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 20, 2013 to Friday, July 26, 2013 as well as all five Ask WNW segments from the week. Use this newsletter as your own personal tool to catch up on any of the news that you may have missed during the week. Below is a table of contents:
Note From Richard: For those that have asked, the Newsletter is organized with the news posted on Saturday at the top with the most recent stories at the bottom. We have it organized this way so you can read the news in the order in which it happened. Thanks for your support!
Table Of Contents
- WWE News
- TNA News
- Ask WNW
- The Miz announced on Friday at the San Diego Comic Con that he will be the host of this year's SummerSlam pay-per-view. WWE SummerSlam 2013 will take place Sunday, August 18, 2013 from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. We'll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- Vickie Guerrero is the new permanent General Manager of Smackdown (Smackdown results). She and Brad Maddox, the General Manger of Raw, face off in this week's episode of "Backstage Fallout" Smackdown. You can watch now at this link.
- The Miz wasn't the only WWE name making an announcement at the San Diego Comic Con on Friday. Mick Foley officially announced the upcoming WWE series of comics by Papercutz that he will be writing. You can see the announcement at this link.
- Triple H was asked on Twitter if WWE plans to take NXT on the road outside of Florida. Below is his response:
NXT ran two shows in Georgia back in March, however, the developmental territory mostly runs live events in Florida.
- The band 7Seconds made a post on their Facebook page(that has 41,423 Likes as of this writing) on Thursday, July 18, 2013 that has fans concerned about former WWE Diva Amy "Lita" Dumas.
The band posted a photo of the real-life girlfriend of CM Punk with the following status attached:
this is my friend Amy Dumas.
she rocks and has done a ton of great stuff in her life. she is the only New York Times bestselling author I have ever known and the only 7Seconds friend and fan to have ever worn a WWE championship belt.
today she had some shitty things happen to her. nothing life-threatening but shitty and difficult nonetheless and she's in my thoughts. much love to her.
Lita has not addressed the post as of press time, she's been inactive on her Twitter account as she hasn't Tweeted since July 14, 2013.
- Chris Jericho finished up his latest WWE run on this week's episode of WWE Smackdown. Following an Intercontinental Championship bout with Curtis Axel, Jericho was hit with a meat hook and Shell Shock by Ryback. Prior to the show's first run airing in the United States, Jericho Tweeted the following:
Jericho is already doing what he does best in keeping fans guessing about his future. The former Undisputed Champion Tweeted the following Instagram photo of him cutting his first promo of his career in the summer of 1991. He questions if the summer of 2013 will be hist last:
As previously reported here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com, Jericho isn't scheduled for SummerSlam, Night of Champions or Over the Limit as he'll be touring with his band Fozzy.
- The Bella Twins are scheduled to continue to their media tour next week ahead of the premiere of "Total Divas" on E! on Sunday, July 28, 2013. The following appearances are scheduled:
* Wednesday, July 24th on The Crossover with Michelle Beadle, NBC Sports at 6pm * Thursday, July 25th on The Today Show, NBC at 7am * Friday, July 26th on The Couch, CBS WLNY at 7am * Friday, July 26th on New York Live, WNBC New York at 12:30pm * Friday, July 26th on Fashion Police, E! at 10pm
Speaking of "Total Divas," below is the episode guide for episodes one and two:
Episode #1 "Welcome to the WWE" - Airing on July 28, 2013 The WWE Divas begin their preparations for WrestleMania. Nikki starts to have doubts regarding her relationship with John. Cameron is embarrassed when her boyfriend ends up causing a scene backstage, with Naomi stuck in the middle. Episode #2 "A Tango With Fandango" - Airing on August 4, 2013 Eva plans to achieve a winning rank by creating a scheming plan. The Bella Twins take some time off and enjoy a vacation with Bryan and John. Cameron and Naomi are horrified when they experience a wardrobe malfunction.
- Dolph Ziggler recently took a tour of Comic-Con International 2013 in San Diego and WWE cameras were on hand. The footage is available at this link.
- Natalya recently spoke with Motor Trend and discussed topics such as the car she drives, her marriage to Tyson Kidd, and more. In the following excerpt, Natalya discusses her role on the upcoming Total Divas reality show:
"It's going to be an amazing show that showcases the lives of seven WWE Divas, including myself, our lives inside WWE and our lives outside of WWE," Natalya says. "It's the first time WWE has ever done anything like this, letting people backstage into this very private world of ours. They won't just get a chance to see Natalya the Diva, but they're going to see Nattie (Natalie) Neidhart and what I do in the ring and outside the ring. They're going to see everything from emotions, to drama in the locker room, to us disagreeing about this, that, and everything else." She thinks viewers will be surprised by everything that goes on. "It's a very private world behind closed doors at WWE and that's the beauty of it, is that nobody knows what happens backstage. It's where the magic is made," she says. "Through all the disagreements and all the trials, triumphs, tears and smiles, at the end of the day we all come together and we all realize that we are a family and that we really need each other. So there's also this lesson to be learned from watching the show."
Click here to read the full article.
- Mark Henry has signed a new 3-year contract with WWE. In a new interview with Peter Rosenberg on Hot 97, Henry revealed his deal was up and he was working injury time. He's now under contract until June 2016. You can watch the interview at this link. We had heard prior to the announcement last week that Henry's deal was coming up and the company was looking to re-sign him. His new contract does not come as a surprise. We've removed past articles, posted before this information was known, to eliminate confusion. I apologize for the error.
- Ryback is back on Twitter and is Tweeting in-character. You can check out the latest from him at Twitter.com/Ryback22. Make sure you follow us at Twitter.com/WNWnews.
- Ringside Collectibles has uploaded the entire WWE panel from the San Diego Comic Con over the weekend. You can watch it at this link.
- Dave Batista talks about "entering the Marvel universe" in "Guardians of the Galaxy" at this link. Batista admitted he needed to land the role to justify leaving wrestling and he still can't believe it. Batista will play Drax the Destroyer in the film.
- Kharma, who left WWE last year, wrote on Twitter that she is preparing for a fun return to television. The following is from her verified Twitter account:
- Jake Roberts is moving forward and is 33 days sober. He posted the following on Twitter:
- To update on an earlier item regarding fans being concerned about Amy "Lita" Dumas (See also -Fans Concerned About Amy “Lita” Dumas After Post On Facebook), it turns out she was a victim of theft at Six Flags. During a recent trip to the theme park with her godson, their bags were stolen. Her godson got his property back but she lost several personal items including her cellphone and wallet.
- An international listing for WWE's October pay-per-view, currently named Over the Limit, lists the show as Battle Ground. No idea if this in fact a name change or an error. WWE Over the Limit 2013 is scheduled for Sunday, October 6, 2013 from the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York.
- The complete roster for WWE 2K14 is expected to be announced over SummerSlam weekend.
- There are ongoing rumors about the WWE status of Kassius Ohno (formerly known as Chris Hero). The only thing I can confirm as of press time is he was notably absent from the July 11th NXT tapings.
- The Huffington Post has a new video interview online with Linda McMahon where she talks about remaining politically active despite spending $100 million on losing Senate campaigns. You can check it out at this link.
- WWE Hall of Famer Edge took part in a panel for "Haven" at the San Diego Comic Con over the weekend. You can watch it at this link.
- Dolph Ziggler, The Miz, Daniel Bryan and WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley reflect on their weekend at the San Diego Comic Con at this link.
- Former WWE star Dave Batista is on the cover of Monday's issue of USA Today as part of his role in "Guardians of the Galaxy" and appearance at Comic Con over the weekend. You can view it at this link or embedded in my Tweet below:
- Ricardo Rodriguez, who was suspended for 30 days for violating the WWE Wellness Policy, will be eligible to return to the company next week. Since they'll be in the middle of an international tour, he likely won't return until the August 5, 2013 episode of Monday Night Raw.
- Expect to have a better idea about who will be challenging Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship after this week's TV tapings. We're told the mentions last week of Rob Van Dam as a potential challenger have cooled.
- At this point Damien Sandow vs. Cody Rhodes is the direction the company is going to "push both" and should be official for SummerSlam some time this week.
- We're told a round of Wellness testing was conducted in WWE last week. Talent was told they needed to consult their medical staff before taking anything, even if it can be legally purchased over-the-counter. This was in response to Ricardo Rodriguez's violation as he reportedly tested positive for an over-the-counter fat burning supplement.
- Last week's episode of WWE Smackdown did an average viewing audience of 2,577,000 viewers on SyFy.
- Linda McMahon is currently serving as an advisor to Connecticut Republican party chairman Jerry Labriola Jr. The Courantreports, citing quotes from Labriola, that her new role plays out in private to "make Connecticut a better place." We posted a video interview The Huffington Post did with McMahon at this link.
- WWE has released Memo Montenegro from his developmental contract with the company. Montenegro is the son of Mexican legend Dos Caras and the younger brother of World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio. He was signed in August 2012 after working out with Pablo Marquez in Florida. Dolph Ziggler's brother, Briley Pierce, was released from WWE developmental in May.
- Total Divas premieres on E! this Sunday at 10|9c. Below is the preview:
The WWE Divas begin their preparations for WrestleMania. Nikki starts to have doubts regarding her relationship with John. Cameron is embarrassed when her boyfriend ends up causing a scene backstage, with Naomi stuck in the middle.
You can watch a teaser video at this link.
- Big Show didn't return to WWE on this week's Monday Night Raw as advertised. The company aired a vignette on last week's episode of Smackdown and used his return as a promotional point for the broadcast. Show even posted on Twitter about it, Tweeting the following after last week's Smackdown:
- CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar was officially announced for SummerSlam on this week's Monday Night Raw. Also announced is John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship.
- After this week's WWE Monday Night Raw went off the air, WWE Champion John Cena faced Mark Henry… or that was the plan until The Shield interrupted. Daniel Bryan made the save which setup a 6-man tag team match. The Shield were disqualified when a chair was brought in the ring. After the match, Cena, Henry and Bryan cleared to ring to send the crowd home happy.
- Richard Gray posted a tweet by Vince McMahon from his official Twitter account on Thursday about welcoming Ultimate Warrior back into the WWE. The post can be seen here. Ultimate Warrior responded to Vince McMahon's open arm welcome. Warrior's full statement is below:
@VinceMcMahon Vince, thank you for your personal welcome back to the WWE Universe. It is noted and appreciated. All the Warriors of Parts Unknown take pride in being one of the original galaxies of the Universe you created. Not one of my days has passed without a flashback to my time in the business and my relationship with you. After 17 years of battling one another, perhaps the stars have finally aligned and Destiny is prepared to tell one of Sports Entertainment's greatest stories: how two of the industry's most determined, colorful, intense and explosive personalities brought to life a persona that made such an inspiring impression that it still captures the hearts and minds of fans all over the world, even all these years later. I am proud Ultimate Warrior is an iconic, immortal spirit in the Universe you created. I know, Vince McMahon, you are proud, too. The inhabitants of your WWE Universe believe your personal welcome is an invitation of sorts. If so, consider this my RSVP with one condition. Wisdom takes a seat at the table with us when we meet, but we each also leave unburied a slight edge of the hatchet we've carried over the years. that other gutless and heartless God-fearing men urge us to lay to rest forever. Face it, neither one of us were ever any good at being bored or boring others. So coming prepared to kill one another makes for a interesting backup plan. Always Believe, Warrior
- Brie Bella apologized on Twitter following a "wardrobe malfunction" on this week's episode of WWE Monday Night Raw that made it on the air. The following is from Twitter:
Backstage news and notes from Monday Night Raw in Austin…
- We're told Brad Maddox's lines in the opening segment of this week's show were once again a worked shoot play on Vince McMahon's former mindset on Daniel Bryan.
- Triple H called the CM Punk/Paul Heyman segment some of the best promo work in many years. The program is being built with the "big fight feel," something both Vince McMahon and Heyman love. Hunter is really high up on the realism and feels it shows a side of Punk's character that hasn't been seen WWE television. One observer pointed you would have to go back to Punk's program with Raven in Ring of Honor to know that he really had it in him. While both Vince and Hunter feel Punk plays a better heel in the ring, they are "very happy" with this current direction and feel it's a completely different kind of babyface.
- Daniel Bryan's match against Antonio Cesaro was being called a second "Match of the Year" candidate in just as many weeks. Triple H greeted Antonio Cesaro as soon as he got backstage and CM Punk and others gave him an ovation. Many workers were spotted watching the bout on the monitor backstage.
- We heard criticism from Daniel Bryan beating Ryback by count out. As "poor as poor booking can get," is how one key observer described it.
- After the show we're told Vince McMahon went to Bryan and told him that sometimes it's "good to be wrong."
- Triple H "blew a gasket" on Ryback for his botched spot at the end of the match with Daniel Bryan where he was supposed to protect Bryan and catch him then put him through a table. It was seen as "careless and reckless" that Ryback just let Bryan bump to the outside and didn't know how to improvise after completely botching it. According to a source backstage, Hunter got in Ryback's face and was screaming "carelessness" at him. Bryan is expected to get x-rays on his collar bone on Tuesday but isn't believed to be hurt as he worked the dark match main event following the taping. However, it's worth noting this continues to hurt the stock of Ryback. Not only was Hunter upset with the spot but CM Punk and John Cena were vocal about it as well. Cena is someone that rarely calls out others, so when he does, people listen.
- Not only did Big Show not return as advertised on this week's Monday Night Raw but there was a lot of frustration over The Wyatt Family not appearing live. Randy Orton was officially advertised and didn't appear either.
- While not shown on television, Nikki Bella came out to the ring on crutches for the Miz TV segment on this week's Monday Night Raw. This isn't the most newsworthy thing regarding the Bellas and the show, as Brie's wardrobe malfunction grabbed headlines.
- Tamina Snuka was backstage at this week's Monday Night Raw, indicating she's finished filming her role in "Hercules." Embedded below is a photo that Tamina Tweeted:
We reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com that Tamina has a supporting role in the film.
- Wade Barrett was busted open the hardway in his match with Rob Van Dam on this week's Raw. Barrett Tweeted the following:
- The Miz discusses fantasy football in a new podcast posted here on FoxSports.com.
- WWE posted a new video of a Doritos Jacked contest winner at this week's Monday Night Raw. Check it out at this link.
- WWE issued the following press release on Monday:
STAMFORD, Conn., July 22, 2013 – WWE and E! Entertainment today launched the first-ever Superstars for Hope fundraising initiative to support Make-A-Wish, featuring chances to win once-in-a-lifetime experiences available to anyone who makes a contribution. The entertainment powerhouses will also host a Superstars for Hope red carpet party in Los Angeles on Thursday, August 15 at the Beverly Hills Hotel as a part of WWE’s SummerSlam® Week. Starting today, for every $10 fans and supporters contribute through fundraising partner Omaze, they will receive five chances to win one of two packages donated by WWE and E! Entertainment. “We are honored to be part of Superstars for Hope in support of Make-A-Wish,” said Suzanne Kolb, President, E! “This wonderful organization endlessly inspires and their incredible work brightens and enriches the lives of so many children and families.” “WWE’s commitment to granting life-changing experiences is unmatched,” said David Williams, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish America. “We know that having E! join forces with them will mean more life-changing wishes are granted for children with life-threatening medical conditions.” “We are proud to partner with E! on Superstars for Hope and continue our long-standing support of Make-A-Wish,” said Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman and CEO. “This is an opportunity for so many people to help children’s wishes come true.” Once-in-a-lifetime experience packages include: * WrestleMania 30 New Orleans Party Package: A VIP trip to WrestleMania for four which includes travel and accommodations, access to the WrestleMania 30 red carpet kickoff party, the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and WrestleMania Axxess, along with behind-the-scenes tours, meet-and-greets with WWE Superstars, Divas and Legends, as well as a WWE Championship title signed by WWE Champions John Cena®, Triple H®, Brock Lesnar™ and Undertaker®. * E! Exclusive Hollywood Experience: A three-day trip to Los Angeles to attend a taping of an E! show such as E! News, Fashion Police, The Soup or Chelsea Lately, a gift basket with Hollywood’s hottest spa essentials and $1,000 spending money for a shopping spree with WWE Divas, The Bella Twins. For more information or to donate to Superstars for Hope, please visit Omaze.com/WWE and Omaze.com/E!
- Wrestling News World reader Michael Ledesma sent word that WWE Champion John Cena & Mark Henry vs. The Shield is the advertised main event for the post-SummerSlamWWE live event in Ontario, California on Sunday, August 25, 2013.
- Total Diva drama featured in this week's episode of "Backstage Fallout" Raw. You can watch it at this link.
- Trish Stratus looks back on Robert Kennedy Publishing in light of their surprising bankruptcy filing in a new interview posted on her official website. You can read it at this link.
- There were two notable segments that took place on the WWE App during this week's episode of Monday Night Raw. First, The Prime Time Players said they were looking to further their careers as singles wrestlers and both had singles matches on this week's show. World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio said he didn't know who Damien Sandow was and wasn't worried about him "cashing in."
- Kharma continues to tease a return to television on Twitter. No word on what she is talking about but below is her latest:
- In light of Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun being suspended without pay from Major League Baseball for violating their performance enhancing drugs policy, WWE Champion John Cena has spoken out.
In a series of Tweets posted on Tuesday, the WWE Champion said he is "lifetime drug free." The following is from Cena's verified Twitter account:
- This week's episode of WWE Monday Night Raw did an average viewing audience of 4,005,000 viewers on the USA Network. Below is how viewership broke down by hour:
Hour one - 3,922,000 viewers
Hour two - 4,162,000 viewers
Hour three - 3,933,000 viewers
You can see how there show stacked up against the competition here at TV By the Numbers. The show ended up with a 2.94 cable rating.
- Big Show's return on this week's episode of WWE Monday Night Raw was not cut due to time constraints as I originally suspected (See also - Big No Show On Raw, Updated SummerSlam Lineup). Show was not used at the Raw taping for next week in Laredo, Texas and is being held out due to injury concerns. Apparently WWE realized some time between Friday and Monday that having Show return this week was pushing things and he needed a couple more weeks off. Big Show has been doing ambassadorial work during his time outside of the ring and worked the pre-show panel at this month's Money in the Bank pay-per-view.
- Randy Orton was held off this week's episode of WWE Monday Night Raw due to the injury suffered at last week's Smackdown taping in Providence, Rhode Island. He also wasn't used at next week's Raw taping in Laredo, Texas. While Orton downplayed the injury, dot com noted he suffered a cervical strain and cervical neuropraxia. There are some who believe he actually suffered a head injury, possibly even a concussion as a result of Alberto Del Rio's errant kick. There is also talk the injury is kayfabe and being used as an opportunity to give Orton some time off television before a potential "cash in" attempt at SummerSlam. We cannot confirm that as to being the case as of press time.
- John Layfield was notably absent from commentary on next week's Monday Night Raw, with the two-man booth of Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole being used. Below is a photo of Lawler at announce:
- Jim Ross checked in with a new blog entry on his official website at this link.
- WWE developmental diva Brittany Fetkin dislocated her kneecap while training on Tuesday.
- Matt Striker announced on Twitter he's involved with the New York Wolves minor league hockey team.
- Brodus Clay & Tensai beat The Prime Time Players in a dark match prior to the July 29th WWE Raw taping in Laredo, Texas.
- There has been a lot of speculation regarding the status of Kassius Ohno and whether or not he's on his way out of WWE before getting called up from developmental. We're told the rampant rumors and doubts about his status have "only added to his frustration" about not getting called up. We are able to confirm that due to frustration, his attitude has been pessimistic and weight training sessions have not been a priority to him.
Ohno's physique has never been his strong suit but there have been times he's been pulled aside and asked to focus more on weight training. We're told these type of suggestions usually end up offending him.
Kassius has been on the short list to get called up to the main roster several times but we're told every time he's been "tested with his attitude and commitment," he's failed the test. While I've been careful to push back on everyone that questions the stability of TNA Wrestling, the word going around in NXT is that it may not be the option it once was for workers that do not make it in developmental.
- We often get questions about Ahmed Johnson. The former WWE Intercontinental Champion resurfaced in a new interview at this link. In it, Johnson didn't have kind words for Jeff Jarrett and talked racism in wrestling.
- The New York Daily News interviewed The Ultimate Warrior to discuss his involvement in WWE 2K14. Below is an excerpt:
NEWS: Have you played the video game? What do you think?
WARRIOR: Earlier. They turned it on, and my daughter played it a little bit. I don’t play the video games. Well, I did. I played, but I got my rear end kicked. But I don’t regularly play the games, no.
NEWS: Is there any special significance to seeing yourself in the video game?
WARRIOR: It doesn’t mean to me what you think it does. It doesn’t mean that to me. I can’t look at it and just be like it’s so simple that it’s cool. It makes me think about my life, it makes me think about those times, it makes me think about what kind of human being I was.
NEWS: Do you keep up with the WWE? Any current faves on the roster?
WARRIOR: I know some of the characters, but I don’t watch it. I like all the guys. I guess because I don’t know anybody, I like them all.
You would think maybe I would go for a Ryback guy. He’s impressive. He’s a monster of a guy. I don’t go against him, but I’m indifferent. I know a little about CM Punk, in that he does his own thing. I’m inspired by people who do that in their own life. That they just do their own thing no matter what the consequences are.
Click here to read the piece in its entirety.
- Former WWE developmental talent Brian McGhee, 29, will be charged with murder after allegedly stabbing a woman multiple times at an apartment complex in Tampa on Wednesday night. She died at the scene as a result of her injuries. Her identity is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. McGhee's vehicle was spotted in Tampa and Hillsborough deputies, the Florida Highway Patrol and the Tampa Police Department were led on a high speed chase that ended when his vehicle crashed. McGhee was transported to St.Joseph's Hospital in Tampa for treatment. He'll be charged with first-degree murder when released. Nearly 30 minutes after the stabbing was reported, McGhee made a series of disturbing updates to his Facebook page. He also updated his profile picture, showing a cut arm with a bloody wound. McGhee, whose WWE developmental contract ended in 2012, worked as Donovan Ruddick and D.T. Porter. The Tampa Tribune has more at this link. His archived WWE developmental profile is available at this link.
- Randy Orton is medically cleared and competed at this week's Smackdown taping in Corpus Christi, Texas. There had been questions about his status after he wasn't used on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw or next week's episode that was taped Tuesday night in Laredo, Texas. He was advertised for both shows. After last week's Smackdown taping in Providence, Rhode Island, dot com reported he suffered a cervical strain and cervical neuropraxia. There was also a belief the injury was kayfabe to give him time off television.
- Another note coming out of this week's WWE TVs is the company is re-starting on Christian as a top babyface. Many had wondered how WWE would book the former World Heavyweight Champion after several months off due to injury. Brooks Oglesby has complete taping results available at this link.
- Scott Hall has moved out of Diamond Dallas Page's "Accountability Crib" after five months and is moving to an apartment in Atlanta with his son Cody. Jake Roberts will remain a resident as the Halls will be within walking distance. Hall recorded a podcast with Steve Austin that is now available at this link.
- Splash is reporting that Stacy Keibler is in talks with WWE to return to the company. According to their report, the company wants to pair her with Daniel Bryan. The report comes after Keibler telling Sam Roberts in a new video interview she has no desire to return to the WWE travel schedule.
- The Wyatt Family duo of Luke Harper and Erick Rowan will make their in-ring WWE debut against Brodus Clay & Tensai on this week's episode of Smackdown. Brooks Oglesby has full taping results available at this link.
- Jerry Lawler thought Tuesday's Monday Night Raw taping was in Dallas and not Laredo and actually drove there instead. WWE booked him a flight from Dallas to Laredo so he was able to make it to television on time. Michael Cole Tweeted, "@JerryLawler drove 4 hours north to go 7 hours south but he made it to Laredo for #raw."
- To update an earlier item regarding the health of Rey Mysterio's mother, Rey says she is "making a full recovery." The following is from his verified Twitter account:
- Dave Meltzer and company are reporting World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio broke a rib in his match against Sheamus on this week's Monday Night Raw. Del Rio is working through the injury.
- Former WWE developmental worker Brian McGhee, 29, was booked into the Pasco County Jail Thursday morning after being treated at a Tampa hospital for injuries received in a car crash when fleeing from deputies late Wednesday. As we reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, McGhee allegedly stabbed a woman now identified as 25-year-old Bianca McGaughey at an apartment complex in Tampa on Wednesday night. She died at the scene as a result of her injuries. Nearly 30 minutes after the stabbing was reported, McGhee made a series of disturbing updates to his Facebook page. He also updated his profile picture, showing a cut arm (or possibly leg) with a bloody wound. Police were called the apartment complex around 8:30 PM Wednesday where they found the victim, who had been stabbed multiple times in the neck and torso, lying on a sidewalk. McGhee’s vehicle was spotted in Tampa and Hillsborough deputies, the Florida Highway Patrol and the Tampa Police Department were led on a high speed chase that ended when his vehicle crashed. When McGhee refused to respond to commands to place his hands in the air following the crash, law enforcement officers let a police dog inside the vehicle. The Associated Press has an article posted at this link. Information from that report was used in this story. WWE is not offering any comment.
- Which Superstars need a tan? Find out in the latest episode of WWE Inbox that is online at this link.
- Mark Henry announced last week that he signed a new 3-year contract with WWE while doing an interview with Peter Rosenberg on Hot 97.
Prior to announcing the deal, Henry was reportedly mulling over his options as WWE was hopeful he would re-sign. We're told by sources close to Henry that he saw the WWE deal as a "sure thing," which ultimately made his decision to secure his financial future for the next few years.
The offer that Henry accepted was actually sent to him two weeks before he agreed to it and when he made the announcement last Thursday, he had not put pen to paper and actually signed the deal. That was considered a mere formality and it should be signed, sealed and delivered as of this writing.
There was some internal talk within TNA Wrestling about making a play for Henry should he become available but obviously with a new deal being signed, that is no longer the case.
- Christian will challenge Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam next month. The match was setup at the Smackdown taping on Thursday night. The episode will air next Friday, August 2, 2013. You can read full taping results at this link. We reported earlier on Thursday here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com that WWE had plans to push Christian as a top babyface.
- Booker T was honored prior to Thursday's WWE Smackdown taping in his hometown of Houston, Texas. His wife Sharmell, local politicians and students from his wrestling school joined more than 100 fans in honoring the WWE Hall of Famer outside of the Toyota Center. Micael Cole hosted the 15-minute ceremony that saw the City of Houston declare July 25, 2013 Booker T Day.
- Erick Rowan & Luke Harper of The Wyatt Family beat Brodus Clay & Tensai in a dark match prior to Thursday night's Smackdown taping. Bray Wyatt cut a promo after the match. He said this was a message to all those boys that like to fancy themselves as monsters because soon there will be none left.
- After this week's Smackdown was filmed, World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio beat Dolph Ziggler in a street fight. The match saw Del Rio use a steel chair to capture the win.
- There were some commentary changes at Thursday night's Smackdown taping. JBL and Josh Mathews called the July 31st episode of WWE Main Event while Michael Cole and Alex Riley called the August 2nd episode of Smackdown.
- CM Punk's line on Monday Night Raw where he called Brock Lesnar a former UFC heavyweight champion was edited out of international airings of the show.
- The WWE Studios production, Leprechaun: Origins, is close to wrapping. Hornswoggle, who stars in the film, posted the following on Twitter:
- Former WWE star MVP was backstage at Thursday night's Smackdown taping in Houston, Texas. MVP still had a patch over his right eye. Below is a photo he Tweeted with Brooklyn Brawler:
- The local FOX affiliate out of Laredo, Texas is reporting that one person was hospitalized following a fight in the crowd at this week's WWE Monday Night Raw taping on Tuesday from the Laredo Energy Arena. According to the report, citing police, the fight began when a child walked in front of a family and "stepped on them several times." The father of the family asked the parents of the child to "control the child," which provoked a confrontation that got physical. Soon after the victim was initially struck, two other family members allegedly joined in assaulting the victim. The victim, unidentified in the report, was left unconscious and was transported to the hospital by paramedics. At this time no arrests have been made as the victim has not filed formal charges.
- A Twitter follower asked Maria Kanellis if she thought that Eva Marie was WWE's attempt to replace her since she "rejected their offer." Maria, corrected the follower, with the following response:
Maria announced earlier this month that The Bella Twins blocked her attempt at a WWE comeback.
- Wrestling News World reader Brandon van Reenen sent word that WWE is no longer advertising Big Show for next week's live tour of South Africa. We reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com that Big Show's return to WWE was delayed due to injury concerns.
- Wrestling News World writer CJ Blaze sent word that WWE will run a live event in Springfield, Illinois on Sunday, September 22, 2013. Tickets go on sale on Saturday.
- Due to this week's episode of Smackdown being taped on Wednesday night, the show did not air in international markets. WWE aired a show that featured clips from previous episodes.
- Former WWE developmental worker Brian McGhee was denied bail on Friday after Judge Walter Heinrich detailed the case against him. McGhee is accused of stabbing 25-year-old Bianca McGaughey multiple times outside her apartment in Tampa, Florida on Wednesday, killing her. The Associated Pressreports that Judge Heinrick told McGhee there appears to be a "very strong case" against him. He said three witnesses identified McGhee as the victim's attacker and that the former wrestler admitted to killing a woman to another witness. McGhee was arrested after fleeing from police.
- James Storm was shaken up at Friday night's TNA live event in Danville, Illinois. According to eyewitness accounts, Storm was injured during a TNA Tag Team Championship match while tagging with Gunner against Garett Bischoff and Wes Briscoe.
After suffering the apparent back injury, Storm immediately tagged out and rolled to the outside and Gunner had to "go-home alone." A stretcher was brought out but Storm was able to make it to the back with help from medical staff in the building.
- TNA Wrestling posted an "Inside Impact" clip with new TNA Champion Chris Sabin. You can watch now at this link.
- TNA Champion Chris Sabin, Garett Bischoff, Jay Bradley, Gail Kim, Brooke Tessmacher and Wes Brisco were pulled from Saturday night's TNA live event in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. TNA road agent Pat Kenney opened the show by making the announcement and offering refunds to ticket holders.
The reason the aforementioned talent was pulled was due to them not having active licenses to perform in the state of Missouri. To perform in the state, workers must have active licenses with the Missouri State Athletic Commission. The talent remaining all had active licenses to perform as "wrestling contestants."
- Below is some Twitter reaction from Saturday night's TNA live event in Cape Girardeau, Missouri which saw only eight workers compete in five matches due to licensing issues with the State Athletic Commission:
- We reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com that James Storm was shaken up at Friday night's TNA live event in Danville, Illinois. Storm ended up being OK and Tweeted the following before Saturday night's show in Missouri:
It's a good thing Storm was able to work Saturday night in Cape Girardeau as he was 1 of only 8 workers allowed to work the show due to licensing issues with the Missouri State Athletic Commission. The show was relegated to 5 matches with the aforementioned 8 workers.
- Eric Bischoff took to Twitter to recap the week and address the departure of Bruce Prichard from TNA Wrestling. The following is from EB's verified Twitter account:
While it's unclear what Bischoff meant in stating that Prichard "puts family first," we heard he rejected TNA's request to restructure his contract (See also -Another Major TNA Departure). The official statement, issued by TNA on Thursday, indicates the creative team and executive leadership will be based out of Nashville, TN.
- TNA is allowing fans to vote on the next stage in the Bound for Glory Series. From now through Monday, July 29, 2013, fans will be able to vote on the BFG Series matches that will air on the August 1st and August 8th episodes of Impact Wrestling. The choices are as follows:
Jeff Hardy vs. Mr. Anderson
Magnus vs. Samoa Joe
AJ Styles vs. Bobby Roode
Joseph Park vs. Hernandez
Austin Aries vs. Christopher Daniels
Frankie Kazarian vs. Jay Bradley
Austin Aries vs. AJ Styles
Mr. Anderson vs. Magnus
Christopher Daniels vs. Frankie Kazarian
Bobby Roode vs. Hernandez
Joseph Park vs. Jay Bradley
Samoa Joe vs. Jeff Hardy
Samoa Joe vs. Austin Aries
Jeff Hardy vs. Hernandez
Jay Bradley vs. Bobby Roode
Magnus vs. Frankie Kazarian
Mr. Anderson vs. Joseph Park
AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels
Click here for more information and the opportunity to vote now.
- Last week's Destination X episode of Impact Wrestling not only did well in terms of viewing audience but the show was well attended as well. Attendance was reported to be just under 4,000 with over 3,000 paid. Thursday's episode of Impact was taped from the same venue and it will air on Spike TV at 9/8c.
- Dr. Tom Prichard, the brother of Bruce Prichard, has a new blog entry on his official website. In it, he discusses problems with TNA Wrestling and his time in WWE developmental. Below is an excerpt:
First of all, I never worked for TNA. That was my brother Bruce. I don’t care what happens to TNA. It was evident long before Bruce ever got there that their problems were (are) deep. Maybe TNA should start at the top (the very top) and look at what the real issues are. Hiring and firing people is all well and good if it produces the desired changes and makes the company more successful. I can’t speak about what’s going on behind the scenes and I never discussed that with Bruce or anyone else at TNA.
I can tell you I got a call last July with an offer to help with the developmental system in OVW. As seems to be the case with TNA, lack of follow up and professionalism was indeed the case as I didn’t go to Louisville. Why? Never got a straight answer or courtesy call explaining why a representative of the company called and initiated talks about going to OVW as a trainer, ask what I would want to go and then promise an answer “by Monday.” Monday has yet to come…
It’s a shame when a talented roster can’t get a straight answer or get paid on time. Who’s to blame? All I know is if no one can get a straight answer at WWE they go to Vince McMahon. At this time, Vince has the last word and accepts responsibility. Did Bruce screw up or make bad decisions? Don’t know. I wasn’t there. But I do know enough people in TNA who enlightened me on the dealings they’ve had with upper management (long before Bruce ever entered the picture) and the song remains the same…
I’m also not going to defend my record or go into detail about my time as head coach of FCW. Look at the roster today and you’ll see who came out of Tampa during that time frame.
I will say this; Those who’ve criticized and talked about what I did as far as training have NO CLUE unless they were in my class. Those who were there know, and I believe they understood what I was doing and why. Everyone is entitled to their opinions. Including me. And I know we had a damn good program and produced some damn good talent. Look them up…
I am happy that the new Performance Center is now up and running. The hard part for some people to believe is that I really do want the WWE developmental system to thrive and produce quality talent. I have no ill will toward anyone coaching or training there. You can speculate all day long as to what happened and why. I’ve covered it in blogs and interviews many times. Life goes on.
Get over it. I did.
Click here to read the blog in its entirety.
- With recent talk surrounding Sting entertaining a possible run in WWE, we're told his contract with TNA Wrestling is up after Bound for Glory next fall. According to a source, his deal expires in November, upon which point he would be able to negotiate with WWE if he is indeed interested.
- TNA executives Andy Barton, Dean Broadhead and Jeff Jarrett were at last week's Destination X/Impact Wrestling taping in Louisville, Kentucky. Dixie Carter held a meeting with the roster to talk about the cuts and wanted to alleviate any panic and/or rumors. One of things Carter said was that the cuts were being done for the long-term future of the company.
- SoCal Val hosts another episode of "The Hot-O-Meter" with Bobby Roode at this link.
- Christopher Daniels will be hosting one of the radio stations in the video game "Saints Row IV." Click here for more.
- “Big John” Gaburick has received very high marks for his work backstage in TNA Wrestling so far. Gaburick really "stepped up" in place of the departed Bruce Prichard at last week's Destination X/Impact Wrestling tapings in Louisville, Kentucky.
- Jesse Sorensen announced on Twitter on Tuesday that he's been released from TNA Impact Wrestling.
Sorensen hasn't competed since breaking his neck in a match at TNA Against All Odds in February 2012. The injury was diagnosed as a C1 vertebrae fracture with spinal cord edema and caused him to temporarily lose movement in his arms and legs.
The injury occurred after taking a knee to the back of the neck by Zema Ion. Sorensen admitted earlier this year the injury strained their friendship but they have since reconciled.
While Sorensen has been out of the ring, the company had him working in production to keep him on the payroll.
- TNA Wrestling posted a hot photo of Velvet Sky on Facebook. You can view it at this link.
- TNA Champion Chris Sabin, Rampage Jackson and Eric Young join JB and Christy Hemme in a new Impact Wrestling podcast online at this link.
- Eric Bischoff Tweeted the following about TNA Wrestling releasing Jesse Sorensen:
- Recently released talent Jesse Sorensen is currently running an GoFundMe campaign to support his planned appearance at the Hurricane Bay bodybuilding show in Tampa, Florida. Below is the blurb from the campaign page:
My name is Jessy Sorensen(Jesse Sorensen) I am a former professional wrestler for TNA Impact Wrestling seen every thursday night on SpikeTV. On Feb.12th 2012 during a live match on pay per view vs Zema Ion I suffered a sever neck injury sustaining a broke C-1 vertebrae & herniated C-5 & C-6. After a long recovery process & being promised by the President of TNA Impact Wrestling TNA Dixie Carter I would always have a job with her company, I recently was released from my current contract & shown that those promises were false. During my time away from the ring I decided to pursue bodybuilding & have been prepping for the Hurricane Bay bodybuilding show in Tampa, FL on Oct.5th,2013 but now due to my recent released I will have to drop out of my show. A friend of mine told me about this site and if anyone would like to help and contribute I would be so grateful and appreciate any donations. Thanks and hopefully I can find something I love just as much as I did Wrestling.
Click here to view the campaign page.
- TNA Wrestling announced on Wednesday their next "One Night Only" pay-per-view will be TNA 10 Reunion and it will premiere on Friday, August 2, 2013. Below is the match lineup for the show from ImpactWrestling.com:
TNA 10 REUNION MATCH LINEUP
- Four-Way X Division Elimination Match: Sonjay Dutt vs. Kazarian vs. Petey Williams vs. Kenny King
- Knockouts Match: Velvet Sky vs. Gail Kim
- Gauntlet Match: Matt Morgan, Joseph Park, Shark Boy, Johnny Devine, Cassidy Reily, Chase Stevens, ODB, Johnny Swinger, Jessie Godderz, and Mr. Anderson
- Tag Team Match: Team 3D vs. The Latin American Xchange
- "The Charismatic Enigma" Jeff Hardy vs. Austin Aries
- "Cowboy" James Storm vs. Bobby Rode
- Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle vs. "The Samoan Submission Machine" Samoa Joe
You can watch a video preview at this link.
The show was taped back in March as we have full taping results available at the link below:
- Hulk Hogan is doing another "Hulk Hogan Uncensored" event, similar to what he did in New York City over Wrestlemania 29 weekend. This time, the show will be held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on August 23rd at the Fax Expo event. Eric Bischoff will join Hogan and David Penzer will moderate a fan Q&A.
- Jesse Sorensen wrote the following on Facebook:
Although I am very appreciative of the time of small fame I was given. I have realized that what's important in life isn't being a "superstar" or being famous. It's about having Real friends & family that support you no matter what you've been thru & care about you no matter what you do in life. Thank you to every one of y'all that support me. I'm always going to be that small town kid that was raised right & still believe that someone's word is their bond. I look very forward to moving on with positivity & look forward to seeing what life brings my way.
- Jesse Sorensen is backing off claims that Dixie Carter made false promises to him regarding his employment with TNA Wrestling.
As we reported here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com, the comments were made on a GoFundMe page to help pay for Sorensen to enter the Hurricane Bay bodybuilding show in Tampa, Florida in October. Sorensen claims the page was not setup by him but by a concerned friend. The following is from Sorensen's verified Twitter account:
The campaign, located here, has raised $610.
- TNA President Dixie Carter issued a statement on Thursday, giving an explanation behind the timeframe for the #AskDixie Twitter Q&A and addressing the company's recent releases. You can read the letter in its entirety below:
In the 11+ years that I have been with TNA, I am still amazed by the passion of pro wrestling fans. That passion – both positive and negative – is remarkable and something that all of us at TNA values.
With that said, I asked for questions from you like I have done many times in the past, but I didn’t provide a timeframe by which I would answer you. I know I have frustrated you all, and I apologize. Beginning next week, each Thursday, I will answer legitimate questions from you on a weekly basis. I will not, however, address outrageous or hurtful questions/posts.
I also wanted to take this opportunity to provide perspective from inside TNA – where we stand and where, with support from our current and future fans around the globe, we are going. What is being shared with you now is what was shared with the IMPACT roster before our phenomenal Destination X show from Louisville, KY last week.
This has been a big year for TNA. We took IMPACT LIVE on the road, exactly where it needs to be – where you’ve asked us to be – in your backyard. We also changed our Pay-Per-View schedule, shifting from 12 to four live Pay-Per-View events each year, in order to increase the value of these events for you. To grow TNA, these are moves that needed to be made. And, part of changes like this, includes structural changes within TNA to align with this new business model.
Many of your comments and questions reference our recent roster changes. The relationship that fans have with wrestlers is unique and one of the many great aspects of the wrestling business. And, for this reason, releasing talent is never easy – not for you and not for us. But, bringing in fresh faces and the best wrestling talent in the world is what you expect, and what TNA will always strive to deliver. Recently, we have brought back some talent favorites (Sonjay Dutt, Petey Williams and Homicide), and you will continue to see this and new talent that we are excited to introduce you to in the coming months.
TNA has always been, and will continue to be, a place where you can interact with the superstars, whether in person at a live show or via social channels, like Twitter and Facebook. We are constantly exploring new and interesting ways to take this interaction to another level, and you will see this unfold in the coming months. I appreciate each of you taking the time to share your thoughts, opinions and ideas. Your input and feedback helps us create a better product. I hope you will join us when IMPACT LIVE comes to your area.
Click here to read the letter in its entirety.
- A new episode of "Outside the Ring" features The Bella Twins. You can watch it at this link.
- If you did not catch this week's Impact Wrestling, results can be found here, then you missed Manik being crowned the new X-Division Champion. He beat Sonjay Dutt and Greg Marasciulo in an Ultimate X Match.
- TNA Hardcore Justice will be on Spike TV as a free pay-per-view style show on August 15th. The main event was confirmed on this week's Impact Wrestling.
Steel Cage Match for the TNA World Title - Aces & 8s and Main Event Mafia are banned from ringside
Bully Ray vs. Chris Sabin (C)
- Richard Gray posted an article earlier this week about TNA Wrestling executives backstage as well as a meeting Dixie Carter, TNA President, had with the talent roster. I have learned more about these meetings that happened last week before the Impact Wrestling Destination X show.
I have been informed that there were in fact 4 meetings that day with the talent roster. One was with Dixie Carter, as mentioned, but the others were with attorneys and office personal. Jeff Jarrett was in one of these meetings. The meetings ranged from several topics, but I was told that it was, "Serious stuff."
The company is really going through a lot of changes from the talent roster to the business structure and format.
One meeting that took place dealt with the relationship between the wrestlers and the fans in attendance. There have been a few instances this past year between superstars and fans. One situation was when CM Punkpunched a fan on WWE Raw while the other event was where Bully Rayverbally lashed out on a fan. TNA Wrestling doesn't have an obligation to protect the wrestlers. Remember, the wrestlers are independent contractors. So, if a fan would get hurt, there would be absolutely no way to cover the wrestler who would have done so. Have you noticed that Aces & 8s came through the entrance stage on these last two shows?
The other clear rule that was told was the fact that wrestlers can no longer hit the steel guard rail in front of the fans. If you noticed, last week's Impact Wrestling and this week's Impact Wrestling, no wrestler hit the steel guard rail during a match. Simply put, they are no longer able to. Again, they would have no protection in case of a fan gets hurt. If a superstar purposely makes his opponent hit the steel railing, they would be fined. It would be 1/2 their pay for that night.
I was also told that there are more changes coming within the company. It's all about restructuring the production of the shows, to the fans, to the business format.
- For those that have asked where Taz was the past two weeks on Impact Wrestling, he had the taping off. As you saw on television, Mike Tenay and Jeremy Borash had the call.
- As we noted previously, last week's Destination X/Impact Wrestling taping saw several of the company's executives backstage including Dean Broadhead, Andy Barton and Jeff Jarrett. Despite some reporting the contrary, things were orderly and quite calm. Alex reported details on four separate backstage meetings that took place at this link.
- Next week's episode of Impact Wrestling, which will take place from Wichita Falls, Texas, will feature TNA Champion Chris Sabin vs. TNA X Division Champion Manik. We'll have full coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- TNA Knockouts Champion Mickie James talks about her match on Impact Wrestling against Gail Kim at this link.
- Below are the updated standings for the Bound for Glory Series following this week's episode of Impact Wrestling:
Magnus - 49 points
Samoa Joe - 26 points
AJ Styles - 22 points
Christopher Daniels - 21 points
Jeff Hardy - 17 points
Austin Aries - 14 points
Mr. Anderson - 14 points
Hernandez - 7 points
Kazarian - 0 points
Jay Bradley - 0 points
Bobby Roode - 0 points
Joseph Park - -10 points
TNA has more here at ImpactWrestling.com.
- Crimson issued a press release stating that he has a torn Meniscus in his right knee and will need surgery to repair it. The former TNA star is accepting independent bookings through Theresa Stach with The M3 Agency at theresa@theM3agency.com.
- TNA is promoting new summer Knockout photos here at ImpactWrestling.com.
- While this should come as a surprise to no one that's been following the business over the last decade, Dixie Carter is said to not be taking well to the roster cuts in TNA Wrestling. We're told the decision to make cuts came from the Carter family to cut the company's expenditures. TNA took on a lot of expense when they started taping television on the road and it's put Dixie's philosophy of treating the company more like family than business to the test.
We're told Bruce Prichard was uneasy about accepting a contract that paid less, so he decided to request his release. Situations like that of Prichard have a way of spreading panic throughout the locker room regardless of TNA's future as a company. This has also played a role in detracting potential free agent signings. Talent see cuts being made and contracts being restructured and it doesn't make them as likely to negotiate.
This is seen as one of the reasons why Mark Henry went ahead and locked down his new 3-year contract with WWE while it was on the table rather than "testing the waters" at a time whn TNA is making cuts.
- TNA Wrestling released a very cryptic video earlier this evening on their official Youtube channel. In this video, a person is talking saying that he will reveal himself on next week's Impact Wrestling. The character goes on to say that he does "not" work for Impact or Spike TV. Make sure you check out our coverage of the show next Thursday to see who this is referring to. Below is the video:
It seems that Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler have been fan-favorites for quite a long time now, even during their respective runs as a heel. With Ziggler's recent face turn and Bryan's main event push, how much of an influence does the WWE Universe have backstage in determining the role of the the characters?
While Vince McMahon has the final say backstage, the fans ultimately have the final say. How they react, or don't react, determines how workers are booked. Let me me explain. WWE planned to push Steve Austin under the very successful Austin 3:16 gimmick as a heel yet it was so over-the-top and entertaining, the audience turned him babyface. That's an example of a success. An example of a failure would be that of Lord Tensai. WWE tried to bring him back as a top heel. After making some tweaks, such as the Tensai name and losing the manager, it didn't work. They ended up paring him with Brodus Clay and he's found a gimmick that works. The "monster heel" didn't work but the mid-card comedy babyface did. The fans ultimately have the final say. People will say well what about John Cena? I can see the comments now, most fans want to see him turn heel. No, most IWC fans want to see Cena turn heel. John is still a top merchandise seller and his segments are highly rated. WWE is aware of the IWC hatred, which is why they promote that "no one draws a reaction quite like John Cena," but ultimately the audience has the final say.
Regarding the talent that was pulled from the TNA show in Missouri: Were the individual talent at fault for not having licenses to perform, or was it a colossal screw-up on the part of TNA management?
For those that missed it over the weekend, TNA ran a show in Cape Girardeau, Missouri on Saturday night featuring 8 workers in 5 matches. What happened was to wrestle in the state of Missouri a worker must have an active license with the athletic commission and six workers (Chris Sabin, Garett Bischoff, Jay Bradley, Gail Kim, Brooke Tessmacher and Wes Brisco) were not actively licensed. An announcement was made prior to the show and refunds were offered but this is very embarrassing for TNA. We can all debate how much regulation there should (or shouldn't be), however, the bottom-line is TNA should be aware of all the credentials needed to run a show. Could you imagine if this would have been at the upcoming Impact tapings in St. Louis? I read on Monday that a website reported Bruce Prichard is the person to blame, which is laughable in of itself because Prichard is no longer employed in TNA. The moment his employment was terminated was that moment all of his responsibilities went out the window. That's like blaming Vince Russo for a current storyline. This problem highlights the dysfunction at the top of TNA and is very embarrassing for all involved. It's embarrassing for the brand and the workers because it makes TNA look like they do not know what they are doing.
With Tara (formerly known as Victoria) departing TNA, what is the chance she comes back to WWE?
There is always a chance in this business and Tara is already teasing her next move. Traditionally, WWE doesn't have anything for Divas over 40 (she's 42) but I think most will agree that age is just a number to Tara. We'll continue to follow the situation but until then, those in Chicago can support her by eating at The Squared Circle.
Overall I thought TNA's Destination X show was solid with the X Division being shown off well. The surprise for me was the TNA title match. I have been a fan of Bully Ray's heel work since his switch and find him to be a solid performer. Chris Sabin is also a very solid worker and shows why he is/should be a TNA mainstay. Were you surprised TNA switched the title on free TV?
TNA Destination X was a good show and a step in the right direction for the company. TNA badly needed some good news following a month full of departures and they got it with Destination X. The show was well attended and gave the ratings a boost. I was surprised TNA switched the belt on free television but pleasantly surprised. While not your prototypical "top guy," Sabin is an outstanding in-ring worker and has arguably outworked everyone in the business. My biggest complaint was the way the main event was laid out. I didn't like the Aces and Eights/Main Event Mafia taking away from the finish. I understand why it was done, to highlight the feud between the two factions, but personally feel it took away from "the moment." As for my thoughts on Sabin as champion, I like it when hard work is rewarded. #HailSabin
I personally feel that SummerSlam is getting its best build in years. Last year the show did 358,000 buys, would it be out of the question to expect 400,000 this year?
WWE will "swing for the fences" with SummerSlam this year and are certainly hopeful they can reach the 400,000 buys threshold. There are similarities between SummerSlam 2012 and SummerSlam 2013 as the show last year featured CM Punk vs. John Cena & Big Show for the WWE title and Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H in the main event. This year, it's John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE title and Brock Lesnar vs. CM Punk in the main event. Can Punk outdraw Hunter? We'll see but I'm enjoying the program also involving Paul Heyman.
What happened to WWE Saturday Morning Slam?
Season 1 of WWE Saturday Morning Slam concluded in May 2013. We reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, citing a statement from WWE, the plan all along was for season 1 of the show to air from August 2012 to May 2013. Mick Foley noted on Twitter the show will return for season 2 and WWE will begin taping in the next several weeks. Foley is planned to return as the show's General Manager.
After watching Daniel Bryan over the last several weeks I'm convinced he's on an entire different level. I'm convinced he can realistically challenge John Cena for WWE's top spot. What are your thoughts?
Daniel Bryan is a star but this is nothing new to many of us in the IWC. Many (including me) have been saying Bryan could be a main eventer in WWE for the last decade. Vince McMahon continuously pushed back on the notion but after all these years, he's changed his mind. Daniel Bryan is not only proving to be the best worker in the world (surpassing my #1 ranking of Kurt Angle) but he's showing to be the best worker of a generation. Did you hear the audience at WWE Raw this week? Bryan is as over as anyone in the company and he absolutely has a realistic shot at surpassing John Cena as "the guy." Daniel Bryan is a "LeBron James type talent" and is finally getting to prove what so many have known all along.
Since WWE acknowledges the fact that Curtis Axel is the son of "Mr. Perfect" Cut Hennig, why doesn't WWE push him under the Hennig name?
Pushing Curtis Axel as Curtis Axel rather than Joe Hennig is win-win. Not only does it pay homage to his father (Curt) and grandfather (Larry the Axe) but it gives him the opportunity to define his own career. Using the Hennig name puts unrealistic expectations on Joe, not that he doesn't have a chance to "live up" but it's enough pressure already to follow in the footsteps of his family. The Michael McGillicutty name was ridiculous and I'm glad to see the change.
How do you feel about the release of Jesse Sorensen? If he hadn't been injured, would he have been top star for TNA?
Jesse Sorensen had a lot of talent but I had not seen enough to say he would (or wouldn't) be a top star. He suffered a horrible injury at TNA Against All Odds 2012, putting an immediate halt to his in-ring career. I had the opportunity to interview several TNA workers just weeks after it happened (backstage at a TNA live event) and they all told me the same thing. Everyone knows the risk when they step through the curtain. Yes, they felt horrible and yes it was unfortunate but they all understood the risk when they went through the curtain. I don't know what all "promises" were made or what TNA did (or didn't do) but I think the fact Dixie Carter found another job for Jesse and employed him 17 months after the injury is very respectable. People are absolutely destroying TNA and Dixie for cutting Sorensen loose and I'm not sure that's fair. Again, I don't know what all was said and done behind-the-scenes but this is a business and TNA did employee him for nearly a year and a half after injury.
Do you expect The Bella Twins and the real-life relationships of Brie and Daniel Bryan and Nikki and John Cena to play a part in the WWE title match at SummerSlam?
I fully expect WWE to tie-in the personal lives of The Bella Twins, Daniel Bryan and John Cena into the WWE title match at SummerSlam. The world is about to learn about their relationships in "Total Divas" and the best way for WWE to get the most out of the show is to tie-in the storylines with the pay-per-view next month. This ultimately ended up being the determining factor in going ahead with Bryan vs. Cena at SummerSlam. It's not that Bryan is "only getting pushed because of a reality show," as some have suggested. The feeling was Bryan's push was coming but SummerSlam became great timing because of "Total Divas." If WWE did not tie in the respective relationships to the match, they would be missing a huge opportunity.
Do you think the writers of Raw don't realize that their audience consists of intelligent people. How does The Shield come in and have no problems with Randy Orton, Sheamus and Daniel Bryan, but then they run into a stumbling block of The Usos and Mark Henry?
This is what happens when you "book backwards." WWE wanted to establish The Shield as a top level faction right away and they did so, not only booking them in the top of the card against main eventers but putting them over in the top of the card against main eventers. Now, as all things do, that has ended and WWE has to continue the momentum. The problem is there is nowhere to go but down after such prominent booking. The problem stems from how they were booked before and not how they are being booked now.
What are your thoughts on the booking of Damien Sandow?
Vince McMahon in particular is high up on the work of Damien Sandow and the fact he went over in the Money in the Bank ladder match tells me the company sees him as a World Heavyweight Champion in the course of the next year. They will be programming him with Cody Rhodes for now but it's seen as a way to elevate both. Sandow's time is coming.
What are your thoughts on WWE ending the brand extension?
It was time for the brand extension to end and I like how WWE slowly phased it out, rather than making a big deal out of it. The brand extension was put into place as a way to create internal competition based on the extra talent the company absorbed by acquiring WCW. Over the years the main event scene thinned out and it was impossible not to have one brand superior over the other. I don't know what that says about talent development but the brand extension ran its course. The argument that "there aren't as many opportunities" is basically a moot point with the additions of WWE NXT, WWE Superstars, WWE Main Event and WWE Saturday Morning Slam.
Where is Santino Marella?
Santino Marella is expected to return to WWE in September, as we reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com. Santino suffered a neck injury earlier this year and also opened a training academy in Toronto. You can keep up with him on our Santino Marella news page.
Why was next week's Monday Night Raw taped this Tuesday night?
WWE is heading down under for a tour of Australia this weekend and into next week. They'll also be running shows in South Africa and China before returning back to the United States for the August 5th episode of Raw from Green Bay, Wisconsin. You can track the WWE schedule at this link and we'll bring full show details. Make sure you remain informed with WWE television in our WWE Spoilers section.
When do you see Damien Sandow "cashing in" his Money in the Bank contract? Will it be a "waiting game" like Dolph Ziggler?
I am under the impression that Damien Sandow's "cash in" attempt will be more like a "waiting game" and Randy Orton's "cash in" attempt will be sooner rather than later. These are, however, my opinion and not anything I've heard about future creative plans. WWE is programming Sandow with Cody Rhodes in attempt to elevate them both, while Orton is already an established main event star. I did hear WWE doesn't want both briefcases around in the long-term, which is why people are already speculating Orton "cashes in" at SummerSlam. Creative plans are always subject to change and again, a lot of this is my opinion.
I'm a big fan of The Wyatt Family promos but I feel like they are hurt by the fact that they haven't had an official match yet. What are your thoughts?
As we reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan will make their in-ring WWE debut against Brodus Clay & Tensai on this week’s episode of Smackdown. I am very high up on The Wyatt Family and was disappointed they were not on this week's Monday Night Raw. Will that change next week? Click here for next week's Raw spoilers and here for next week's Smackdown spoilers.
I was curious if you had heard any more about the response from WWE to Colt Cabana's tryouts as a commentator?
We haven't hard anything new regarding Colt Cabana's tryout as a WWE commentator. The only thing I can tell you is he had two separate tryouts earlier this year and one of the things that intrigued the company was the work he does on the "Art of Wrestling" podcast. Obviously having CM Punk as a best friend doesn't hurt but there was genuine interest in Cabana's mic skills.
Is there any truth to Kharma and/or Sting returning to WWE?
Kharma has been teasing her "return to television" but I am not aware of anything with WWE. As for Sting, he recently put the word out that he was interested when his contract with TNA Wrestling comes up later this year but this isn't as glamorous as it sounds. Sting has thought about WWE for years now and purposely keeps his options open by working year-to-year in TNA. Negotiations cannot take place until Sting's contract with TNA expires later this year.
Why has Taz not been announcing on Impact Wrestling the past two weeks? What happened to the 3-man booth?
Taz had last week's Destination X/Impact Wrestling tapings off and is scheduled to return at next week's tapings in Wichita Falls, Texas. TNA tested out a 3-man booth with Todd Keneley but ultimately decided against it. There was talk that Keneley was there as leverage in contract negotiations [between TNA and Taz] but Taz ended up re-signing with TNA Wrestling.
Is it fair to blame John Laurinaitis, who worked as Vice President of Talent Relations for 9 years, for WWE's lack of new stars and main event talent?
I understand the criticism of John Laurinaitis but I'm not sure I agree with it. Sure, the signings under Jim Ross (when he was running Talent) saw more success but not every talent is going to turn out to be Steve Austin or The Rock. I remember Vince McMahon once laughed off an investor [on a conference call] that questioned whether or not the company had the next Rock in developmental. To use a sports analogy, it's like trying to predict the next Michael Jordan or LeBron James. Sometimes there are periods of time that just see better talent. I'll use one more sports analogy. Take a look at the 2000 NBA Draft and compare it to the draft three years later in 2003. People always want someone to blame. They blame who is running talent, they blame the trainers and a key favorite is to blame the writers. Sometimes it's not so easy to pinpoint blame and if the problem were that easy it would be resolved quickly.