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 21, 2014 to Friday, June 27, 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!
- Vince Russo has a new article on WhatCulture.com where he reveals some interesting things you didn't know about him. In it, he claims that actor Ben Stiller once smoked marijuana at Raw with Road Dogg and Sean "X-Pac" Waltman. Click here to read the piece in its entirety.
- Former WWE Diva Kaitlyn got married on Friday night. Wrestling News World reader Jorge Romero Tweeted us the following photo:
- The format of Total Divas won't be changing with Season 3. We've learned that cameras from the hit reality show on E! will be filming the wedding of Eva Marie for inclusion on Season 3.
Eva posted the following photo on Instagram where she was trying on dresses and mentioned that she can't wait to see what Michael Costello, designer of the dress in the photo, is going to design for her wedding.
Eva and her husband, Jonathan Coyle, were secretly married and the ceremony will be for both of their families.
Total Divas featured the wedding of Natalya and Tyson Kidd in Season 1 and Brie Bella and Daniel Bryan in Season 2.
- The original plan for SummerSlam before it was learned Daniel Bryan needed surgery and would be required to miss a significant amount of time was for him to defend the belt against Bray Wyatt. With the company crowning a new champion at Money in the Bank, those plans have obviously changed.
See also - Preliminary plans for WWE SummerSlam (May 26, 2014)
The new idea that has come up is ways to utilize Brock Lesnar as a challenger for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Opponents pitched include Roman Reigns, Cesaro, John Cena, Bray Wyatt, Alberto Del Rio, Randy Orton and Sheamus.
What's interesting out of the list of proposed opponents is that Lesnar vs. Cesaro was a program WWE wanted to do at SummerSlam before the change in course. It's still something that could happen into the fall or some time next year (if it doesn't happen in August).
WWE surveyed fans last week about opponents for Brock Lesnar as the challenger, listing the aforementioned names as possible champions.
- Corey Graves is currently out with a concussion.
- Seth Rollins is now entering to a song called "The Second Coming." It's available for purchase/download on iTunes.
- Jey Uso spoke to Newsday to promote this weekend's WWE live event in Long Island. You can read his comments at this link.
- The July 2014 issue of WWE Magazine was mailed out to subscribers last week. John Cena is featured on the cover and two free posters are included. Interestingly enough, The Shield is featured in one of the free posters. I Tweeted a screen capture:
- Below is a photo of Christian from over the weekend:
- On Sunday morning we noted the direction WWE was looking to go with Brock Lesnar was him challenging for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam. Out of the list of possible opponents (Roman Reigns, Cesaro, John Cena, Bray Wyatt, Alberto Del Rio, Randy Orton and Sheamus), we're told Cena is the leading candidate.
If WWE goes in the direction they're examining, it's almost an inevitability that Lesnar will go over to capitalize off the rub from ending Undertaker's streak. In theory, this would give Lesnar a run as WWE World Heavyweight Champion until at least Wrestlemania 31 next year. For those wondering about Lesnar holding the title as a part-time worker, we're told there would be enough appearances on his contract for him to appear on TV as much as every other week from the week after SummerSlam to Wrestlemania.
Vince McMahon would like to bring The Rock in to work Brock [for the title] at Wrestlemania.
- CM Punk's contract with WWE is in its final weeks. We're told Vince McMahon has made contact with him and still wants him back with the company. Most consider it a long-shot and as one observer leveled with me, it could go nowhere as Punk is intent on staying retired.
- Daniel Bryan is still experiencing weakness in his arm and is out indefinitely. I noted before my vacation that WWE was preparing to be without him until SummerSlam and it looks to be at least that long as of press time.
- The decision was made to forgo Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose in a gimmick match at Money in the Bank and insert Rollins into the traditional Money in the Bank ladder match last week. A singles bout with Ambrose could be delayed until SummerSlam.
- TMZcaught up with JTG and Shad Gaspard on Saturday in Venice. JTG, who was part of WWE's recent mass cuts, said they're using the name Crime Time on the independent scene because they aren't getting sued. He said he's not bummed about his WWE release and had been preparing for it after being home for a while. You can watch the exchange at this link.
- Chuck Carroll interviewed Cesaro on the CBS affiliate out of Washington, D.C. In it, they talked about Daniel Bryan's injury and extended absence from the company.
“One person’s bad luck is another person’s opportunity. And I have that opportunity at Money in the Bank when I’m going to go for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship,” Cesaro said.
When asked if he felt sorry for Bryan, Cesaro stated:
“No,” he said bluntly. “I work hard as well and nobody feels sorry for me and I don’t want anybody to feel sorry for me. Bad things happen. Did it happen at a bad time? Yes, it did. But if you look back at other people, they have bad injuries. I know that Daniel Bryan will recover from it and I more than gladly will give him a shot at my title.”
Click here to listen to the interview in its entirety.
- WWE announced on Monday that tickets for Night of Champions 2014 will go on sale this Saturday. The pay-per-view will take place on Sunday, September 21 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN. Click here for more information.
- We noted in our live report that a member of Los Matadores suffered a knee injury at Sunday's WWE show in Delaware. It was Fernando (f/k/a Epico) that was injured in the 6-man tag team match and he left the venue on crutches.
- WWE will fill out the traditional Money in the Bank ladder match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship contract [that will take place at the pay-per-view on Sunday] on this week's television. The only announced participant heading into this week's episode of Monday Night Raw is Seth Rollins. On Monday afternoon, WWE posted the following poll on dot com:
If the match seems rushed, it's because it is. The original plan was to do one Money in the Bank ladder match but that changed with Daniel Bryan's injury. The plan was then to do the ladder match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, however, that drew a lot of criticism because the match really wasn't what the MITB gimmick promised.
This is also what delayed a singles match between Rollins and Dean Ambrose, with Rollins being announced as the first participant in the traditional Money in the Bank ladder match.
We'll cover participants as they're announced here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- CM Punk resurfaced in a video with Roddy Piper to wish Dicky Barrett of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones a happy birthday at Saturday's concert at City Hall Plaza in Boston, MA. The event received a lot of mainstream attention with talk-show host Jimmy Kimmelattending.
- Bret Hart is scheduled for the July 7, 2014 WWE Monday Night Raw taping in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
- Kevin Steen announced at Ring of Honor's "Best in the World 2014" on Sunday that he has another 45 days left on his ROH contract. As we've previously reported, he's headed to WWE NXT and there's actually be talk about including him as a cast member on the upcoming season of Tough Enough.
- Darren Young, who continues to rehab a torn knee ligament, is featured in a new video telling his pets about his recovery. You can watch at this link.
- Bo Dallas is featured in a new Q&A in the July 2014 issue of WWE Magazine. Below is an excerpt"
What do you like to listen to for fun or in the gym or sing along to in the car?
Inspirational music that empowers me to get things done. Stuff like R. Kelly, oh and definitely Journey, "Don't Stop Believing."
Did you have any particular role models when you were younger to lead you down that path?
"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan with his American spirit and pride.
What do you remember about your first match?
For my first match, my family came to see me. When I walked through the curtain, I saw all these people and soaked it all in and realized that this was actually happening. That was a very special moment for me.
The July 2014 issue of WWE Magazine is available on newsstands everywhere. You can subscribe online at this link.
- As we previously noted, Fernando of Los Matadores suffered a left ankle sprain during a live event this week in Delaware. Dot com is now covering the injury, and has released this statement from WWE physician Dr. Chris Amann:
"Fortunately there are no fractures. However, he has a pretty significant left ankle sprain, as well as a sprain of one of the ligaments of the knee," said Amann. "We put him in a boot, he’s on crutches, and we expect him to be back in three to four weeks."
WWE has more at this link.
- Last week's episode of WWE Smackdown did an average viewing audience of 2,762,000 viewers on SyFy. You can check out data for all of Friday here by TV by the Numbers.
- Recently released WWE talent Evan Bourne was in attendance at Ring of Honor's "Best in the World" pay-per-view on Sunday. He Tweeted the following when he arrived in Nashville (the location of the show):
The show featured Michael Elgin beating Adam Cole for the ROH Championship. Bourne had a 90-day non-compete agreement attached to his WWE contract. - Triple H appeared on Monday Night Raw and announced that Kofi Kingston, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, Rob Van Dam, and Bad News Barrett will be competing in the traditional Money in the Bank Ladder match. Seth Rollins was the first participant announced last week on WWE Main Event. A new gold briefcase was revealed, as WWE has used a red and blue briefcase in the past. Update: Dean Ambrose has been added to the match after Seth Rollins begged Triple H to add him in a backstage segment. In storyline, Rollins was worried Ambrose would cost him the match after Ambrose said he would be in Boston whether or not he is on the card. -
WWE Games Community Manager Jared Rea posted the following announcement to the 2K forums:
Beginning this Tuesday (6/24) at 9PM PDT, WWE2K14 services will be offline for an intensive scheduled maintenance. We fully intend on bringing these services back online this coming Friday (6/27) by 4PM PDT. During this period you will not be able to access any of the online functionality of WWE2K14 and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Any and all updates will be made to this thread, so please stay tuned! Thanks!
- Stephanie McMahon, Dean Ambrose & Bad News Barrett star in this week's Raw Fallout. Stephanie is upset backstage after her incident with Vickie Guerrero on Raw, Barrett talks his match with Dolph Ziggler, and Ambrose says Triple H has made an enemy for life in him. The videos are embedded below:
- Total Divas is coming to the WWE Network. The show will premiere on WWE's over the top service on Thursday at 8/7c. You can watch a commercial at this link.
- Santino Marella will greet fans at Dylan’s Candy Bar in New York City on Wednesday, July 2, 2014. The appearance will be part of an anti-bullying effort as for each person who attends the event, Bazooka Candy Brands will donate $1 to Champions Against Bullying.
Champions Against Bullying is "a non-profit committed to creating a society where every child has the opportunity to develop, learn and thrive in an environment without fear, without violence and without limitation."
Marella will appear from 3-5 PM ET and will join Juicy Drop’s official luchador, Señor Sour, for a “Dare to Test Your Limits” party featuring a “Wheel of Dares.” Click here for more information.
- WWE will return to the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. for Monday Night Raw on December 29, 2014. The presale code to obtain tickets is RAWWEDC. After this week's show went off the air, John Cena, Sheamus, Cesaro and Roman Reigns were in the ring. Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt attacked but the babyfaces fought them off to send the crowd home happy. The babyfaces celebrated to end the taping.
- Stephanie McMahon and Triple H have announced the formation of "Connor's Cure." The charity is named after the young Daniel Bryan fan that grabbed all of hearts -- Connor Michalek. Michalek died at the age of 8 earlier this year from Medulloblastoma.
The charity, personally funded by Stephanie and Hunter, is through the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation. Donations can be made at this link. Dot com has coverage here.
- Vickie Guerrero finished up with WWE on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw. The angle where she was "fired" was done because her contract is up and she is moving on to pursue a career in medical administration. Guerrero was believed to be exiting the company in April but stayed on an additional two months.
CJ Blaze covered the angle here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
Video is online at this link.
Vickie Tweeted the following:
Backstage news from Monday Night Raw in Washington, D.C…
- In news that no one wants to hear, Dolph Ziggler had to undergo concussion testing after taking Wade Barrett's elbow to the side of the head in the go-home sequence of their match. I believe he was fine but I didn't hear for sure and that was a very risky/unnecessary spot given Dolph's concussion history.
- There are plans to do Big E vs. Rusev at Money in the Bank time-permitting.
- One observer backstage commented, "as you can tell by the random adding of participants to the Money in the Bank ladder matches, this pay-per-view brings booking on the fly to a whole new level."
- Dean Ambrose received a lot of praise backstage for his promo work and how he's been getting over lately.
- A key topic at this week's show was the direction of feuds after Money in the Bank on Sunday. WWE is short on top babyfaces, which is one of the reasons why the company hasn't turned Sheamus. Brock Lesnar is looming but obviously as a top heel. There is concern that Bray Wyatt is getting lost in the shuffle and they are focused on getting him into his next program and keeping his momentum. Obviously there is a lot of concern that Daniel Bryan's momentum has been lost.
- WWE is banking on the traditional Money in the Bank ladder match being a shower-saver. It will get plenty of time and "should be" great as a result.
- WWE has uploaded footage of Vickie Guerrero saying goodbye to the WWE Divas backstage, as she finished up with the company last night. The clip is available at this link.
Roman Reigns recently took part in an interview with 106.7 The Fan and spoke about a variety of subjects, from coming up with his own ring name, to the future of The Miz and more. The interview is available at this link.
- This week's edition of WWE Raw was the go-home episode to Money in the Bank and drew an average viewing audience of 4,031,000. The show is slightly down from last week, which drew 4,123,333. Below is the hourly breakdown:
Hour one - 3,723,000 viewers
Hour two - 4,041,000 viewers
Hour three - 4,330,000 viewers
You can see how WWE Raw did compared to the competition at this link.
- After suffering a separated shoulder during this week's Smackdown tapings, Bad News Barrett posted the following to Twitter:
- Speaking of Barrett, Episode 2 of his World Cup Breakdown series has been uploaded to YouTube, available at this link. Additionally, NXT Superstars and trainers give their thoughts on the 2014 World Cup in the latest NXT Video Blog, available at this link.
- Summer Rae vs. Layla with Fandango as the special guest referee was added to the WWE Money in the Bank card at this week's Smackdown taping.
- Mike Jones (who?) interviewed Roman Reigns in-studio prior to this week's Raw taping to promote Sunday's Money in the Bank pay-per-view. Below are the highlights:
On the Money in the Bank Championship ladder match: "With this story, we're trying to climb. I've obviously worked with ladders and sticks and all the different toys. But climbing the ladder and being 10 feet in the air, that's a whole different story. And like I said, I'm not a top rope guy, but at the same time you can take advantage of the ladder, use it in your advantage, but when it comes down to it you have to climb. It's going to be interesting, I'm prepared, I just don't care. If you've ever looked at my Twitter, you've seen my back. Pain, who cares."
Should RAW and Smackdown be split again: "It worked before didn't it? And I think with that dynamic too it adds to the storylines and the competition and things like that. And I think there a whole PPV called Bragging Rights just based on that concept, so I think it works. If they're going to do it, who knows?"
On Daniel Bryan's Recovery: "I've heard through the grapevine and the boys and stuff that he's doing better. He's at home and I guess obviously Brie's helping him out a good bit which is really cool on her behalf to put her career on the side to make sure her husbands fine. I wish him the most comfortable and speedy recovery."
Click here to listen to the interview in its entirety.
- A strange video of Brad Maddox in a cave is circulating the Internet. I have no idea if this is part of some sort of angle if he really needed help. The video was published on Tuesday. You can watch it at this link.
- A photo of AJ Lee and CM Punk jogging in Hawaii has surfaced online as you can check it out below:
To follow-up on my curious Ask WNW reader that wondered if AJ was pregnant, I'm told no one in WWE believes that she is. I am working on a big Divas update and will have it online shortly.
- Remember the Randy Orton "vacation" photo that was shown on Raw a few weeks ago? Wrestling News World reader Jorge Romero pointed out the pipe below Orton in the pic:
- Bad News Barrett's promo on the Washington Redskins from Raw received mainstream media attention on the USA Today's "For the Win" blog. For those that missed it, Barrett brilliantly called the team the "racist, constantly losing" Redskins. I'm afraid that's not very bad news for this Cowboys fan. Click here for more.
- Wrestling News World reader Steve Friend sent word that John Cena vs. Kane in a street fight and Sheamus vs. Bray Wyatt for the United States Championship are being advertised for WWE's upcoming tour of Australia.
- Donald Wood and the Ring Rust Radio crew interviewed Rob Van Dam. You can listen to the interview at this link.
- As I mentioned here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, no one in WWE believes AJ Lee is pregnant and as far as the company stands, she isn't. As one source put it, CM Punk and AJ Lee are "two of the most aloof, distant, and loner people you could be around" and the notion they would be going around telling random people about a supposed pregnancy is hard to believe.
- AJ Lee remains in great standing with Vince McMahon. Vince is high up on her and is also friendly with CM Punk. We're told Triple H and Stephanie McMahon are also fine with AJ but want to move on from Punk.
- Paige is not held in high regard by McMahon. According to a source, he doesn't like her promo style and has pulled a number of pre-tapes that were scheduled to air. Triple H has a favorable opinion of her but even his interest has cooled recently.
- A push for Rosa Mendes is not out of the question in the next few months. She's been given extra live event bookings so the company can get a better look at her before a possible push on TV. As noted, Rosa will be joining the Total Divas cast for Season 3.
- Aksana was released from WWE because she fell out of favor with company management. The feeling was there were many Divas in NXT that were better and could easily replace her.
- There's more doom and gloom in regards to Emma. Sources claim she's rarely discussed and her future seems "questionable" at best.
- In general, the Divas are having a difficult time impressing Vince because he compares them all to AJ Lee and The Bella Twins. Those three are Vince's personal favorites on-screen and in real life as well. As a result, it's made it harder for other Divas to stand out.
- Devon Nicholson, who recently won a $2.3 million judgment against Abdullah the Butcher, claims he has a tryout with WWE next month. Nicholson claimed last year he was cured from Hepatitis C.
- Adam Rose beat Heath Slater in a dark match prior to this week's WWE Main Event taping in Pittsburgh.
- WWE will return to the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh on Sunday, December 28, 2014. The presale password to obtain tickets is HOLIDAY.
- Curtis Axel & Ryback vs. Goldust & Stardust was added to Sunday's Money in the Bank lineup on this week's episode of WWE Main Event.
- Michelle McCool was at the WWE Performance Center earlier this week. She posted the following photo on Instagram:
- Josh Mathews has apparently been released from WWE. While we do not have 100% confirmation, his profile has been moved to the Alumni section and there is a plan for Renee Young to replace him on upcoming broadcast assignments.
4:23 PM EDT Update on June 25, 2014: Mathews has indeed been released, we can now confirm. End update.
Mathews has been with WWE since 2002.
- Vickie Guerrero finished up with WWE on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw. As we reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, she'll look to move on to a career in medical administration and will graduate soon with her Associate's Degree.
In a new letter published Wednesday on dot com, Vickie bids farewell to her co-workers in a very classy fashion. Her funniest mention was to Adam "Edge" Copeland, who she thanked for believing in her when she didn't know "what the hell" she was doing. You can read the letter at this link.
You can watch a video of Vickie saying goodbye backstage at this link.
Richard Reacts: It's been a privilege to cover the career of Vickie Guerrero. Like she mentioned in her letter, she went from "Eddie's wife" to her own identity. I believe she is one of the greatest talkers in the history of the wrestling business and she further proved that with her babyface turn to conclude her run on Raw. Thank you for the memories, Vickie. We will miss you.
- This week's sit-down interview between Triple H and Michael Cole is now online. The interview addresses Vickie Guerrero'sWWE departure, adding Kane to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match at Money in the Bank and whether Triple H worried about becoming Dean Ambrose's "enemy for life." All of course complete in-character.
Click here to watch it.
- Have you ever wondered what happened to Mike Adamle? Dot com checks in with a "Where Are They Now?" piece at this link. And for those wondering, he would welcome the opportunity to come back.
- Numerous readers have sent us the link to a SummerSlam promotional poster that features John Cena and Brock Lesnar. The poster stems from Amazon's listing for the pay-per-view's Blu-Ray disc, which is available for pre-order and will be released a month after the show takes place, on September 16, 2014.
The poster doesn't look legitimate, however, the idea of Cena vs. Lesnar for the title at SummerSlam has come up in recent creative meetings. In fact, we reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com on June 22, 2014 that Cena, as WWE World Heavyweight Champion, was the favorite to face Lesnar.
Cena is an announced participant in Sunday's Ladder Match to crown a new WWE World Heavyweight Champion. We'll have complete coverage from the show here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- As expected, Renee Young will replace Josh Mathews on the WWE Money in the Bank expert panel on Sunday. She'll host Christian, Booker T and Alex Riley. They'll do the Kickoff prior to the pay-per-view and check in throughout the event with analysis.
- The latest video blog from Brandi Rhodes is now online at this link.
- Big E made reference to AJ Lee pregnancy rumors with the following Tweet:
We updated at this link, explaining why no one in WWE actually believes that AJ is pregnant.
- The latest episode of WWE Inbox is all about the money. You can watch the latest at this link.
- SLAM! Wrestling interviewed Jinder Mahal about his WWE release. Mahal, along with Drew McIntyre, was released from the company a couple of weeks ago, one day before an appearance he taped for Smackdown was scheduled to air. He admitted to being surprised that he was let go. Below is an excerpt:
"I was surprised, because we were pretty well booked on everything," Mahal told SLAM! Wrestling in his first interview since his WWE departure. "We were on a lot of the live events, a lot of the overseas tours. We were always on Raw and Smackdown, and if we weren't, we would do Superstars or Main Event in the week. So yeah, I was surprised."
Mahal is taking independent bookings with McIntyre through Bill Behrens. Click here to read the interview in its entirety.
- There are a couple of updates from WWE we need to inform you about.
First, the company covered Hulk Hogan's motivational speech to the United States Men's National Team prior to their World Cup match against Germany. You can check out their coverage at this link or watch Hogan's announcement embedded below:
The following is from Twitter:
The company announced on Thursday the WWE Network is now available to subscribers through the WWE App on Amazon Fire TV. You can read the details on that at this link.
- WWE has updated their key performance indicators with the preliminary buyrate for Extreme Rules 2014. The show did a preliminary buyrate of 107,000 buys. Out of those buys, 40,000 were domestic and 67,000 were international.
You can view a screen shot of the data below:
The numbers serve as an indicator of the pay-per-view business with the evolution of the WWE Network. Expect the number of international buys to taper off as the network becomes available in overseas markets.
- Dean Ambrose is featured in a new Q&A at this link. When asked about backstage directives regarding the Money in the Bank ladder match, he commented,
Not really. I mean, everyone knows the score by this point even if it's your first time. Usually everyone backstage is just crossing their fingers, praying, saying their Hail Mary's, or whatever they have to do hoping nobody gets hurt. Pretty much everybody's eyes are glued to the screen. Lot of "Oohs" and "Aahs," but more "I hope he's okay" and worrying and relief when it's over and everyone comes out okay.
Thanks to WNW reader Doug Nunnally for sending the link.
- Steve Muehlhausen interviewed Steve Austin to promote the premiere of his new reality series on CMT called "The Broken Skull Challenge." The show premieres on Sunday, July 6 at 8 PM/7 CT on CMT. In it, Austin predicted Roman Reigns as WWE's next megastar. Below is an excerpt:
"Whew, that's a great question. There's three guys who have big superstars written on them. I think Bray Wyatt is one of them, Cesaro is one of them, but when I got to mention the guy your asking for is Roman Reigns. He happens to be related to The Rock. Good looking kid, damn good worker in the ring, I want to know some more about his promos. But man, if I got to look at the roster right now and say whose my next megastar, his name is Roman Reigns.
Click here to listen to the interview in its entirety.
- Dot com published a new feature on Tyler Breeze that you can read at this link.
- WWE posted a video titled Money in the Bank: By the Numbers. Click here to watch it.
- The Brock Lesnar/John Cena image from the SummerSlam Blu-Ray listing has been removed from Amazon.com. I questioned the legitimacy of the image in the first place, however, can confirm there have been discussions about Cena vs. Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam.
- Following his return to NXT on this week's episode, Enzo Amore spoke out alongside tag team partner Colin Cassady. The video is available at this link. Speaking of Enzo, his new entrance music by CFO$ is now on iTunes.
- Big E vs. Rusev will be added to WWE Money in the Bank on this week's episode of Smackdown. Below is the updated lineup for Sunday's pay-per-view:
Ladder Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
- Alberto Del Rio vs. Bray Wyatt vs. Cesaro vs. John Cena vs. Kane vs. Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns vs. Sheamus
Money in the Bank Ladder Match
- Bad News Barrett vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Jack Swagger vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Seth Rollins
WWE Tag Team Championship Match
- The Usos © vs. Luke Harper & Erick Rowan
WWE Divas Championship Match
- Paige © vs. Naomi
- Rusev w/Lana vs. Big E
Singles MatchSpecial guest referee - Fandango
- Summer Rae vs. Layla
WWE Money in the Bank will take place Sunday at the TD Garden in Boston, MA. We'll have complete coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- Digital Spy has a new Q&A online with Alberto Del Rio to promote Sunday's WWE Money in the Bank pay-per-view.
In it, Del Rio admitted he's not a fan of the Money in the Bank ladder match because "they're painful." He said Brock Lesnar is "no different" than any other competitor in WWE.
When asked about Luis Suárez going to Real Madrid, here's what he said:
"They always have rumors... he should be coming to WWE - and the bite can be his finisher! To be honest I don't think we need him in Madrid. I know he's a fantastic player, but we don't need somebody as crazy as Luis Suárez."
Click here to read the piece in its entirety.
- WWE NXT referee Dan Engler, formerly known as Rudy Charles in TNA Wrestling, is headed to the main roster. Thursday night was believed to be his final NXT date prior to a call up.
- SLAM! Wrestling has part 2 of their interview with Michael Hayes now online. Click here to read it.
- WWE United States Champ Sheamus vs. Bray Wyatt and Kane vs. Roman Reigns are the top advertised matches for this week's Smackdown. Dot com's preview is available at this link and taping results are available here. Make plans to join our Smackdown "Open Thread" at 7:30 PM EDT on Friday night right here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- If you've heard the original plan for SummerSlam was for Daniel Bryan to defend the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Brock Lesnar, you've heard wrong. As we reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, the original plan was for Bryan to defend the belt against Bray Wyatt.
With WWE still not knowing when Bryan will be back, there has been consideration for Lesnar vs. Cena, just as we have reported on numerous occasions.
However, that doesn't mean that Cena is guaranteed to walk out as the sole winner at Money in the Bank on Sunday. Directly off the heels of my Ask WNW argument that WWE can't split the titles, there's talk of having Cena grab one title and Wyatt grab the other. This leading into another unification bout at WWE Battleground in Tampa next month.
While Vince McMahon is receiving a lot of criticism for constantly changing his mind about pretty much everything, Daniel Bryan's questionable status makes it hard to carve out a plan in the first place. His week to week reversals on things are taking a toll on everyone in creative and were the main source of Jay Gibson's frustrations. (Gibson was recently let go amidst the recent line of cuts.)
Since WWE found out Bryan was unavailable for Money in the Bank on Sunday, Vince has had ideas for Roman Reigns to win the title, then Wyatt, then Cena, then Wyatt and Cena. By Sunday it could be back to Reigns. One source described it as "madness."
Lesnar vs. Cesaro is still in the cards at some point this year, just not as soon as talked about before Bryan's injury.
As for Reigns vs. Triple H at SummerSlam, that could still happen. Although Hunter may decide not to wrestle on the show and Reigns vs. Randy Orton is the backup plan if that's the case.
- Not everyone can say they have been farted on by Mae Young but Bully Ray can -- or at least that's what he told TMZ cameras. You can watch the footage embedded in the video below:
- TNA spoiled the outcome of a 20-man battle royal set to air on the July 10, 2014 episode of Impact Wrestling that will crown a new number one contender. The battle royal, taped Friday night, featured Jeff Hardy going over and earning a shot at Bobby Lashley and the TNA Championship at the June 25, 2014 Impact taping in New York City.
The title match was officially announced here on the company's website.
You can read taping results from the July 10, 2014 episode of Impact -- that includes the 20-man battle royal -- at this link.
While it's unknown why TNA decided to go ahead and announce Hardy vs. Lashley for the title, it was likely done to boost ticket sales.
- TNA Wrestling has announced Brian Cage, Low Ki and Homicide will work next weekend's Impact taping on June 26, 2014 in New York City. The company will hold tapings from the Manhattan Center June 25-27.
- Shad Gaspard indicated on Twitter that he and JTG are interested in working for TNA. The following is from Twitter:
- TNA Wrestling officially announced on Monday the 6-sided ring will return at the upcoming Impact tapings in New York City (June 25-27). The company held a fan vote, with the 6-sided ring beating out the traditional 4-sided ring.
Click here for coverage on ImpactWrestling.com.
The return of the 6-sided ring is a contentious topic as Austin Ariesvoiced his displeasure last week.
- TNA Champion Bobby Lashley, Eric Young, Gunner, Bully Ray and Velvet Sky were guests on Fox & Friends on Tuesday morning. Below are video clips from the appearance:
- Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy will reunite at Thursday's Destination XImpact Wrestling taping in New York City. Matt Tweeted the following:
- The Wolves and Sanda are booked for Wrestle-1's show on July 6, 2014 in Tokyo. Puroresu Spirit has the details at this link.
Speaking of Wrestle-1, The Great Muta and Tajiri held a joint press conference, announcing the closing of Tajiri's Wrestling New Classic promotion and the fact they'll be working together. The following is from Wrestling News World reader Jorge Romero:
- Dixie Carter noted Tuesday on Twitter that Robbie E and Brooke Tessmacher have completed The Amazing Race. She Tweeted the following:
- Amid some controversy, the 6-sided ring is back in TNA Wrestling. Dixie Carter Tweeted the following photo from Wednesday's Impact tapings from The Grand Ballroom at the Manhattan Center in New York City:
- Dixie Carter and The Great Muta announced in a joint press conference in New York City on Wednesday that Bound for Glory 2014 will take place at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan on Sunday, October 12, 2014. Expect a heavy TNA Wrestling vs. WRESTLE-1 tie-in as the promotions will work together for the show.
- TNA Wrestling published a new article here on ImpactWrestling.com about Bound for Glory 2014 taking place in Tokyo, Japan. The announcement was made on Wednesday at a press conference in New York City.
While TNA didn't announce a Wrestle-1 tie-in, they mentioned that Team 3D will be inducted into their Hall of Fame in Tokyo. Below is the promotional poster:
TNA Bound for Glory 2014 will take place at Korakuen Hall on Sunday, October 12, 2014.
- Brian Fritz has a new interview online with Shawn Hernandez where he talks about a fairly embarrassing situation with how his release from TNA Wrestling was handled. You can listen at this link.
- Gunner was honored as the "Veteran of the Night" at Tuesday night's New York Mets game at Citi Field. The appearance was part promotional for the Impact tapings in the Big Apple.
- Josh Mathews, who was released by WWE this week, is at Wednesday's Impact Wrestling taping from The Grand Ballroom at the Manhattan Center in New York City.
- TNA Wrestling ran an angle on their official website on Wednesday where the Board of Directors "called an emergency meeting" in Dallas with neither Dixie Carter nor MVP present. The tease is something major is in the works. TNA reports there have been "several meetings since Slammiversary" - one of which resulted in the return of the 6-sided ring. Click here for kayfabe coverage on ImpactWrestling.com.
- While WWE is in the process of making cuts due to investors concerns, TNA Wrestling is in a completely different boat. They're in the midst of negotiating a new domestic TV agreement with Spike TV and negotiations are not going well.
Spike is very concerned about the lack of star power on Impact, the amount of big names that have left and the concern that even more will leave.
Therefore TNA is trying to bring in known guys that aren't very expensive to show Spike that Impact will continue to have household names on the show (even though that's a stretch for some of the names they've brought in, specifically referencing the guys that debuted in New York on Wednesday).
The decision to bring Matt Hardy back was part of this and the desire to keep Jeff Hardy happy for the longterm has become a major priority. Many in TNA believe that Kurt Angle has one foot out the door and worry about losing Hardy as well. They're hoping that hiring Matt will help keep Jeff happy, not to mention them letting Jeff do the Willow gimmick he wanted to do even though most in the company thought it was a bad idea.
However in the midst of all this, we're told MVP is "miserable" and already wants out. We're continuing to track his status but he semi-worked in New York on Wednesday with a torn meniscus.
- TNA announced on Thursday that a "major decision has been made that will forever change TNA Wrestling" and it will be announced on this week's episode of Impact.
This after a storyline on ImpactWrestling.com where they noted an "emergency meeting" took place in Dallas, TX on Wednesday without Dixie Carter and MVP. They also note the last meeting of the Board led to the return of the 6-sided ring.
Click here for coverage by ImpactWrestling.com.
Make plans to join our Impact "Open Thread" at 8:30 PM EDT here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com for streaming live results and your discussion.
- Ethan Carter III was busted open in the head at Thursday night's TNA television tapings in New York City. He had to go to a local hospital where he required staples to close the wound. Carter summed it up as a rough day.
The following is from Twitter:
- This week's episode of Impact Wrestling did an average viewing audience of 1,136,000 viewers on Spike TV. TV by the Numbers has data for the entire day available at this link.
I have been waiting for AJ Lee's WWE return but have been hearing rumors all over that she is pregnant. Are these rumors true and if not, when is she planned to make her return?
I was under the impression that AJ Lee would be back to WWE television some time this summer before SummerSlam in August. I've been told throughout her hiatus she remains in good standing with WWE and has remained in constant communication. With both Emma and Paige coming off to the office as "disappointments," it's only raised the stock of AJ Lee.
As for the pregnancy rumor, one of the last texts I received before going on vacation last week was that AJ was possibly pregnant but that my source "wasn't touching it." Apparently while I was gone someone got on ReddIt and decided to inform the world. I have no idea if it's true or not and the only reason it would even be remotely relevant to any of us would be a possible delay in AJ Lee's WWE return. If she is indeed pregnant, it could be quite some time before she works for WWE again.
How would it work if Brock Lesnar won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam? Would it even be possible for him to hold the title until Wrestlemania 31?
Our top story on Sunday was that WWE was looking to have Brock Lesnar challenge for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam. We later followed up by explaining how a possible Lesnar title reign would be handled. You can read our article at this link.
In short, it would be possible but would also be done in a tactful way that worked around his part-time contract.
What are your thoughts on Bobby Lashley winning the TNA Championship?
TNA had a golden opportunity to reset with Magnus as champion. His reign was horrible and cut short in favor of Eric Young. Unlike many pundits, I was optimistic about Young's reign because I think he's one of the most talented guys in the business. Not only can EY work but he's got a great look and the ability to get over on the mic. TNA wanted to tie his reign in with his new Animal Planet series. Now, it's been reset again with Lashley. No disrespect to Bobby but this just shows me that TNA never learns. They had two guys they could have branded as "their guys" but have instead found another WWE retread to push as champion.
Who are the members of Adam Rose's entourage? Do they cast in every city they visit?
Adam Rose's entourage is a mixture of people. Local call-ins have been used as have staff members and NXT trainers. It all depends on where they are as to who gets used as a Rosebud.
From the Ask WNW vault…
March 2013: Who has a better chance of going over at Wrestlemania 29 – Brock Lesnar or CM Punk? - Pretty much everyone I speak with feels Undertaker is going 21-0 while Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar is more up in the air. I personally feel that both Lesnar and Punk go under and that Triple H avenges his loss from SummerSlam while Undertaker upholds the streak. My preference is for Punk to end the streak although I can see valid arguments from both sides on Hunter vs. Lesnar. Many readers are interpreting my personal preference of Punk “ending the streak” to think I’m saying it’s likely to happen or even being talked about. This is unfounded as I feel Undertaker goes over and that he’s returning to do just that. However, I do think WWE has a unique opportunity and if there is ever going to be a payoff to the streak, this is the year.
The traditional Money in the Bank ladder match seems lackluster. Outside of Bad News Barrett, none of the participants have a favorable 2014 win/loss record. Assuming Seth Rollins/Dean Ambrose take each other out, is Barrett the only logical choice to win?
I definitely see why you believe the Money in the Bank ladder match is lackluster as the participants were thrown together with no build. I captured a notable quote from backstage in my notes posted at this link. The MITB ladder match hinges on spectacular in-ring work, not on the storylines that precede it. Considering the match will include spectacular MITB workers such as Kofi Kingston, Dolph Ziggler, RVD, Seth Rollins, etc, you should be pleasantly surprised. If I'm booking, I'm putting Seth Rollins over all day long. I know they'll have to blowoff Rollins/Ambrose before he "cashes in," but it would only help in his elevation as a singles performer.
We know that CM Punk's contract is up in July but what is the contract status of guys like Christian and Alberto Del Rio?
CM Punk is in the final weeks of his WWE Performer's Contract. We updated on his status here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com. Neither Christian nor Alberto Del Rio appear to be in WWE's long-term plans, something that has been known for quite some time. The concern with Christian is in regards to his health, while Del Rio was always believed to have a short-lived run in WWE. Del Rio is a guy that came in very successful and wanted to prove himself at the top level. He hasn't gone out of his way to generate strong ties in the locker room and his best friend (Drew McIntyre) was recently fired. So to answer your question, it's a reasonable assumption to expect WWE to be without Punk, Del Rio and Christian some time next year.
Was it just me that popped for Vickie Guerrero on this week's Monday Night Raw?
It wasn't just you as I had a very positive reaction to Vickie Guerrero's curtain call performance on this week's Raw. Vickie is very talented and further proved her mic skills are on par with the best talkers in the business. I'll miss her contributions but understand that she is looking forward to life after the business and commend her for that vision. As reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, Vickie plans to pursue a career in medical administration.
What do you think of Cody Rhodes and his new gimmick as Stardust?
Stardust helps keep Cody Rhodes relevant at the midcard level. The Rhodes Brothers tag team was losing steam and Cody looked to be headed back to irrelevance. Cody's work has been great and hopefully his successful run as Stardust will result in him getting a chance at more. I truly believe Rhodes is more than a midcard talent but he just needs an opportunity. Rhodes' ability to get Stardust over proves his degree of talent.
From the Ask WNW vault…
January 2012: What are your thoughts on Evan Bourne getting suspended for the second time? - Evan Bourne’s 60-day suspension from WWE for his second violation of the company Wellness Policy is very unfortunate and has the potential to de-rail his promising career. One of the quickest ways for a worker to lose their fan base is to fail a Wellness test. I’ve found that very passionate wrestling fans have zero tolerance for guys with Wellness problems; however, as we’ve seen with Jeff and Matt Hardy, they can be very forgiving as well. The main thing Bourne needs to do right now is get his life straight and realize he’s literally got one more chance before his dreams are crushed. Bourne is a guy that has defied the odds because of his size and made WWE push him because of how over he was. However, he’s in very bad standing right now with two Wellness strikes and backstage heat to boot.
When Bad News Barrett first won the Intercontinental Championship, I thought that this was just to placate the European crowd for their tour, but he has actually been booked as a strong, fighting mid card champion. Do you think that he is really getting a push or that this is just remnants of the European tour that WWE ran with due to his character's popularity?
Bad News Barrett has been booked decently since winning the WWE Intercontinental Championship and it's certainly more than what he's done in recent years. However, everything could have come to a screeching halt on Tuesday night as Barrett suffered a shoulder injury. Dot com reported his participation in the Money in the Bank ladder match is unknown but crowd members claim he was pulled. We'll follow the story as it progresses but if Barrett is pulled from the pay-per-view, it will be very unfortunate.
We all know that John Cena probably will not turn heel anytime soon, however, that doesn't mean WWE won't repackage him. Wouldn't that make everyone happy?
I don't think it's a heel turn that people want to see from John Cena but some kind, any kind, of gimmick tweak. My problem -- and most people's problem -- with the Cena character is that it has changed very little since the hip hop gimmick was dropped. The yearning for character progression is what has resulted in Cena burnout from many and not the fact he hasn't turned heel.
If WWE knew they were going to break up The Shield ahead of time why is taking long to decide on theme songs and ring gear? Shouldn't this have been planned out ahead of time?
The WWE creative team went back and forth on breaking up The Shield for months. Remember intense dissension was teased before they turned babyface and beat Evolution on consecutive shows. Seth Rollins breaking out in a swerve was something that had come up but there was a lot of surprise when it was executed. As for theme songs and ring gear, a lot of this is determined after the fact for a number of reasons. WWE doesn't micromanage ring gear and theme songs at the level that some believe they should. Workers also have a lot more say and control over what they wear to the ring than you would think.
What are your thoughts on the Adam Rose character?
Adam Rose is a fun midcard character. I don't think it's something that will ever reach the level of WWE World Heavyweight Champion but it breaks up the programming and provides a "lighter moment" for the audience. WWE has put a tremendous effort into Rose as here's a fact you probably didn't know. Adam Rose has never lost. Check out his win/loss record at this link.
From the Ask WNW vault…
September 2012: Why does WWE change John Cena’s ring gear so often? - The short answer is it sells. Every time WWE introduces a new John Cena t-shirt design or color, take a moment to scan the audience. You’ll see it all over the arena and this is the reason WWE refuses to touch his character.
Is it quite obvious that John Cena wins the WWE World Heavyweight Championship ladder match at Money in the Bank?
John Cena is the clear favorite to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship ladder match at Money in the Bank for a number of reasons. For one, WWE is known to lean on Cena when they need him the most. With the injury to Daniel Bryan, Batista off and Brock Lesnar's dates protected, I expect them to lean on the true face of the company. Further, we know there have been creative meetings about Cena vs. Lesnar for the title at SummerSlam as we detailed on Wednesday. However, the outcome is obvious and WWE has been known to swerve away from the obvious as they proved with Seth Rollins being the one that turned on The Shield.
Are there any updates on any further WWE roster cuts?
As I reported last week, the releases are continuing as WWE aims to show investors they are committed to cutting costs. While it's more an illusion than anything else, I expect the cuts to continue to help restore investor confidence following their underwhelming TV licensing agreement with NBCUniversal. I can't name names at this point but expect releases to continue. Josh Mathews is the latest cut as he was deemed expendable with the emergence of Renee Young.
After watching Kurt Angle introduce Team 3D, I couldn't help but wonder what the TNA originals think about the first three inductees to their Hall of Fame. Yes, Sting gave them credibility, Angle gave them a franchise player and Team 3D raised the tag team division, but what about Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, Daniels or even Team Canada's Scott D'Amore!? You would think they would show some sort of gratitude to the originals.
What about Jeff Jarrett? It's too early the way it is for a TNA Hall of Fame but it will continue to have no credibility until Jeff Jarrett is inducted. If it weren't for him, there would be no TNA Wrestling. AJ Styles told me directly that he wouldn't accept an induction until Jarrett is inducted. The TNA Hall of Fame is like many things the company does, completely backwards. I mean no disrespect to any of the five names and agree with your observations. However, to assert any of those guys are more important to the company's foundation than Jarrett is absurd. I believe my sentiment is shared throughout the locker room as a lot -- if not all -- of the TNA originals know they wouldn't be there had it not been for Jeff sticking his neck out there for them.
In an earlier installment of Ask WNW, you stated the plan was to do The Rock vs. Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 31 next year. Is that still the plan?
The Rock vs. Brock Lesnar is a bout WWE wants to do but obviously relies on the ability to get Rock to commit and a path being made for WWE's new "money card" in Lesnar. I know The Rock wants a match against Lesnar if he comes back but we'll get a better idea closer to the end of the year. For now, WWE will lay the framework to prominently feature Brock at SummerSlam.
From the Ask WNW vault…
September 2012: Did you know that some bookmakers actually take bets on WWE PPV matches? Did you know this and have go ever considered making money on the outcomes of matches? - I’m aware that people do place bets on pro wrestling matches, however, whenever I get an email from a reader looking to do it I always urge them to reconsider. Some of my friends in the business do place bets, however, I won’t do it because of the rate things change. If you’re looking to “get in on the action” in terms of sports betting, stick to the sports where the outcomes are not predetermined.
I don't want to beat a dead horse but wouldn't it make sense to split the world titles up for Brock Lesnar to win one at SummerSlam? We all know Lesnar won't be around to defend it. This way he'll still look like a beast and WWE will still be able to defend the other title at pay-per-views.
For anyone that doesn't know, I was against unifying the WWE and World Heavyweight title belts because I felt it diminished the company's main event scene. Two world titles literally forced the company to have two main events at every pay-per-view and provided opportunities for talent that would otherwise be relegated to the mid-card. We're 6 months in and that's exactly what has happened with the very unfortunate injury to Daniel Bryan proving just how vital it was to have two champions. However, now I will contradict myself. Now that WWE has pushed their World Heavyweight Champion as the "champion of champions" and "face of the company," they have no choice but to push one champion. Turning back now and splitting the belts would hurt any prestige they've restored and make the win mean less. That's not to say they can't de-unify the belts later on but it's too soon after going forward with title unification at the end of last year.
Does WWE talent have to pay their own travel expenses?
Yes, WWE workers under Performer's contracts have to pay for their own travel expenses such as flights, rental cars and hotels. This is why a lot of guys travel together to split these expenses. It's also why some guys -- like John Cena -- travel in tour buses. Things work a bit differently for international tours, however, that's how it works domestically.
What's the situation with Corey Graves? Is it injury or personal leave and do you know when he's coming back?
Corey Graves has been sidelined recently due to a concussion. The injury bug hasn't been good to him (it's never good to anyone) as he was nearing a main roster call-up. Graves has been part of another debate that I've brought to the forefront on my Facebook page. If you're interested, read what I wrote and read his Tweets. I won't bring a sidebar argument to the website.
If TNA were to go under, is there any talent that WWE would be interested in?
This is a rhetorical question. Of course there are workers WWE would be interested in if TNA were to go out of business. There are currently people that work in TNA that WWE already has interest in. WWE scouts talent from all promotions all across the world, why wouldn't they be interested?
From the Ask WNW vault…
April 2012: You’ve mentioned before that Vince McMahon was against part-time workers, if you worked for him you were full time. With Brock Lesnar breaking that mold, does this open the door for a Bill Goldberg, Sting, Kurt Angle (retirement run), part time program leading up to Wrestlemania? - Vince McMahon has always wanted workers to be full-time with the company and is hesitant to give pushes to part-timers. There have been exceptions with Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker and of course Triple H but by large the rule has been all or nothing. The Rock recently broke the mold by agreeing to work Wrestlemania XXVIII one year in advance and working sporadic appearances on TV as well as a main event match at Survivor Series. Vince broke all his rules for Brock Lesnar and offered him big money for a limited schedule because he was determined that Lesnar’s first post-UFC appearance would be in a WWE ring. I don’t know this for sure but it seems like Vince took a lot of credit for Brock drawing big for UFC and wanted to make sure he got to capitalize on Lesnar’s fame for himself. As for this opening the door for other part-timers, the mold of “all or nothing” seems to be changing, especially given the success of Wrestlemania XXVIII. Kurt Angle and Sting are currently under TNA contract and I haven’t heard of recent interest in Goldberg, however, WWE is interested in Batista.