Night Raw. The storyline was setup with AJ saying "Yes, Yes, Yes" during the "wedding" segment with Daniel Bryan but when Slick was about to announce them as "husband and wife," AJ said she wasn't saying yes to him but to another proposal she had from another man earlier in the night. McMahon's music played and he revealed AJ was now "in charge" of the show as the General Manager.
- The Rock announced on the 1000th episode of WWE Raw that he will challenge for the WWE championship at Royal Rumble 2013. WWE Royal Rumble 2013 will take place Sunday, January 27, 2013 from the US Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. We'll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- The Miz beat Christian to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship on the 1000th episode of WWE Raw. Bret Hart appeared live before the match as the guest ring announcer.
- Talk show legend Regis Philbin was featured in a pre-tape on the 1000th episode of WWE Raw where he offered congratulations for the milestone show. Phibin discussed all of the WWE stars he had the chance to interview with clips of Freddie Blassie and John Cena on Live! shown.
- Stephanie McMahon appeared on the 1000th episode of WWE Raw in a segment with Paul Heyman and Triple H.
- Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar was confirmed for SummerSlam on the 1000th episode of WWE Raw. Lesnar appeared live where he exchanged blows with Hunter after a segment that also included Paul Heyman and Stephanie McMahon blew up. WWE SummerSlam 2012 will take place Sunday, August 19, 2012 from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
- Howard Finkel served as a guest ring announcer for Heath Slater's open challenge to a no-disqualification, no count-out match that turned out to be Lita. Lita announced that John "Bradshaw" Layfield and Ron Simmons, also known as APA, were announced as her protection. When Slater tried to leave, all the past legends that have faced Slater in recent weeks (along with Sgt. Slaughter and "Rowdy" Roddy Piper) returned to bring him back to the ring for Lita to beat him.
- Sean Mooney returned to WWE on the 1000th episode of Raw, conducting a backstage interview with Daniel Bryan. Mooney is a former WWF play-by-play announcer from Phoenix, Arizona.
- WWE honored their 100,000,000th social media follower Alex Guerrero, Jr. on the 1000th episode of Raw. Guerrero, who won tickets to the show, was interviewed by Michael Cole.
- Fozzie Bear from "The Muppets" was featured in a pre-tape on Raw 1000 where he introduced a clip of top catchphrases over the years on Monday Night Raw.
- "Mean Gene" Okerlund appeared in a backstage segment on the 1000th episode of Raw with Zack Ryder and John Cena that led to The Rock coming in and wishing Cena luck.
- The Undertaker returned to WWE on the 1000th episode of Raw, assisting his "brother" Kane when he was surrounded by Jinder Mahal, Camacho, Hunico, Drew McIntyre, Tyler Reks, and Curt Hawkins. Kane and Undertaker worked together to take out the jobbers and celebrated as the Brothers of Destruction. Undertaker hasn't been seen in a WWE ring since he went 20-0 by beating Triple H at Wrestlemania XXVIII. We confirmed Undertaker was in the building earlier this afternoon here on Richard's Backstage Blog. If you are not yet a WNW Premium Member you can sign-up now at incredibly low prices at this link.
- Charlie Sheen all but challenged Daniel Bryan to a match the next time he was in Los Angeles on the 1000th episode of WWE Raw (saying Daniel could interrupt his challenge however he saw fit). Michael Cole teased Sheen for SummerSlam as the pay-per-view will take place from LA next month.
- The Miami Herald has a new article up with quotes from WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels. In the interview, he discusses his new Deuce Brand watch, why he didn't think Monday Night Raw would be a long-term success, and more.
In the following excerpt, Michaels discusses his retirement and whether he ever wants to compete again:
“I certainly don’t get the itch,” Michaels said. “That is something that does not happen to me. I think I do get satisfied when I get to go back to do an appearance and get to be a special referee or just an autograph session. Things like that, which is something I really enjoy. Certainly, I don’t stay on the sidelines longing to be in the spotlight, but the time that I am, it’s always a great deal of fun.
“I still try to do a good job and try not to phone it in. It’s almost like two different parts of your life. The first part of your life is geared toward one direction, and the second part of your life is more geared toward another. I’m guessing that is sort of where I’m at, but not forsaking or forgetting the first part by any stretch. I’m appreciative for it and thankful for it.”
CM Punk said on Raw last week that a guy like him wouldn't have made it onto the first episode of Raw. Michaels disputes that in the excerpt below:
“I certainly understand the point he was trying to make,” Michaels said. “It was a different time, and there was a different attitude toward us guys, but because he is a fighter and doesn’t take a lot of guff from folks — for the same reasons that he is on now and the same reason he accomplished what he has in his career now, which is a testament to him — for all of those reasons, all the good reasons and positives because he is a fighter, I think he would have been on the first show.
“I think I understand the point he was trying to make. It was a different time. There were stereotypes that needed to be broken back then, and thankfully, it was done. Hopefully, it has made a difference for Punk and the others. I think because of the type of dude he is, I don’t think he would have had anything to worry about.”
Click here to read the full article.
- After the 1000th episode of WWE Raw went off the air, The Rock and John Cena double teamed Big Show to send the crowd home happy.
- If you're looking to obtain tickets to WWE Extreme Rules 2013, the presale is now underway with the password EXTREME. Click here to purchase tickets. Extreme Rules will take place Sunday, May 19, 2013 from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri.
- Former WWE Diva and current TNA Knockout Tara was not at last night's 1000th Raw.
- WWE has announced that Extreme Rules 2013 will be the first pay-per-view after Wrestlemania XXIX, meaning there will not be a pay-per-view in late-April. WWE Extreme Rules 2013 will take place Sunday, May 19, 2013.
- The latest update on "Stone Cold" Steve Austin is he did indeed have a prior commitment that caused him to miss the 1000th episode of WWE Raw. It's believed Austin was in California, filming his role in the upcoming feature film "Grown Ups 2." Austin hasn't posted an update on his official Twitter account as of press time.
- Chyna confirmed she wasn't asked to appear on the 1000th episode of WWE Raw but gave her thoughts on Twitter. It's important to note that she also Tweeted about the late Eddie Guerrero but we are only showing her Tweets in regards to her not appearing on the milestone show:
- The heel turn of WWE Champion CM Punk has been a topic of conversation backstage in WWE for the last couple of weeks. The company is aware of the lack of top heels and the feeling is that Punk's fans are going to be Punk's fans no matter what. As for the execution of the turn, WWE knew it had to be against The Rock because given the split reactions drawn by John Cena, they wouldn't be able to get it over. The premise of Punk's turn is that he is upset he hasn't gotten the respect a champion deserves, not being featured in show main events. As one source told me, it's pretty much him playing the real-life story back into an angle.
- Steve Austin has posted a new blog entry on his official website, detailing why he was not featured on the 1000th episode of WWE Raw. As it turns out, our initial was report correct in that his filming schedule was clear, however, he wasn't there because he underwent major knee surgery earlier this month. Below is from Austin's official website:
On July 23, 2012 WWE celebrated the 1,oooth episode of Monday Night Raw. I watched the show from my home in Los Angeles. After watching the show, I got on my Twitter account, @steveaustinBSR, to read responses to the show. There were many people blaming Vince McMahon and the WWE for not having SCSA on the show. And there were some folks who had some very negative things to say about me, personally.
The reason I did not attend RAW 1,000 was because I underwent a major knee surgery on my left knee on July 2, 2012. Dr. Neal ElAttrache of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles, CA performed the surgery.
The surgery was a complete success. I am currently three weeks post op. I began physical therapy a few days ago. I had a world class surgeon and a great medical team working on me. I am now working with a top notch PT team. I am still on crutches and will probably lose the crutches in another week. Then I will be in a custom knee brace much like the braces I wore in the ring for 9-12 weeks.
STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN IS A 100% ASS KICKING MACHINE. There was no way I was going to limp down the ramp on crutches for RAW 1,000. It was time to get my knee fixed. The decision to no-show RAW 1,000 was made by me and no one else. I have always taken pride in making my shots and have never faked an injury or illness. Pro Wrestling is a tough game and it was time to pay the piper for some of the damage I incurred in the ring. No gripes. No complaints.
To the fans that were hoping to see SCSA, I’m sorry I missed the show. I would have loved to be there under different circumstances. I normally keep my personal business to myself, but due to feedback and incorrect speculation, I have posted this blog and given the 411 on why I was not at RAW 1,000.
I will post more blogs about my PT and recovery soon.
Click here to read the original blog post in its entirety.
- Vince and Linda McMahon have been revealed as six-figure donors to the Mitt Romney for President campaign. According to CNN, the McMahons donated a total of $159,910 to Romney's campaign, with $9,910 going to his "victory fund" and the other $150,000 going to the "Restore our Future" super PAC. Click here for an updated list of celebrity donors for both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.
- KPLR 11 out of St. Louis ran an article with quotes from Stephanie McMahon to promote the 1000th episode of WWE Raw last Monday. Obviously the event is over but in the piece, Stephanie revealed what she thinks of her father:
“My Dad is my idol and mentor. He’s taught me everything that I know basically. He has many, many, mantras and some are not repeatable. But, the bottom line is you have to work hard, play hard. Live hard and love hard. As long as you do all those things you’ll be successful.” said Stephanie McMahon.
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
- Wrestling News World reader Logan Walker sent word WWE has uploaded the SummerSlam pay-per-view promotional poster in PDF format. The poster, which features Brock Lensar, can be viewed at this link.
- The new group attempting to trademarkECW for wrestling use, Mocker LLC, has been refused by a review panel for the United States government. The panel noted in their refusal that WWE's registration of ECW trademarks could cause confusion in the marketplace because they are providing similar services. The refusal letter specifically mentioned ECW One Night Stand, ECW Extremists and ECW Vixens, all of which are currently owned by WWE. TNA Wrestling was cited as an example how a trademark owner can have a similar place in the marketplace but with a unique trademark rather than using similar ones owned by another entity in the same marketplace. Mocker will have six months to respond.
- Kharma was asked on Twitter if she was granted her release from WWE. She responded with the following comment:
Yes, I was. It doesn't mean I'll never be back.
As we reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, Kharma was quietly released earlier this month.
- Maxim.com has a new Q&A online with The Bella Twins. In it, Brie tells the publication they "look forward to going back" to WWE. Below is an excerpt:
After five years of making heads spin, you two hung up your metal folding chairs this spring. What have you been up to since parting ways with the WWE?
Brie:We’ve been keeping busy! In August you can see us on Ridiculousness on MTV, and in September we’ll be sharing some thoughts about Tim Tebow on the NFL Network. But honestly, the WWE is a huge family, and we look forward to going back.
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
- Rey Mysterio is headed to Manila, Philippines and Taiwan on a promotional tour for WWE following this week's television tapings. Mysterio wrote the following on Twitter:
- In addition to John "Bradshaw" Layfield and Dave Batista, believe it or not, I'm told Ultimate Warrior is training for a potential comeback and wants "one last match." While nothing is beyond the preliminary stages, I'm told he would like to have the match take place at Wrestlemania. For those that feel there is no chance of it happening, my source tells me the company is actually interested in inducting Warrior into their Hall of Fame although there are mixed reactions about him returning to the ring. At 53-years-old, Warrior was training for an in-ring return earlier this year but was injured. Now I'm told he has turned his attention to a potential one final match in WWE.
- The New York Times has an article online on the monster rating done by the 1000th episode of WWE Raw. Click here to read it.
- WWE has announced a live event from the Comcast Arena in Everett, Washington on October 5, 2012 at 7:30 PM
- Dot com released a blurb about Lilian Garcia's new EP entitled "My Time" that is due out August 19th. Click here to check it out.
- Former U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays continues to hammer Linda McMahon as he challenges her for the Republican nomination for the Senate seat of Connecticut. Shays, who has been a sharp critic of McMahon, said he questions WWE's motivation for shifting to a PG-rated format. Not only did a spokeswoman for Linda McMahon say they were not "getting down in the gutter with Mr. Shays," WWE issued a statement:
"WWE's 13 million weekly TV viewers and our 100 million social media followers would disagree that WWE's content is violent," WWE spokesman Brian Flinn said. "WWE programming is TV-PG and family friendly, with women making up nearly 40 percent of our audience. Contrary to the assertion about our content, WWE is in the business of putting smiles on people's faces.
Click here for coverage by StamfordAdvocate.com.
- Randy Orton, who was backstage at the 1000th episode of Raw from his hometown of St. Louis, is officially advertised to return to WWE on next week's episode of Raw. As noted here in Ask WNW, Orton is on booking sheets for upcoming WWE live events to work in the top of the card although I can't confirm whether he'll work as a babyface or heel. There was a lot of discussion as to what WWE was going to do about Orton following his 60-day suspension for his second documented violation of the WWE Wellness Policy with Triple H and Vince McMahon even trying to scare him to think they were seriously considering firing him. Most of my sources feel cutting Orton was something that was given a lot of consideration but ultimately the decision was to keep him due to the need for full-time top talent (not to mention the threat of delivering a top talent to TNA in the midst of a legal battle). As for the backstage heat, the suspension in itself wasn't what caused the heat but rather how he handled it by feeling he was "above" the company.
- The lawsuit regarding insurance fraud and the National Wrestling Alliance has been settled and the promotion is now owned by Bruce Tharpe. I'm told this could end up tying into the WWE Network. WWE has actually tried to purchased the NWA a few times over the last decade but the NWA was such a "shady and legally-complicated mess," that nothing ever came of the talks. WWE wasn't offering big money but would like to own the brand if they can get it for a responsible price as so much of their tape library and the history that will be featured on the WWE Network revolves around the NWA (or more specifically, the NWA World Championship). Part of the motivation for some of the board members trying to wrestle away control of the NWA with the lawsuit was in hopes they'll be able to "cash in" if the NWA is ultimately sold to WWE. The story also involves Triple H as I'm told he has a "soft spot" for the NWA brand and it has been discussed in recent weeks that WWE may try to engage the new ownership in acquisition talks at some point.
- - Mark Henry attended a THQ event in Dublin, Ireland to show off WWE '13. You can view a photo posted on dot com at this link.
- Speaking of WWE '13, THQ has updated their roster page, adding John Cena, The Miz and Attitude Era Mark Henry.
- TribLive News is reporting that The Great Khali has had a tumor removed from his pituitary gland at UPMC in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The article explains the procedure in the excerpt below:
The tumor removed during a four-hour procedure on Wednesday led to the growth spurt that caused Singh to achieve a height of 7 feet, 1 inch and a weight of 347 pounds, according to UPMC neurosurgeon Dr. Joseph Maroon, who led the surgical team. Maroon said Thursday the tumor causes a condition called acromegaly, which can be fatal if left untreated.
Khali is expected to recover within two to three months. Click here to read the full article. - WWE has updated their key performance indicators to reflect happenings during the second quarter of 2012. In them, the company reports approximately 200,000 buys for No Way Out. The final number will be reported when the company announces their second quarter earnings next Thursday, August 2, 2012. - WWE noted in their key performance indicators that the Wrestlemania XXVIII DVD has shipped 189,000 units to date. The DVD leads the significant trailing non-month releases chart which includes the following:
- Wrestlemania 28 - 189,000 units
- Stone Cold Steve Austin: The Most Popular Superstars - 141,000 units
- The Epic Journey of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson - 140,000 units
- Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart: Rivalry - 94,000 units
- Ladder Match 2: Crash & Burn - 88,000 units
- Kurt Angle is now officially re-married to actress Giovanna Yannotti and he announced via his Twitter account they are due to have another baby. Below is the Tweet:
Angle and Yannotii had their first child together on January 22, 2011.
- ODB recently re-upped her deal with TNA Wrestling.
- TNA has canceled their "Basebrawl" live event on September 8, 2012 from Power Park in Charleston, West Virginia due to a scheduling conflict. The show was originally scheduled for August, bumped to September and now canceled completely.
- Nick Dinsmore worked a tryout match for TNA prior to this week's Impact Wrestling. He put over Kazarian in the bout. Dinsmore made headlines earlier this week for WWE when he defended their use of the Eugene character.
- Magnus & Samoa Joe won the GHC Tag Team Championship at today's Pro Wrestling NOAH show in Tokyo, Japan. The TNA duo beat Akitoshi Saito & Jun Akiyama after Joe hit the Muscle Buster on Saito followed by the pin.
- There are three notable contracts coming up for expiration in TNA Wrestling. The deals of Velvet Sky, Bully Ray and Devon are nearing their end and all are in question of not re-signing. Velvet has been negotiating a new deal but has not been able to agree to terms. The contracts of Bully Ray and Devon are up in August but not much has happened in terms of negotiations for new deals either.
- Mickie James has an appearance in the music video "Drinking Side of Country" by Bucky Covington.
- TNA Wrestling sent out the following press release regarding Bound For Glory ticket sales:
TNA WRESTLING ANNOUNCES PHOENIX TO HOST “BOUND FOR GLORY” ON OCTOBER 14
IN HONOR OF ITS TEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY, THE BIGGEST WEEKEND IN TNA HISTORY WILL ALSO FEATURE THE HALL OF FAME CELEBRATION AND POPULAR FAN INTERACTION EVENT, PRESENTED BY DIRECT AUTO INSURANCE
TNA IMPACT WRESTLING has announced that Phoenix will host the biggest night in TNA history. The “Bound For Glory” pay-per-view extravaganza will air to a world-wide audience on Sunday, October 14th and online around the world at TNAOnDemand.com. Tickets for the event will go on-sale this Friday, July 27
“Bound For Glory,” presented by Direct Auto Insurance, will be held live at the Grand Canyon University Arena starting at 5pm local time with doors opening at 3:30pm MST.
The superstars of Spike’s “IMPACT WRESTLING” will headline “Bound For Glory,” including Hulk Hogan, current TNA World Heavyweight Champion Austin Aries, Bobby Roode, Sting, Jeff Hardy, Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle, Rob Van Dam, Mr. Anderson, “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles, “The Samoan Submission Machine” Samoa Joe, the lovely and lethal TNA Knockouts, the stars of the X-Division and many more. “Bound For Glory” will feature the winner of the “Bound For Glory Series” in the main event for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.
Continuing the celebration of ten years of Total Nonstop Action, this will be the biggest weekend of the year for the superstars of IMPACT WRESTLING. The weekend will feature expanded activities in the Phoenix area, including a special “Bound For Glory Fan InterAction” and the inaugural annual TNA Hall of Fame induction. As announced at “Slammiversary” in June, the first-ever inductee is “The Icon” Sting. Tickets for “Bound For Glory” go on sale Friday, July 27 (10am MST/ 1pm EDT) at the Grand Canyon University Arena box office, GCUArena.com or charge by phone at 602-639-8999.
HALL OF FAME INDUCTION CELEBRATION ($125)
Order at ShopTNA: CLICK HERE FOR INFO
Admission to the TNA Inaugural Hall of Fame Celebration on Saturday, October 13th at 8:00pm PST at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort. The Hall of Fame Celebration & Dinner will feature the Induction of "The Icon" Sting. Be part of history as one of the greatest wrestling superstars of all time is honored with the induction as the very first member of TNA Wrestling's Hall of Fame. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity will never happen again. The event includes an intimate dinner setting along with special guest presenters.
BOUND FOR GLORY FAN INTERACTION ($99)
Order at ShopTNA: CLICK HERE FOR INFO
Meet all your favorite TNA Superstars at TNA Bound For Glory Fan InterAction. Highlighting this event are the one-on-one conversations, personalized autographs, and treasured photographs with the superstars of TNA Wrestling and future Hall of Famers.
* Talent appearances to be determined at a later date and are subject to change.
BOUND FOR GLORY VIP WEEKEND ($199)
(Fan InterAction + Hall of Fame Celebration)
Order at ShopTNA: CLICK HERE FOR INFO
The Bound For Glory VIP Weekend package includes admission to all events on Saturday, October 13th:
- Admission to TNA Fan InterAction on Saturday, October 13th at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort
- Meet all your favorite TNA Superstars at TNA Bound For Glory Fan InterAction. Highlighting this event are the one-on-one conversations, personalized autographs, and treasured photographs with the superstars of TNA Wrestling and future Hall of Famers.
- Talent appearances to be determined at a later date and are subject to change.
- Admission to the TNA Inaugural Hall of Fame Celebration & Dinner on Saturday, October 13th at 8:00pm PST at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort
Get your VIP Weekend pass for $199
Kids 8 & under VIP Weekend pass $159
The VIP Weekend does not include a ticket to TNA Bound For Glory on October 14, 2012.
BOUND FOR GLORY TRAVEL PACKAGES
Order at ShopTNA: CLICK HERE FOR INFO
Travel packages include the following:
▪ 1 ticket to TNA Bound for Glory on Sunday, October 14 (value varies based on package)
○ Platinum Package: Includes a guaranteed front row seat (valued at $150)
○ Gold Package: Includes a floor seat in row 2 (valued at $125)
▪ 3-night's stay at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort
Hotel will require a credit card for incidentals (including parking and internet access) for each room.
Hotel accommodations are for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night (October 12 -14th).
▪ Friday night check-in and reception with stars of IMPACT WRESTLING.
▪ 1 VIP Weekend ticket which includes:
○ Admission to the TNA Fan InterAction event Saturday, October 13th (valued at $99)
- TNA Bound for Glory Fan InterAction will take place at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort Ballroom
○ Admission to the TNA Wrestling Hall of Fame Induction Saturday, October 13th (valued at $125)
- TNA Bound for Glory takes place at Grand Canyon University Arena starting at 5pm local time with doors opening at 3:30pm MST
▪ Sunday morning breakfast with stars of IMPACT WRESTLING.
Packages: Total cost of packages listed next to price is per person (PP).
Platinum (w/ Front row seat to Bound for Glory valued at $150.00)
Single $995 = $995
Double $829 = $1658
Triple $775 = $2,325
Quad $745 = $2,980
Gold (w/ 2nd row seat to Bound for Glory valued at $125.00):
Single $969 = $969
Double $805 = $1610
Triple $749 = $2,247
Quad $725 = $2,900
- TNA Wrestling has removed the profile of Velvet Sky from the roster page of their official website. Velvet's TNA contract has either ended or is nearing its end and attempts to work out a new deal were unsuccessful. We reported the TNA deals of Bully Ray and Devon are also nearing their expiration. Click here for more.
- - Velvet Sky wrote the following on Twitter regarding her release from TNA Wrestling:
As we reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, Sky was negotiating a new deal with TNA but the two parties couldn't agree to terms. On Wednesday the company removed her profile from the roster page of the official TNA website but re-added it once we wrote about it.
How do you expect the 1000th episode of Raw to turn out?
I'm told WWE is treating the 1000th episode of Raw like Wrestlemania with the writers being put under enormous pressure to deliver the company's best TV show to date. As I've said multiple times, not only does WWE hope to pop the ratings with the show but they are looking to gain momentum as they launch into three hours on a weekly basis. Should the company fail to deliver a very high rating it would be considered a major disappointment.
I've been waiting forever to see Dean Ambrose make his debut to the main roster. I know they are working on a storyline for him but when do you think he will finally debut?
Dean Ambrose's debut to the main WWE roster is considered imminent. We haven't heard a definitive date but the 1000th Raw would be as good of show as any to bring him in, however, I cannot confirm a date as of this writing.
Is there a possibility Batista appears on the 1000th Raw?
Anything is possible in this business and given the fact Batista doesn't have a contract with TNA, he would be available for an appearance on WWE television. However, as I've reported several times, he says he will not be returning to the company this year. We can't always take workers at their word (remember Edge told me he wouldn't appear at SummerSlam but appeared) so we'll have to wait and see.
How is Sin Cara currently perceived backstage by officials and fellow wrestlers? Has he redeemed himself or is he still looked at as a "botch-artist"?
Sin Cara is no longer viewed as he once was, however, he still has enough support where he's getting to work. The latest fiasco involving Sin Cara was the blown spot at Money in the Bank with Dolph Ziggler with both workers complaining about the other backstage after the match.
With The Rock challenging for the WWE Championship at Royal Rumble, does this mean he's back full time? If not, how can someone only part-time challenge for the most prestigious title in WWE?
The Rock isn't back full-time but the creative team has been exploring plans to get him a WWE Championship match. Originally thought to be for Wrestlemania, the plan all along has been for him to also work Royal Rumble. Believe it or not, I heard there was talk of him winning the Money in the Bank briefcase (that ultimately ended up going to John Cena) but they were unable to do it because Rock had a prior commitment. WWE has wanted to put Rock in the WWE title picture since he worked Wrestlemania XXVIII earlier this year.
What were your thoughts on the 1000th episode of Raw?
The show was fun with a lot of nostalgic moments where they still moved current storylines. The biggest disappointment was Steve Austin not appearing, however, WWE put together a very solid show. Some may have preferred more wrestling but there was no way they would have been able to get everyone on television with a wrestling-heavy broadcast. I am surprised that John Cena became the first person to cash in the Money in the Bank title shot and not win the title and feel like had it been anyone other than Cena, a lot of people would have been upset with the match outcome today.
Where was Steve Austin? Why wasn't he on the 1000th episode of WWE Raw?
I heard Steve Austin's schedule was clear for him to appear but obviously it didn't happen. WWE put together the Austin vs. Mr. McMahon vignette to pay tribute to the biggest program in the history of Raw but like I said above, I was disappointed Austin didn't appear. It will certainly be interesting to see if Austin did indeed have a prior engagement or couldn't agree to the terms of an appearance.
Do you ever take time off from your job? Like do you sleep at night?
This was a funny one but to answer, yes I get time off and I do sleep at night. I'm blessed to have a wonderful staff of writers and am very thankful for the work of Brooks Oglesby, Sean Hopkins, Kendra Bunyon, Alex Barie, Matt Andrews, Adam W and Guy Landau. My time off is limited as it's essential to provide readers with multiple updates per day so you are always in the know but I am very thankful for my dedicated staff of writers and all the loyal readers that visit daily.
How is Vince McMahon's real-life persona in relation to the Mr. McMahon character played on WWE television?
Mr. McMahon, like most successful gimmicks, is Vince's real-life persona "turned all the way up." Vince is a very intimidating guy but perhaps the biggest difference between him and his on-air character is that Mr. McMahon comes off as very unapproachable. While Vince has the final say on everything in WWE, he's willing to meet with talent (especially workers he feels have the potential to become top guys) when they have ideas or want to discuss their characters. Chris Jericho makes note of this in his latest "Undisputed" autobiography when he was trying to get his first break in WWE. For those that want a detailed prospective of how things function backstage, I recommend both of Chris Jericho's books and Bret Hart's book.
With Christian dropping the WWE Intercontinental Championship to The Miz is this a sign he's designed to hover as a mid-card talent again?
Christian hasn't been booked in the top of the card since returning to WWE at Over the Limit back in May although he's held the WWE Intercontinental Championship and had a consistent spot on television (a role many would love to have). I can't give you the exact reasoning for the booking of Christian although it's no secret Vince McMahon has always been hesitant on him as a top guy. I heard Christian wasn't thrilled about being the WWE star to appear at TNA Slammiversary either, with the risk of it damaging the booking of his character as well.
What is your reaction to the WWE Raw 1000 rating?
The 1000th episode of WWE Raw was the most-watched episode of WWE Raw since the show’s return to the USA Network in 2005 and the highest viewership in 10 years. The company is ecstatic at the viewing audience of over 6.3 million and made sure to tout the success in a press release. Even the harshest critics can be silenced with this number that exceeded any and all expectations.
Do you see Brock Lesnar getting a run as either WWE or World Heavyweight Champion before his deal is up?
Everyone wants a program with Brock Lesnar because of the fact that Lesnar draws, however, given his limited schedule, I would be opposed of a Lesnar title reign. People are already upset at the possibility of The Rock going over for the title at Royal Rumble and should be considering he's not a full-time talent nor will he ever be. Vince McMahon used to be pretty firm that he would not allow someone to come back only to work limited dates but has bent in recent years in order to grow viewership, improve ratings and draw pay-per-view buys.
What has the reaction been like in WWE to the monster rating the 1000th Raw the show did? Do you think Vince McMahon looks at it as people having renewed interest or just a one time fluke?
WWE is thrilled with the rating of the 1000th episode of Raw and they should be. As we talked about here in Ask WNW, the company immediately issued a press release to tout the success of the large viewership. I have not heard from sources close to Vince McMahon what he thought and would be scared to speculate, however, I feel it shows the audience is still there. Whether or not that audience tunes in weekly or buys the monthly pay-per-views all has to do with the quality of the product. The company showed with Wrestlemania XXVIII they could get people to buy their product. WWE should strive to make every show "must-see programming," treating them as a "big deal" to spark interest. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying pay-per-views are going to go be able to compete with Wrestlemania or weekly TVs can exceed the viewership of the biggest show to date but there is a large differential in the averages and these spikes. If WWE were to make their shows of more importance, I feel it could significantly boost ratings. This will, however, be very challenging by trying to come up with three hours of live TV each week.
With CM Punk turning heel do you see any possibility with him aligning with "his man" Paul Heyman?
CM Punk is the reason Paul Heyman was brought in for the Brock Lesnar program, however, I would be surprised to see Heyman used in another capacity. One thing Vince McMahon was firm on prior to signing Lesnar was that he wanted nothing to do with Heyman. Given the fact Lesnar and Heyman were not as close as they once were, it wasn't an issue when Lesnar signed. CM Punk convinced company officials to bring in Heyman as a way to keep Lesnar relevant without burning through dates on his part-time contract.
Randy Orton's suspension is up and he's able to return on next weeks Raw. What do you think they'll do with him? Will he come back as a face or a heel? I think he'll be put back in the World Heavyweight Championship picture as a heel.
Randy Orton is scheduled to return to WWE on next Monday's episode of Raw. He is on the booking sheets in World Heavyweight Championship matches against Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio so the thinking is he will be a main event talent once again. As to whether or not he will be a babyface or a heel, Orton said [on Twitter] he hopes to be a heel and it's not unlikely given the lack of top heels in the company.
What do you think of Big Show, who is well past his prime, being pushed and protected against younger wrestlers with more talent, including John Cena?
Big Show is "past his prime" as far as age is concerned, however, he is seen as a reliable veteran they are able to book in the top of the card because of his size. Show's latest push was believed to be for Tensai (who is only a couple years younger than Show at 38) but plans were changed when the character was unable to get over. It's also worth noting that the lack of top heels in the company has played a factor in their renewed interest in Big Show.
With Raw moving to three hours do you see Smackdown doing the same?
I posted this question for any WWE writer or producer that may be reading just so they could have the assurance that things could be worse. I don't see Smackdown expanding and I have my doubts about how long Raw's expansion to three hours will last. Monday's are already extremely chaotic and adding an extra hour of live TV doesn't have anyone excited (not even the majority of fans that read this website). Think about it for a second. The WWE writers and producers have to hammer out a three-hour live show with very limited preparation time. Two hours were stretching things thin and the extra hour has hurt morale and I'm told many are going to try and "gut it out" but could quit due to the added pressure. The ultimate factor will be how the first hour does in the ratings and that will be an uphill climb this fall with the return of Monday Night Football.
If Linda McMahon loses her election is there a chance that WWE programming can turn to more of an Attitude Era product? I feel that by keeping a PG product they are trying to make her look good while she would be destroyed politically if it is more violent.
I cannot tell you how many times this question has came up over the years. Vince McMahon is committed to producing family-friendly PG programming for a myriad of reasons. Sure Linda McMahon's aspiring political career plays a factor but it isn't the only reason and things aren't going to change anytime soon. Any time Vince McMahon is asked about PG he boldly reiterates his commitment to it.
Why has WWE dropped all mentions of NXT?
WWE NXT currently does not air domestically but is available in international markets. I've heard the company is working on clearances in the United States and the wait will be worth it. We post full taping results after every taping as you can check them out in our WWE Spoilers section.
I was re-watching some old TNA stuff and came across the Voodoo Kin Mafia or VKM. As you know they are the New Age Outlaws. Some of the things they did and said were pretty bad and I would assume made Vince McMahon kind of upset. What did the New Age Outlaws need to do to make up for all that? Not only to Vince, but to Hunter and Shawn as well.
At the time Road Dogg and Billy Gunn were still partying a lot and went through with a gimmick that was very hard on Vince McMahon, Triple H and Shawn Michaeals. Road Dogg is on record as to saying he feels they went too far on some of the things they said. Since then, both Road Dogg and Billy Gunn have gotten clean and mended fences with not only Vince, Hunter and Shawn but with others in WWE as well. Check out this shoot interview that Road Dogg and Billy Gunn did with RF Video as they address these issues for themselves. Road Dogg is once again climbing the ladder in WWE as a producer. We hear so many bad stories in this business the success of The New Age Outlaws is a good one and very inspirational.