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, June 28, 2014 to Friday, July 4, 2014 as well as all five Ask WNW segments from the week. Use this newsletter as your own personal tool to catch up on any of the news that you may have missed during the week. Below is a table of contents:
Note From Richard: For those that have asked, the Newsletter is organized with the news posted on Saturday at the top with the most recent stories at the bottom. We have it organized this way so you can read the news in the order in which it happened. Thanks for your support!
- Mick Foley was recently interviewed by For The Win of USA Today, and spoke about his career in comedy, his current health, and a number of wrestling-related topics. He talks how he engages with the current WWE product, discusses his favorite wrestlers in WWE, and names Steve Austin vs. Hulk Hogan, CM Punk vs. Steve Austin, and Hogan vs. himself as dream WrestleMania matches. He continues in the following excerpt:
Speaking of CM Punk, you two have a history. Do you think he’ll come back?
There’s no telling. He marches to the beat of his own drummer. I will say he doesn’t respond to me. I used to be able to reach out to him. I think he’s just cut off all communication with people from the business, and if he comes back, it’ll be on his own terms, and I respect that.
Click here to read the full interview.
- Recently released WWE star Brodus Clay appeared on VOC Nation to discuss his run with the company. In it, he said the Funkasaurus gimmick was his favorite and he put over wrestling fans and social media. Clay said WWE's use of the term "Superstars" over "wrestlers" has to do with a "tax break." You can check out the interview in its entirety at this link.
- Yahoo! Sports has a new article online on Boston Red Sox cater A.J. Pierzynski riling up fans like a heel in professional wrestling. Click here to read it. Thanks to WNW reader Jake for sending us the link.
- It's the weekend and that can only mean one thing; it's time for The JBL & Cole Show. The trap is set as you can watch at this link.
- Tempers run wild in the latest episode of Smackdown Fallout that you can watch at this link.
- We're able to confirm the SummerSlam promotional poster used in the Blu-Ray listing on Amazon.com was indeed legitimate. WWE sent out an email blast, teasing John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar for SummerSlam. Below is a screen shot:
WWE SummerSlam 2014 will take place Sunday, August 17, 2014 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. We'll have complete live coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- Bo Dallas recently married 8-time World Arm Wrestling Champion and former NXT Diva Sarah Bäckman. The news was revealed via the following photo on Instagram:
Bäckman, who signed her WWE developmental contract last November, requested and was granted her release from the company.
Congratulations to the happy couple!
- The WWE Network will air a one hour special of the "top ten most memorable Vickie Guerrero moments" on Tuesday night at 9 PM ET/8 PM CT. Below is the synopsis for the show:
EXCUSE ME! - A COUGAR COUNTDOWN 6/30/14 EXCUSE ME! A Cougar Countdown takes us through the top ten most memorable Vickie Guerrero Moments. TV-PG
- Tokyo Sports is reporting that KENTA is expected to sign with WWE at the July 12, 2014 live event in Osaka, Japan. I can't confirm that but he's been believed to be headed to WWE for quite some time now. He's not part of the recent hiring freeze because he was hired before the recent cutbacks but waiting due to work visa issues.
- It certainly looks like Bad News Barrett could be out of the Money in the Bank ladder match on Sunday as he's not featured in images the company posted on Facebook. Barrett injured his shoulder at last Tuesday's Smackdown taping.
- Stephanie McMahon told the Boston Herald that WWE was just getting warmed up. You can read the article with her quotes at this link.
- Chris Jericho Tweeted the following:
I haven't heard anything about Jericho returning to WWE at Money in the Bank and he's likely joking. The status of Wade Barrett, however, is unknown as he suffered a shoulder injury at last week's Smackdown taping.
June 29, 2014 7:24 PM EDT Update: Jericho Tweeted the following 17 minutes ago:
- Wrestling News World reader Daniel Hill sent word that it was stated at Sunday's Progress Wrestling show in London, England that Prince Devitt would work his final match before heading to the United States. The show's promoter, Jim Smallman, made the announcement and Devitt acknowledged it.
Below is Daniel's report from Twitter:
Below is a photo of Smallman with Devitt:
It's widely believed that Devitt is headed to WWE. A key sticking point has been his reluctance to spend a lot of time at the WWE Performance Center. We're told he was given assurances as to how long he would be down there before he signed.
- Renee Young announced on the Money in the Bank Kickoff that Wade Barrett will not participate in the Money in the Bank ladder match on Sunday night due to the shoulder injured that he suffered at last week's Smackdown taping.
- For those that missed our Money in the Bank Kickoff coverage, Daniel Bryan announced he doesn't know when he'll be cleared to return to the ring. He confirmed what we've been reporting in that the strength in his arm has not returned. Bryan said they're talking about doing another surgery but he promised to be back. You can read our complete recap at this link.
Bryan underwent his first surgery on May 15, 2014 under Dr. Joseph Maroon. The procedure performed was a cervical foraminotomy to decompress the nerve root. We went into more detail about what it entailed at this link.
I covered all of the events following Bryan's title win at Wrestlemania XXX leading up to him being stripped of the title at this link.
Below is a photo I Tweeted from the Money in the Bank Kickoff:
- The script for the WWE Money in the Bank Kickoff has leaked online. We obtained photos -- that were taken by PWTorch.com Specialist Benjamin Tucker --- and shared them on Twitter. You can view them below:
Our WWE Money in the Bank live coverage is underway. Click here to follow along.
WWE Money in the Bank news and notes…
- The Usos retained the WWE Tag Team Championship against Luke Harper & Erick Rowan in the opening match. The bout was outstanding.
- Paige retained the WWE Divas Championship against Naomi. Like the opener, the match was well done. They had a hard task as the come down to aforementioned hot opener.
- Adam Rose beat Damien Sandow in an impromptu match in which Sandow was dressed as Paul Revere. I Tweeted a photo:
- The Daily Show'sJon Stewart was sitting at ringside with his son, next to ESPN's Robert Flores. Below is a photo:
- 15,652 was the announced attendance, a legitimate sellout from the TD Garden in Boston, MA.
- Seth Rollins won the Money in the Bank ladder match, capturing the briefcase with the shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. The match saw Dean Ambrose come back out after he had been "sent off," but Kane came out to neutralize him. Kane tombstoned Ambrose and held the ladder for Rollins so he could grab it.
Here's a photo of Rollins after he captured the briefcase:
After the match, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon came out and celebrated with Rollins at the top of the ramp.
WWE Money in the Bank Results
- I asked readers after Rusev's victory over Big E at Sunday's WWE Money in the Bank pay-per-view if they felt that Rusev has worked. After all, WWE has pushed him for months and while he hasn't received a rocket pack, he's been protected.
Below are the responses:
- In addition to Jon Stewart (from The Daily Show/Comedy Central) and Robert Flores (from SportsCenter/ESPN), Josh McDaniels, the offensive coordinator for the NFL's New England Patriots, was in attendance at WWE's Money in the Bank pay-per-view on Sunday.
Both Stewart and Flores were shown on-camera, while McDaniels was mentioned. JBL Tweeted a photo from backstage with Stewart:
- Randy Orton suffered a laceration on top of his head during the ladder match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Sunday night's Money in the Bank pay-per-view. The spot was replayed on the pay-per-view broadcast and Orton received medical attention at ringside.
Below is a photo of Orton after the injury, which obviously wasn't significant enough to take him out of the match:
Click here for complete WWE Money in the Bank results.
- John Cena won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the ladder match main event at Money in the Bank on Sunday. The finish saw Cena hit Attitude Adjustments on Kane and Randy Orton. After hitting his finisher, he climbed to the top of the ladder and grabbed both belts.
Orton was covered in blood as he was busted open the hardway after taking a ladder to the top of his head.
The reign is Cena's 15th world title reign.
- After being busted open at WWE Money in the Bank, Randy Orton received 12 staples in his head. He posted a photo of his staples to his Twitter account:
- WWE has uploaded the 2014 Money in the Bank Kickoff in its entirety, available at this link.
- WWE covered Randy Orton's injury that occurred during the ladder match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Money in the Bank. As we reported here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com, Orton suffered a laceration on the top of his head after getting hit by a ladder. The spot was replayed on the pay-per-view broadcast.
Brooks Oglesby covered the graphic photo that Orton Tweeted. The laceration took 12 staples to close.
Click here for coverage by dot com.
- Wrestling News World reader Hiroaki Kawafuji sent word that WWE Japan has announced that KENTA will sign his WWE contract at the July 12, 2014 live event in Osaka, Japan. This is the same news reported by Tokyo Sports over the weekend.
KENTA has long been rumored to be WWE bound since visiting the WWE Performance Center earlier this year. At the time, Triple Hpaid extra attention to KENTA's workout but was leaning towards not signing him because of how he felt after getting burned by Sin Cara. However, unlike Cara, KENTA is known for his humility.
- Add Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams to the list of celebrities at WWE Money in the Bank on Sunday night. He also commented on the decision to put the WWE World Heavyweight Championship on John Cena:
- Former WWE star and founder of the Sports Legacy Institute, Chris Nowinski, was at the pay-per-view. Mick Foley's children were also there but he was not.
- Robert Flores Tweeted the following photo of Randy Orton receiving medical attention at ringside after being busted open:
- Hector Guerrero and Chavo Guerrero, Sr. are none too pleased with Vickie Guerrero and have taken to social media to voice their displeasures. The following posts are from Facebook:
- Last week's episode of WWE Smackdown did an average viewing audience of 2,966,00 viewers on SyFy. This was a significant increase from recent weeks. TV by the Numbers has complete data for all of Friday at this link.
- The top story from Sunday's Money in the Bank pay-per-view is the status of Daniel Bryan. His promo on the Kickoff was legitimate as he has not regained the strength in his arm and doctors are considering a second surgery. Bryan is without a timetable for his return and will likely be out the rest of the year if that is indeed the case.
- The latest episode of WWE Warehouse is subtitled WWE's patriotic past and is online at this link.
- Men's Health has a new article online on gay celebrities that features injured WWE star Darren Young. Click here to read it.
- WWE posted the following post-match Money in the Bank interviews on their YouTube channel:
- It was revealed in the opening segment of this week's Monday Night Raw that WWE World Heavyweight Champion John Cena will be on the cover of WWE 2K15. Below is the cover:
WWE 2K15 will be released on October 28, 2014 (October 31, 2014 internationally) on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 & PlayStation 3.
- Triple H announced in the opening segment of this week's Monday Night Raw that John Cena will defend the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in a Fatal Four-Way match against Randy Orton, Kane, and Roman Reigns at Battleground on July 20th.
- Michael Cole broke the news on Monday Night Raw that Bad News Barrett will be out for a "number of months" due to his separated shoulder injury he suffered at last week's SmackDown taping. A Battle Royal to crown a new Intercontinental Champion will take place at WWE Battleground.
- AJ Lee also made her return to WWE on Monday Night Raw and beat Paige to win the WWE Divas Championship for the second time. Paige was in the ring talking about how she deserves to be champion when AJ interrupted. AJ told Paige that she's right and she proved everyone wrong. Paige said that she wasn't going to give AJ a rematch. Paige eventually agreed to it and AJ pinned her to win. There was a loud "CM Punk" chant during the segment.
- Chris Jericho made his return to WWE on Monday Night Raw. WWE announced Monday afternoon that a former WWE Champion would be returning, and they were a "cross-platform entertainer who has found numerous successes outside of the squared circle".
The Miz made his return to WWE in the same segment after filming The Marine 4. Jericho hit the Code Breaker on The Miz before The Wyatt Family came to the ring and attacked Jericho.
We know that bringing back Jericho had become more of a priority to offset the losses of CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, and Batista, even though Batista is expected back first out of the latter two.
- The Great Khali made his television return on Raw and beat Damien Sandow. Sandow was dressed as Vince McMahon. Khali has been in India to continue his service as a member of law enforcement and recently returned at a live event.
- WWE.com is reporting that Cesaro suffered an eye injury during his match with Kofi Kingston on Monday Night Raw. Below is what dot com posted:
WWE.com has confirmed that Cesaro suffered an eye injury during his match with Kofi Kingston on Raw thanks to what WWE physician Dr. Chris Amann described as a poke from Kingston’s finger that rendered the eye red and swollen. “We did some specialized testing and staining of the eye which showed he did have a scratch on the right side of the eye, which is called the sclera and not on the cornea, which is the clear part of the eye,” said Amann. “We’re going to keep his eye patched for the next 24-48 hours, use some artificial tears and re-evaluate him tomorrow prior to his match [against Dolph Ziggler on WWE Main Event].”
- The Miz, AJ Lee & Paige star in this week's Raw Fallout. AJ reflects on her second Divas Championship victory while Miz and Paige show their frustrations after Raw. The videos are embedded below:
The Miz Shows His FrustrationAJ Makes A Triumphant ReturnA Woman Of Few Words
- Vickie Guerrero used her Twitter account to respond to recent social media posts about her from Guerrero family members. The following is from her verified Twitter:
We ran the posts here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, however, Hector Guerrero has since removed his post.
As for my thoughts, this is a shame for all involved. This is a family issue that should be kept in-house. This shouldn't be available for fans and media alike and all public postings should probably be re-thought.
- Chris Jerichoreturned to WWE on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw, giving The Miz the Codebreaker and then getting beat down by The Wyatt Family. Jericho enjoyed working the Internet as he made a strong tease for Sunday's Money in the Bank pay-per-view, only to not show up. The following is from Twitter:
Jericho wasn't hidden at Raw on Monday afternoon and was actually spotted walking around backstage by several people. He's under a new part-time contract, believed to be similar to the deal Rob Van Dam worked under in his first stint back last year, a 90-day contractual agreement.
Bringing Jericho back involved certainties from both sides. One, WWE wanted to bring Jericho back to help offset recent losses at the top of the card. They've been hot on him since CM Punk walked out in January, however, Jericho wouldn't return without a firm creative plan. The beginning of that plan appears to be a program with Bray Wyatt, hence the beat down that immediately proceeded his return. Jericho, like many WWE veterans, is high up on Bray and even worked him down in NXT last year. It was a bout that Jericho himself requested.
Jericho Tweeted the following after his return to WWE:
- Wade Barrett was diagnosed with a separated shoulder after undergoing x-rays last Thursday. Once it was learned his shoulder was separated, he was pulled from all creative plans and the decision was made to strip him of the WWE Intercontinental Championship. WWE will crown a new Intercontinental Champion at Battleground in a Battle Royal featuring Cesaro, Kofi Kingston, Damien Sandow, The Great Khali and more participants to be announced. Barrett injured his shoulder at last week's Smackdown taping in Pittsburgh and is out "a number of months."
- AJ Leereturned to WWE on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw, going over Paige to win back the WWE Divas Championship.
Lee has been away from WWE since April on approved time off. There was never any heat on Lee as she was told to take as much time off as she wanted and there have been plans to reintroduce her to the WWE audience before SummerSlam. Vince McMahon views AJ as the company's top Diva and used her time off to evaluate the division. AJ spent the time off with CM Punk and the two are believed to have gotten married last month. She remained in constant contact with the WWE office but was never pressured to give updates on Punk.
Rumors swirled at the end of last month that AJ was pregnant, however, no one in WWE thought that was the case. In our latest update, we noted how AJ was in "great standing" with Vince McMahon. Not only is Vince a fan of AJ's work on-screen but he likes her as a person as well.
Regarding Lee's current booking, she was part of a double turn on this week's episode of Raw with Paige turning heel.
You can watch AJ Lee's return at this link.
- Emma was arrested on Monday afternoon in Hartford, Connecticut, we can now confirm.
According to public arrest records, available on Hartford.gov, Emma, whose real name is Tenille Dashwood, was arrested and charged with sixth degree larceny at a local Walmart. Or in other words, she was arrested for stealing at the retailer.
Emma posted bond one hour and thirteen minutes after her arrest as her arrest was listed at 1:00 PM ET and her release was 2:13 PM ET. You can view her arrest record at this link or embedded in the screen shot below:
This could spell disaster for the Australian Diva as company officials soured on her before this. We heard last week she was rarely discussed and her future was described as "questionable." She Tweeted the following in the hours after her arrest during Raw, as she was at the show:
- The Courant out of Connecticut has picked up on the arrest of Emma.
According to their report, Emma, whose real name is Tenille Dashwood, appeared in community court on Tuesday and was told to do community service, according to her lawyer Hubert Santos.
Santos said Emma's arrest was a mistake and that she was using the self-checkout machine at the Hartford Walmart on Monday afternoon when she bought about $30 of items but forgot to pay for a case for an iPod or iPad.
The Courant published the same statement that WWE released to us here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com. They noted WWE didn't say if her status as an employee had changed, although what they meant to say was her status as an independent contractor.
Click here for coverage by The Courant.
Backstage news from Monday Night Raw in Hartford, CT…
- The talk at this week's show was to use Chris Jericho as a way to prevent Bray Wyatt from getting lost in the shuffle. This was a concern following his program with John Cena and is WWE's solution. WWE has been in talks with Jericho for a return for much of this year, with multiple scenarios pitched to him. Jericho refused a request to participate in the 30-man Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at Wrestlemania XXX because he only wanted to return if there was a solid creative plan for him. Jericho doesn't mind to put an up and coming talent over but it can't be for nothing either.
- There continues to be a lot of concern regarding the health of Daniel Bryan. Many see a second surgery as an inevitability but there's nothing concrete on that. If there seemed to be a lot of uncertainty in his promo on the Money in the Bank Kickoff, it's because there's a lot of uncertainty in real life. No one knows, not even Daniel Bryan, when he'll work again. He has been removed from all creative plans and is out of plans for SummerSlam as of this writing.
- The arrest of Emma began making rounds on Monday night, with her telling people she forgot to pay for an iPad case. That's the same thing her attorney stated on Tuesday, according to reports.
- Both Rob Van Dam and Seth Rollins were said to be sore following the Money in the Bank ladder match on Sunday night. Obviously, that's to be expected.
- This week's episode of WWE Monday Night Raw did an average viewing audience of 4,332,000 viewers on the USA Network. Below is how the viewership broke down by hour:
Hour one - 4,158,000 viewers
Hour two - 4,348,000 viewers
Hour three - 4,490,000 viewers
The audience was the largest in the last couple of months. TV By the Numbers has data for the entire day available at this link.
- There was a quick turnaround on Emma's arrest as she'll complete community service and an online course and all charges will be dropped. Below is her mug shot that has surfaced online:
Emma was arrested at a Hartford, CT Walmart on Monday afternoon and charged with sixth degree larceny. Her lawyer called the arrest a mistake and confirmed she'll complete community service.
TMZadded that it was a "red iHome 'Slim Swivel' iPad Mini case ... on sale for $21.14" that Emma allegedly took from the retailer.
- WWE has released a medical update on Cesaro, noting he's been cleared to compete. The King of Swing was injured on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw in a match against Kofi Kingston, where he was poked in the eye. Cesaro was re-evaluated on Tuesday by WWE medical staff. He was said to be feeling much better other than some bruising around the eye itself.
- Deadline Hollywood is reporting that John Cena is joining the cast of The Nest, Universal’s Tina Fey-Amy Poehler comedy about two sisters who throw one last party in their parents’ soon-to-be-sold house. What's interesting about their report is that Cena is playing what could mark his first role as a villain. No other details about his character are available as of press time. Cena is being represented by ICM Partners. The Nest is set for a December 18, 2015 release. Click here for coverage on Deadline.com.
- Daniel Bryan was at Tuesday's WWE Main Event/Smackdown tapings and cut a promo in-between shows. He had his #YesMovement t-shirt and ring gear on and reassured fans he will be back, putting New Jersey over as one of the reasons why he's been successful in the wrestling business.
Below is a photo:
We have complete results from this week's episode of WWE Main Event at this link and Smackdown taping results at this link.
- After this week's Smackdown was taped, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose brawled with Randy Orton and Seth Rollins. Reigns speared both to send the crowd home happy. We have complete taping results online at this link.
- Old episodes of Saturday Night's Main Event will begin airing on WWE Network next week.
- Chris Jericho will face The Miz on next week's episode of Monday Night Raw in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
- Santino Marella is quoted in a new piece by Newsday to promote his anti-bullying appearance on Wednesday at Dylan's Candy Bar on 3rd Avenue in New York City at 3 p.m. He's grabbing a lot of attention for saying that he's "winding down."
Below is an excerpt:
"I realize I'm one of the older guys in the locker room, and I'm 5-foot-10. These young bucks are 27 years old and 250 pounds," said Marella, adding that he's interested in non-wrestling roles in WWE, including as a possible general manager on Raw or Smackdown or hosting a talk show on the WWE Network. "That way I'd be able to stay on the program and entertain people and be an even bigger part of the show . . . I'm definitely winding down."
Click here to read the piece in its entirety.
Santino opened his Battle Arts Academy pro wrestling school in Canada last year.
- Wade Barrett had shoulder surgery on Tuesday, WWE has confirmed.
The surgery was performed by Dr. Jeff Dugas in Birmingham, Alabama. The following quote is from an article published Wednesday on dot com:
“Bad News Barrett underwent a ligament reconstruction in his shoulder, as well as a distal clavicle resection, where the end of the collar bone is shaved off,” WWE physician Dr. Chris Amann said. “The operation went very well, he’s resting comfortably.”
A timetable was not reported for his return, however, it was announced on Raw that he'll be out a "number of months."
Click here for coverage on dot com.
Barrett was injured last Tuesday in Pittsburgh, PA, while working Jack Swagger in a match taped for Smackdown. As a result of the injury he was pulled from last Sunday's Money in the Bank ladder match and stripped of the Intercontinental Championship.
- We're told Paige was critiqued for two things on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw. While both things were viewed as "head scratchers," she does not have heat for either one.
First, Paige removed her jacket before entering the ring to cut her promo. This was viewed as an instinctual reaction, however, one talent is taught to avoid since it gives away that a match is imminent. Under these conditions, she was supposed to wait until after the referee hit the ring to start the impromptu match before taking it off.
The second thing mentioned to us was that Paige paused and looked to AJ Lee for help during the CM Punk chants. It wasn't the pause that drew critiques but when she looked to AJ for help that garnered her a negative reaction. One observer pointed to the fact that Vince McMahon "hates it" when talent looks lost, be it in a promo or during a match. He believes that all talent on the main roster should be able to react quickly on the fly, especially on live television.
As stated, Paige doesn't have heat for either but the critiques made it to us. There does continue to be a disconnect with Paige as to why she is appearing so inexperienced and making so many rookie mistakes. While she is a rookie in terms of being a WWE Diva, she's someone that grew up around the business, was highly successful in NXT and was called up under the assumption she was TV ready.
So far, she's been seen as far more green than company officials were anticipating.
- The latest Triple H/Michael Cole sit-down interview, kayfabe of course, is now online. Hunter discussed the returns of Chris Jericho and AJ Lee in addition to the WWE Battleground main event being announced on Raw. Cole asked Hunter the question was asked to me in Tuesday's Ask WNW. Why does Roman Reigns get an opportunity at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship? Hunter said that's what the WWE Universe wants and talked about how hungry Reigns was to win John Cena's title. Click here to watch now.
- Brandi Rhodes searches for Stardust in her latest video blog. Click here to watch it.
- WWE has released Emma just over 48 hours after her arrest for shoplifting at a Walmart in Hartford, Connecticut, Emma has been released from WWE. The company issued the following statement Wednesday afternoon on dot com:
WWE has come to terms on the release of WWE Diva Emma as of today, July 2, 2014. WWE wishes Emma the best in all her future endeavors.
News broke on Tuesday morning that Emma (whose real name is Tenille Dashwood) was arrested on Monday afternoon at a Walmart in Hartford and charged with sixth degree larceny. She was released one hour and thirteen minutes after her arrest and was backstage at this week's show, which emanated from Hartford.
WWE issued a statement, explaining that Emma was "ultimately responsible for her personal actions" but confirmed they were aware of the arrest. Emma's lawyer said on Tuesday afternoon the arrest was a mistake and that his client would complete community service.
As it turns out, Emma walked out of the Walmart having not paid for a red iHome ‘Slim Swivel’ iPad Mini case that was on sale for $21.14. Her mug shot was attached to a release issued by local police.
We knew the arrest could spell disaster for Emma as we reported on June 25, 2014 here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com that the Australian Diva was rarely discussed and her future was "questionable" at best.
- Emma, who was released earlier today following a shoplifting arrest, has been reinstated by WWE. The following announcement was made on the official WWE website:
Upon further evaluation, WWE has reinstated Tenille Dashwood (WWE Diva Emma) but will take appropriate punitive action for her violation of the law.
Click here to read the full article.
- Police were called to WWE headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut on Wednesday. According to a report by the Stamford Advocate, authorities were called when the company received a suspicious package that contained an unknown white powder.
The following statement was issued to the local publication:
"WWE received a suspicious package at its headquarters today and contacted local law enforcement to investigate," said Tara Carraro, a WWE spokeswoman. "All WWE personnel are safe, and business is being conducted as usual."
Click here for coverage by the Stamford Advocate.
- Chris Jericho discussed his surprise return to WWE on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw in his latest Talk is Jericho podcast that was published on Wednesday. In it, he discussed measures that were taken to keep his surprise return a secret. While measures were taken, Jericho's return leaked out hours before it happened, shortly after Triple H Tweeted that a WWE Champion would be returning.
Jericho explained that he flew into Boston, drove to Hartford, CT and waited until the show started before he entered the arena. Dean Malenko was his producer for his return and he met with The Miz and The WyattFamily about their segment on this week's show.
He explained there was talk at one point of doing a singles match against Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania 30 but that fell through. Jericho expressed interest about working Wyatt, however, there were already plans for his program with John Cena. As previously noted, Jericho rejected a pitch to include him in the 30-man Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
You can listen to Jericho's latest Talk is Jericho podcast at this link.
- Wednesday was described as chaos within in WWE. In addition to the embarrassing public firing and rehiring of Emma, the company dealt with a scare at their corporate headquarters where police responded due to a suspicious package that was received that contained an unknown white powder.
For those that missed our reports late Wednesday afternoon, WWE announced just over 48 hours after Emma was arrested for shoplifting at a Hartford, CT Walmart, that they had released her from her Performer's Contract. A couple of hours later, WWE announced they had reinstated her upon further evaluation. As I noted on Twitter, I'd never heard of WWE firing a talent only to re-hire them hours later.
To fully explain what happened, it should be noted morale within the company is already "super low" after the mass cuts a few weeks ago and talent still waiting for their Wrestlemania 30 payoffs. No one knows how the WWE Network is going to impact their pay-per-view bonus checks and with the company firing people again, everyone is on edge.
When dot com announced Emma's release, a lot of workers were furious. Most believed her story the incident was an accident and that she simply forgot to scan the item. True or not, the majority of the roster felt like WWE is just looking to fire people right now to cut costs and will use any excuse they can find.
So you had talent that was already on edge and now feeling like even the tiniest slip could result in termination, even a complete accident.
The outrage was loud and immediate to the point where Triple H made the call to rehire Emma.
However, in speaking with sources, the damage is done. There is complete mistrust right now between the lower and midcard guys in the locker room and the company. The checks for inclusion in WWE 2K14 were light, show bonuses haven't been good and there's a lot of paranoia about the future of pay-per-view bonuses.
The problem is, most of the workers impacted don't have anywhere to go, so there really isn't any recourse. However, Hunter ultimately felt it was worth rehiring Emma rather than adding fuel to the fire.
We're told it was Vince McMahon that thought the Emma gimmick has been a "total dud." Hunter isn't high up on her and Vince wanted her gone. Triple H was described as to being on the fence but didn't fight it, however, he quickly realized releasing her was a mistake.
It should also be noted that Emma, an Australian native, had been over in her home country promoting WWE's upcoming tour down under. With the company running three shows in Australia next month, they probably didn't want to deal with even more negative publicity there either.
- Renee Young continues to gain responsibilities in WWE as she has been named a member of the WWE Superstars announce team with Tom Phillips. The position makes her WWE's first full-time female commentator in more than a decade.
Dot com published a feature article on Young, where they highlight Michael Cole as a mentor to WWE's new crop of announcers and feature a quote from Triple H. Young is also quoted.
“I feel there is definitely a certain amount of pressure, not only as a performer and broadcaster but representing women who may not even know this is something that they want to do,” Renee told WWE.com. “I can show other women that if you’re not a Diva and you still want to be involved in WWE. It’s definitely really cool to be in the position to create a bit of a niche for myself and other women.”
Below is a quote from Cole:
“When Renee first started in the company and she started working with us, one of the things she told me is she wanted to be a trailblazer,” Michael Cole said. “We started working with Renee in the [announcing] booth at NXT about six months ago and she really showed some promise. And we have the opportunity now to bring her to the ‘big level’ and she becomes one of the only females in history of WWE to be a full-time announcer at ringside. “
Triple H, who is listed under his kayfabe title of COO in the article, offered this:
“It has nothing to do with her being a female or not, it has to do with her being the right person for the job,” The Game said. “She’s got a great voice that cuts through the clutter. She is very knowledgeable about WWE, about its history, about the talent and she is really willing to step up and do her homework.”
Prior to increased responsibilities on WWE television, Young became known for her part on the weekly YouTube series, The JBL & Cole Show. JBL offered the following:
“She’s been a huge hit for us, and she’s fun to work with,” JBL said. “So much of the stuff we do [at the announce booth] unfolds in front of us as it happens, and you need the ability to ad lib. That comes from intelligence. She’s helped make The JBL & Cole Show.”
Click here to read the dot com piece in its entirety.
Young, whose real name is Renee Paquette, was hired by WWE in 2012. She joined the company from Canadian sports network The Score and quickly gained the favor of the office. One of Young's best friends in WWE is Summer Rae.
- Talent from NXT discuss the 2014 World Cup in the latest NXT Video Blog that you can watch at this link.
- The Windsor Star has a new article online featuring quotes from Paige that were transcribed from a phone interview that she did with the publication. In it, she talked about growing up in the wrestling business and how she looks up to Natalya. Click here to read the piece in its entirety.
- Xavier Woods reacted to CJ Parker's comments, explaining he doesn't care for hippies in a WWE.com exclusive. Watch the kayfabe video at this link.
- It's the 4th of July and the weekend is here. Enjoy with this week's episode of The JBL & Cole Show at this link.
- John Cena has been removed from the booking sheets for next month's WWE tour of Australia. Chris Jericho has been added and will face Bray Wyatt. While this is the latest, the changes have yet to be reflected on the official show listings on dot com. While Cena is slated to defend the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam, it's essentially a given that Jericho will face Wyatt.
Below are some quick backstage notes, I hope all of our US readers are enjoying the holiday.
- Just to reiterate the direction as of this week, the plan is still to do either Triple H vs. Roman Reigns or Randy Orton vs. Reigns at SummerSlam, depending on whether or not Hunter decides to work. Reigns continues to be held in high regard.
- The current plan is for Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose to last until SummerSlam, if not longer. I don't expect a serious "cash in" from Rollins until the program is over but expect WWE to tease it.
- The Ascension is on the short list to be called up to the main roster. Vince McMahon is currently high up on having a deep and sustainable tag division. Something we all know that changes from week to week.
- There are long term plans to do Cesaro vs. Brock Lesnar, with Cesaro breaking away from Paul Heyman at some point on down the road.
- Charlotte is an NXT Diva on the shorter list of prospective call-ups. However, the Diva pool right now is "sink or swim." Something that has been more than clear with Emma and Paige.
- While WWE has enacted a hiring freeze, the developmental pond is still being re-stocked. Prince Devitt, KENTA and Kevin Steen are all on their way in. How long each will have to spend at the WWE Performance Center remains to be seen. As noted, Devitt doesn't want to waste away down there.
- Just to clear up any confusion, Sarah Backman, the real life wife of Bo Dallas, wasn't fired. She requested her release and it was granted. She would be welcomed back if she wanted to come back.
- Danica McKellar and Josh Saviano from The Wonder Years were at TNA'sImpact Wrestling tapings in New York City. Dixie Carter Tweeted the following:
Carter was absent on Friday because of this on Thursday. I haven't heard an update on her condition but she was reported to be "banged up" and in pain.
- TNA Wrestling promoted a "major announcement" for British and Irish fans at the London Film & Comic Con (LFCC) on their official website on Monday. The announcement will take place at a special TNA panel Q&A for fans and media at the event at 5pm on Saturday July 12 in Earls Court 2. Advertised names to appear include James Storm, Magnus, Brooke, Robbie E, Al Snow and Jeremy Borash. Click here for official information.
- TNA is running a storyline on their official website involving Kurt Angle as "the Executive Director of TNA Wrestling," where he officially declares the TV Title as "inactive." Below is a comment they are touting from him:
“The TV Title was left dormant by the Dixie Carter and MVP administrations for over a year. Taking over as Executive Director has required me to fix issues they left behind. Championships are the reward of competition inside the ring between wrestlers striving to be the best. As of now, the TV Title is inactive. I’m looking for our roster to step up their level of competition and wrestle on a higher level for the World Heavyweight, X-Division, Knockout and World Tag Team Championships.”
Click here for kayfabe coverage on ImpactWrestling.com.
What's going on with Kane? Why did WWE book him to help Seth Rollins win the Money in the Bank ladder match?
WWE is booking Kane as The Authority's muscle, much like the role The Shield held as their enforcers. Seth Rollins going over in the Money in the Bank ladder match was the right call but I agree that having Kane come out and assure the win for him was anti-climatic.
Why did WWE release the promotional poster for Summerslam with John Cena and Brock Lesnar on it? That basically ruined Money in the Bank for me because I felt I knew John would win.
WWE sent the promotional image for SummerSlam to retailers too early and as a result, it ended up on Amazon.com. This is exactly what happened with Batista's return as WWE wanted to promote his return to the company at live events, however, they didn't want the news out before they had the chance to announce it on television. The only way to prevent this type of thing from happening is to keep things that could spoil storylines/match outcomes off advance advertising materials. WWE owned the mistake and have confirmed plans to do John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam.
John Cena is "Mr. GO TO" but him as WWE World Heavyweight Champion is overkill in my opinion. Rollins wins good, Reigns should have won, setting up what could have been in my opinion a huge money maker for them with the next two PPV's. We have seen Lesnar and Cena, why do you think Reigns didn't go over? The fans deserved better, they are the real shareholders.
I surveyed followers on my Twitter account before the WWE World Heavyweight Championship ladder match at Money in the Bank, asking people if they felt Roman Reigns was ready to be champion. Below are some select responses:
You can read more of the responses at this link. Based on the consensus, the feeling is Roman Reigns isn't ready to be WWE World Heavyweight Champion. I understand the anti-Cena segment of WWE's fan base is livid this morning, however, I see this decision as an inevitability. Just because Cena going over was predictable, doesn't mean it was the wrong decision either. I'll have more in Richard Reacts to WWE Money in the Bank.
I believe it is now safe to assume that Brock Lesnar will walk out of SummerSlam as WWE World Heavyweight Champion. What does WNW think?
WWE clearly plans on doing John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam in August. It would be a monumental creative mistake if Lesnar did not go over and win the tile. So yes, it's safe to assume that Lesnar is champion coming out of the show this summer.
What happened to Damien Sandow? He had so much potential.
Everyone wants to know who Damien Sandow pissed off to be booked in his current gimmick. Most see it as the dreadful gimmick Charlie Haas had several years ago. I don't think it's a situation where Sandow has heat as much as the office sees him as someone that can be used for comedic relief. Sandow has been in a tailspin since wining the Money in the Bank briefcase last year and that, I cannot explain.
From the Ask WNW vault…
August 2012: Did Brock Lesnar come back to lose because so far he has no victories? - Brock Lesnar came back for $5,000,000. He’ll do whatever WWE wants him to do as long as he collects his paycheck. It was a monumental mistake putting him under to John Cena at Extreme Rules, with even Hunter admitting privately it hurt his SummerSlam match. I will go as far as saying Cena over Lesnar at Extreme Rules was one of the worst mistakes in WWE . They had a ton of momentum with a returning Lesnar and crushed it almost immediately with a loss.
Does it make sense that The Authority would be willing to put Roman Reigns in the Fatal 4-Way match at WWE Battleground? Last I checked they wanted nothing to do with Reigns being in the title picture.
I immediately thought it was strange when Triple H announced Roman Reigns as a challenger in the main event at Battleground. We can either chalk this up as another logic gap or that there is "more to the story," like there was with The Authority "congratulating" John Cena. You weren't alone in noticing that and WWE will look to create stability in the top of the card with John Cena defending the title at Battleground against Kane, Randy Orton and the aforementioned Reigns. There could be teases of Seth Rollins "cashing in" but pretty much everyone at this point sees Cena defending the title against Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam. Cena vs. Lesnar is 100% the direction for SummerSlam, as we learned with release of the SummerSlam promotional poster.
After Monday's stare down, is it to be assumed it will be Roman Reigns vs. Triple H at SummerSlam?
Did you see what I did with questions 1 and 2? As we reported here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com, the two proposed SummerSlam matches for Roman Reigns heading into Money in the Bank were either Triple H vs. Reigns or if Hunter decided not to work, Randy Orton vs. Reigns. I expect one of the two to happen as things currently stand.
Is it just me or does it seem like Jack Swagger is reckless in the ring? Due to the fact he's injured two superstars on two separate occasions when their careers were just starting to go upward.
Dolph Ziggler was concussed at the foot off Jack Swagger (due to an errant kick) and now Wade Barrett suffered a separated shoulder while working with him. Is it the wrong place at the wrong time, bad luck or is there a problem with Swagger? I'm not going to do the finger pointing but I'll tell you one of the things Bret Hart was the most proud about in his career was that he never injured someone else. Hart's career was ended off an errant kick from Bill Goldberg.
Are AJ Lee and CM Punk married?
AJ Lee and CM Punk are believed to have been married at a small private ceremony last month. We noted the rumor but didn't confirm it as it was their request for personal privacy. As noted, AJ Lee remains in great standing with WWE and is one of Vince McMahon's favorites. He sees her as the current face of the Divas division.
When do you think Curtis Axel will get a push as a singles performer?
I hate to disappoint Curtis Axel fans but I'm afraid he had his opportunity last year. So did Ryback. There's always a chance WWE could try again with either but there's a long list of talent in front of them.
From the Ask WNW vault…
November 2012: What is the competition like in terms of WWE workers trying to outdo one another with their in-ring work? - The competition is very stiff in WWE as everyone wants to “steal the show” and put on the “match of the night.” While outcomes are predetermined, how a worker gets over determines how they are booked which in turn determines how much they earn. No matter where a worker is booked on the card they are trying to show they are capable of more. I can assure you no one wants to go out and get no reaction from the crowd.
What is the deal with the cave videos Brad Maddox has been uploading to his YouTube channel?
Brad Maddox is doing what a good pro wrestler does, promoting himself. With WWE making budget cuts and Maddox without a role on television, his days could be numbered. His cave videos are his way of working the Internet to keep his name relevant. It's smart and his "In cave. need help" video amassed 80,000 views.
How has the IWC, dirt sheets and websites like Wrestling News World changed the culture of pro wrestling?
The culture of pro wrestling has changed tremendously with the evolution of the Internet and social media. When I first started back in the late 90s, many were hesitant to embrace the idea of fast-flowing information and a secretive culture being brought to light. However, in 2014, wrestlers and people in the business have no choice but to embrace it. We make WWE [and other pro wrestling companies] work harder to keep things secretive but there is a lot of interest in what happens behind-the-scenes and that's the reason Wrestling News World exists. Some will argue the Internet has hurt the business because it's "killed kayfabe" and while that's true to a degree, I think we help more than we hurt.
With Kurt Angle's TNA contract coming up and the recent part time workers coming WWE like RVD and Chris Jericho, wouldn't it make sense to bring Angle back and give him something similar?
I believe that Kurt Angle would embrace any opportunity that WWE gave him. What I don't know is the degree of WWE's interest. Angle, while one of the best in-ring workers of a generation, is 45 years old, has a fused neck and other health risks that could prevent him from passing a WWE physical. I believe the chances are better for him to end up as a key piece in Jeff Jarrett's Global Force Wrestling but I do not see him staying in TNA.
Do guys in NXT and new call ups to the main roster make enough money to pay their expenses?
It's tight for WWE developmental workers but everyone that appears on a main roster show (whether it's a TV taping or live event), receives a $500 show bonus. This money is used to help pay travel expenses. The earnings scale in WWE shows a tremendous gap that was largely proven when it was learned Randy Orton makes just shy of $300,000 per month.
Bray Wyatt gets a lot of praise (and rightfully so) but what about Luke Harper?
Luke Harper, the former Brodie Lee, was a highly touted prospect and is one of WWE's brightest up and comers at the age of 34. One thing I touted in Richard Reacts to Money in the Bank was the continued separation of Harper and Erick Rowan from Bray Wyatt. Wyatt is ahead of them but they aren't slouches either. The Usos vs. Harper & Rowan was the best match at Money in the Bank and all four appear to have very bright futures.
From the Ask WNW vault…
January 2012: Brodus Clay – you know, the man from Planet-funk, the Funk-a-sorus. What are your thoughts on his debut gimmick? - Believe it or not, this is the most popular question of the day. Some people loved it, some people hated it but everyone wants to know the skinny on Brodus Clay’s debut gimmick on Raw Supershow. It’s not the first time we’ve seen this type of gimmick – remember Flash Funk? I’ll admit when Justin Roberts announced him and he came out I thought it was all a huge rib. Originally thought to be a dominant force that was going to eliminate John Morrison from television, turns out to be the Funk-a-sorus from Planet Funk. They fed him Curt Hawkins so it looks like he’ll blow through enhancement workers but I have a hard time believing this gimmick can make it in the main event. It is certainly PG-friendly and gives developmental Divas Naomi and Cameron Lynn a chance to get on TV. While my initial reaction was surprise, it’s not fair to write the gimmick off as a failure or praise it as a success until it’s had a chance to progress.
With Triple H back in his suit and Batista gone, is Evolution still together?
WWE brought Evolution back to help to help sell shows after Wrestlemania but the consecutive defeats by The Shield and Batista "quitting" was the company's way of writing them off television. Now, it's back to The Authority using Kane as muscle, Randy Orton as their face and Seth Rollins as Plan B. Obviously WWE could reintroduce the faction at some other time but I like how the rub was transferred to The Shield before breaking them up.
With constant WWE Network issues such as PPV's lagging, lack of a library for Raw and Smackdown, inconsistencies with the debuting of new programming, and more do you see WWE coming anywhere near the number of subscribers they need by SummerSlam, or actually losing subscribers after the initial 6 month period.
Some of the issues you mentioned with the WWE Network are not actually issues. We've heard of there being some technical glitches but they are far from widespread. I'll admit I had more issues with Extreme Rules than I did Wrestlemania and more issues with Money in the Bank than I did with Extreme Rules, but none were to the point where I couldn't watch the broadcast. It is concerning there seem to be more issues, when one would think it would be the opposite. I'll go out on a limb and speculate that WWE "ramped up" their capabilities beyond what they needed for Wrestlemania to assure there weren't any issues and have scaled back since in order to find a medium that works that isn't overly expensive.
As for the lack of a library for Raw and Smackdown, both seem pretty in-depth to me. Granted, not every episode is there and users have to wait 30 days from the initial airing but just going through it, there seems like more than enough content to go back and watch.
However, I'm not going to pretend everything is fine either. I believe the WWE Network is not selling at the rate the company was hoping and there is more of a push to get people signed up. WWE will announce how many WWE Network subscribers they have in their next quarterly report, which I anticipate some time next month. I don't want to speculate much further until those numbers are available but I know WWE is focused on getting people to subscribe.
Removing my writing cap and putting on my fan cap, the WWE Network is a must-own. You get all of the pay-per-views with original programming and a complete tape library. There are some concerns with quality but I'm telling you, the issues on my end have been few and far in-between. I will gladly take the minor hiccups as opposed to paying nearly $55 each month for a pay-per-view, in addition to all the added content. I've also found I enjoy pay-per-views more because there isn't such a large financial commitment.
You mentioned how Chris Jericho would only come back to WWE if there were firm creative plans in store for him. When you consider that Chris Jericho and Rob Van Dam had somewhat comparable careers in WWE in their initial runs, how has Jericho managed to maintain so much control over his career so that he is always involved in something relevant, even when he is putting others over? RVD, by comparison, became an afterthought within months of returning last year and since returning again this year has been even less relevant.
When given questions such as this, I like to get a little bit of data. So I went over to ProFightDB.com (a must-visit for any wrestling fan that wonders about match outcomes) and researched WWE wins and losses for both Chris Jericho and Rob Van Dam in 2013. My data included matches on live television, taped for television or live on pay-per-view. I also included gimmick matches (such as the 30-man Royal Rumble and Money in the Bank ladder match) and tag team matches, so these aren't just their records in singles competition. Running the data, Jericho's WWE record in 2013 was 19-18 (19 wins/18 losses) and RVD's WWE record in 2013 was 19-9 (19 wins/9 losses).
The reason I did this is because I feel RVD and Jericho are very similar. Both are accomplished veterans coming back to work short-term deals because they love the business. Neither RVD nor Jericho seem to care about putting someone else over but they don't want to do it as a glorified enhancement talent. Without knowing the win/loss records, you believed Jericho was more prominently booked than Rob Van Dam when in fact his win percentage is much higher.
The work of Erick Rowan and Luke Harper is phenomenal. Are they the best tag team right now in your opinion?
I have to go with The Usos as the best tag team in WWE right now. They work really well together and are exactly what made tag team wrestling such a staple of the business many years ago. Rowan and Harper are great, however, I grade Harper above Rowan.
After watching Big E vs. Rusev [from Money in the Bank] again, I feel that they both have stale gimmicks, especially Big E. However, I think they'd be a great heel tag team. Do you think Big E and Rusev would be better suited as a tag team?
Are you a WWE creative team member testing me for the inevitable? I still remember Brodus Clay & Tensai and am currently watching Curtis Axel & Ryback. Sure, book them in a tag team together. That's what we expected anyway.
From the Ask WNW vault…
September 2012: Is there any particular reason WWE had Daniel Bryan stop with the “Yes, Yes, Yes” chants? After all, it’s the main reason he got over. - No, no, no! WWE tinkered with turning Daniel Bryan babyface but ultimately wanted him to remain heel. The logic behind “no, no, no” is simple. Chant the opposite of what the fans are chanting to get heat on him. Because Bryan plays his character so well, it worked to perfection. I disagree the “yes, yes, yes” chants were the main reason he got over, he got over because of how well he plays his character not any particular chant.