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 23, 2012 to Friday, June 29, 2012 as well as all five Ask WNW segments from the week. Use this newsletter as your own personal tool to catch up on any of the news that you may have missed during the week. Below is a table of contents:
Note From Richard: For those that have asked, the Newsletter is organized with the news posted on Saturday at the top with the most recent stories at the bottom. We have it organized this way so you can read the news in the order in which it happened. Thanks for your support!
- Yahoo! Sports has an article on John Cena granting his 300th wish through the Make-A-Wish foundation earlier this week. The piece notes that WWE had to rearrange Cena's entire schedule to make sure it happened and that Cena is determined to grant 1000 wishes. Click here to read the article in its entirety.
- One of the biggest stories we are currently following is the behind-the-scenes drama involving John Cena and CM Punk trying to nudge Randy Orton out of WWE. So far, their efforts have been unsuccessful with Vince McMahon planning to bring Orton back to the main event scene as soon as his suspension expires. According to a source with knowledge of McMahon's mindset, his reasoning is two fold. First, with the talent pool as thin as it is right now, McMahon feels it's worth taking the risk of getting behind Orton in a major way again even though he'll be terminated if there are any more Wellness issues. Second, even though Vince isn't normally concerned about TNA, his attitude is different now due to the litigation against WWE and the last thing he wants to do right now is hand TNA a top tier talent on a silver platter. The most interesting elements in all of this though are the political maneuvers that have been taking place with Cena and Punk. The two of them have become very close over the last year, with Punk feeling like Cena went out of his way to help make him and Cena feeling like Punk is a hard worker and a reliable guy who can help shoulder the burden of carrying the company. In addition to the mutual respect that has grown between Cena and Punk, both have a mutual dislike for Orton. The feeling is Orton is a prima donna who not only mistreats those beneath him, but is also erratic and unreliable. They both went to Vince to plead their case that Orton was not needed anymore and that Punk could carry the Smackdown brand and the two of them could carry the company. Ultimately Vince didn't go along with it but it did lead to Punk working Smackdown live events while Orton is out. We'll still be following the story as it's certainly interesting that while the plan is to bring Orton back, Cena and Punk have essentially formed an alliance and are actively seeking to push Orton out of the company. Given the added drama, McMahon has even more difficult ego juggling on his hands. While Vince views Orton as a bigger star than Punk, Cena is still the golden boy. Also, while Orton has a lot of enemies backstage and Cena is generally well-liked, a lot of guys view Punk as an opinionated jerk and don't like the idea of him gaining more stroke and influence due to his friendship with Cena.
- WWE issued the following press release today:
STAMFORD, Conn., Jun 25, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- WWE and ION Television today announced a new weekly one-hour original series airing on Wednesday nights at 8/7C. WWE Main Event will debut on October 3, 2012, and feature WWE Superstars and Divas from the rosters of Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown. The new show will be available in 100 million U.S. television households on ION Television, a top-rated general entertainment network that features a broad mix of critically acclaimed series, movies and original programming.
"ION Television is delighted to begin a new partnership with such a successful and well-recognized franchise as WWE," said Brandon Burgess, CEO, ION Media Networks. "As a general entertainment network with a solid foundation, WWE Main Event is a great addition to our lineup that features something for everyone. We look forward to introducing our ION audience to all of the excitement and drama WWE has to offer as well as welcoming a passionate new fan base to the network."
"WWE looks forward to this new partnership with ION Television," said Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman and CEO. "We are excited about producing this new television show, WWE Main Event, and bringing our fans to ION Television every Wednesday."
WWE Main Event will feature in-ring action and fit seamlessly in storylines from Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown, making Wednesday night appointment viewing for fans. The new series will offer a big arena experience with live audiences like current WWE weekly programs.
- The official WWE website has announced that Charlie Sheen will act as the Celebrity Social Media Ambassador for the 1000th episode of Raw SuperShow. The website explains his role in the following excerpt:
During the three-hour milestone event July 23 at 8/7 CT on USA Network, the “winning” actor will entertain his 7.5 million Twitter followers and the WWE Universe all night long with his unique 140-character analysis of the action.
Sheen will be promoting his upcoming show, Anger Management, which premieres this Thursday on FX. Click here to view the full announcement.
- Kane, Big Show, Chris Jericho and John Cena have been announced as participants for the WWE Championship Money in the Bank ladder match at the pay-per-view next month. The criteria for participants is that only former WWE Champions are eligible for the bout.
- It was announced on tonight's Raw Supershow that Brock Lesnar will "respond" to Triple H's "challenge" for a match at SummerSlam on next week's show. As of this writing, Lesnar isn't advertised to appear live.
- Sycho Sid returned to WWE on tonight's Raw Supershow to squash Heath Slater. Sid's appearance was part of a reoccurring theme of bringing back past talent to celebrate the 1000th episode of Raw on July 23, 2012.
- CM Punk will defend the WWE Championship against Daniel Bryan at Money in the Bank next month.
- Next week's Super Smackdown Live is branded The Great American Bash. The show will take place next Tuesday from the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas. The Great American Bash was a pay-per-view name used by the NWA's Jim Crockett Promotions, World Championship Wrestling and of course WWE.
- Dot com has a video online with Sycho Sid discussing how good it felt to return to Raw. Sid called it the greatest moment of his whole life. You can watch the full video at this link.
- After Raw Supershow went off the air, John Cena "recovered" and beat Big Show & Tensai in a 2-on-1 handicap match. After the match, John Laurinaitis came out and hit Cena with a chair. Cena ended up giving him the Attitude Adjustment to end the taping.
- Randy Orton broke his silence on Twitter, answering followers about numerous issues.
One follower asked him if he was caught smoking weed in which Orton said, "I can neither confirm, nor deny." Another asked him about a report by a NEWZ site about John Cena wanting to get him fired and instead of responding to the claim, Orton took a crap on what he called the 'news' sites.
If you want to know what's going on behind-the-scenes regarding Orton, read this story.
Richard Reacts: Given the fact that 99% of wrestling websites are NEWZ websites with copy and pasted content posted over and over again, I really don't blame Orton for crapping on them. I don't care if it's a dig at WNW because anyone that reads WNW knows we are an entire different level than just about every other website out there. I post stories directly from backstage that prove to be true time and time again. I'll put the number of stories I've broken over the past 5 years up against any publication out there so it really doesn't bother me about any of the heat we may get. We know what we are doing but are only able to do it with your support and for that I say thank you.
- Chris Jericho posted the following on Twitter after Raw Supershow:
- I'm told there was heat on Alberto Del Rio after his "number one contender's match" against Dolph Ziggler on Raw Supershow. According to a source with knowledge of the situation, John Cena approached Del Rio backstage about not protecting Dolph towards the end of the match where Dolph landed on the back of his neck and shoulder on the apron. His beef was that Del Rio didn't protect the move or the fall that Dolph took. Accompanying Cena was a producer who sternly reminded Del Rio to protect guys on a roll to the outside. Apparently Del Rio brushed off the criticism and upset John even more for not giving him the respect he felt he deserved. I'm told Cena has already been vocal with how guys are acting like they are "too good" and being tough to deal with. My source added the ongoing problems in John's personal life are most-certainly keeping him a little more uptight as well. Another reason for Cena's vocal displeasure with Del Rio could also have something to do with the fiasco that went down last week with Del Rio threatening to walk. However, it's believed Cena will be having a conversation with the other producers and it's likely this will "go right to Vince McMahon." As for Ziggler, he was just sore afterwards and wasn't seriously injured but was examined by medical staff backstage. - WWE issued an apology today for a technical malfunction at USA Network's Master Control that interrupted the opening of this week's Raw Supershow by a 60-second local advertisement. They are offering the first three minutes of Raw on dot com. Below is the official statement:
Due to a technical malfunction at USA Network’s Master Control, the opening of last night’s Raw SuperShow was inadvertently interrupted by a 60-second local spot. On behalf of USA Network and those of us here at WWE, we apologize for this error. To watch the first three minutes of Raw now, uninterrupted, click here.
I have DirecTV and had no issues watching the broadcast. - Vickie Guerrero announced during this week's Smackdown taping that AJ will be the special guest referee when CM Punk faces Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship at WWE Money in the Bank.Click here to view this week's Smackdown spoilers. - It was announced during this week's Smackdown taping that Theodore Long will be the Interim General Manager for next week's editions of Raw Supershow and Smackdown. - Justin Roberts was on vacation Monday night so Lilian Garcia filled in for him. Lilian made comment about the situation on Twitter at this link. (Thanks to WNW reader Logan Walker for sending this in.) - Brock Lesnar is officially advertised for the 1000th Raw on July 23, 2012. - Tammy "Sunny" Sytch claimed on Twitter that her boyfriend, Damien Darling, was recently contacted by WWE:
- In a hilarious twist, I'm told a Linda McMahon for Senate campaign ad actually interrupted the opening moments of Raw Supershow for some viewers in Connecticut. Due to the fact the interruption was a local spot, it was different depending on the market. WWEissued an apology on Tuesday and offered the opening moments of Raw on dot com. - Insane Clown Posse has filmed a music video for the new lead single on their upcoming "Mighty Death Pop" album due out August 14th. The song, called "Chris Benoit," apparently deals with the loss of sanity and snapping in a moment of panic. You can read coverage by the Detroit Free Press at this link. - WWE has updated their key performance indicators with new data regarding pay-per-view buys. The most interesting number is Wrestlemania XXVIIIbuys which continue to drop. Originally projected at 1,300,000 buys, actual buys have now been adjusted to 1,150,000 buys. Below are the updated numbers:
- Elimination Chamber 2012 - 170,000 buys
- Wrestlemania XXVIII - 1,150,000 buys
- Extreme Rules 2012 - 250,000 buys
- Over the Limit 2012 - 150,000 buys
All numbers are projections and approximations but it gives you an idea of how the pay-per-views performed. - Below is what you won't see on this week's Smackdown:
- Triple H came out during one of the commercial breaks and gave David Otunga a pedigree.
- Jerry Lawler appeared at one point, hitting a top rope fist-drop on Jack Swagger.
- After the taping concluded, John Cena beat Big Show & Tensai in a dark match main event.
You can read full Smackdown taping results by Brooks Oglesby at this link. - Damien Sandow, Tyson Kidd, WWE United States Champion Santio Marella, WWE Intercontinental Champion Christian and Tensai all qualified for the World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank ladder match at this week's Smackdown taping. - WWE has video of Kofi Kingston's appearance on "Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files" Tuesday night on SyFy. You can watch the clip at this link. - Jim Ross has a new blog entry online that includes his thoughts on this week's Raw Supershow. Click here to read it. - The profile of John Laurinaitis has been removed from the Superstars listing on dot com but is still active at this link. (Thanks to WNW reader Logan Walker for sending this in.) - We received an unconfirmed tip that Damien Darling is in talks for a WWE dark match which goes along with what Tammy SytchTweeted. - Rey Mysterio's suspension is now over and he has been pushing for a match against Sin Cara at SummerSlam. One WWE source told me the company is in no hurry to rush Rey back and aren't really interested in a Cara/Mysterio program right now. I'm told the company wants to see how Sin Cara fairs on this go around and Vince McMahon figures he can bring Mysterio back at any point. The feeling is Mysterio's value to WWE will be hard to assess until they decide whether or not Cara is going to have legs. The reason Sin Cara has received so many changes in the first place is because he is Triple H's pet project and with him just returning, it's believed the company wants to give a chance before bringing Rey back. - The following article was written by The Associated Press:
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The professional wrestling company that Republican Senate candidate Linda McMahon once oversaw now wants a federal elections complaint filed by a Connecticut newspaper dismissed. The WWE, formerly known as World Wrestling Entertainment, said the complaint filed by the Journal Inquirer of Manchester "failed to provide a factual basis" for its accusation that the Stamford-based company illegally helped McMahon's campaign when it threatened a lawsuit against the newspaper. In a statement released Wednesday, WWE called the claim "absurd" and "an abuse of process." The Journal Inquirer filed its complaint with the Federal Elections Commission after a WWE official accused the newspaper of libel and threatened legal action if it didn't retract two opinion columns written by the managing editor, who asserted McMahon made her fortune from the pornography and violence business.
- Lilian Garcia, Natalya, Zack Ryder and injured Mark Henry all appeared as advertised on behalf of WWE on Wednesday night at the Brooklyn Cyclones Minor League Baseball game at MCU field. They hosted a be-A-Star anti-bullying rally where they interacted with fans that attended the game. Click here for a photo. - WWE had two clips featured on E!'s The Soup this week. - WWEhas announced the following news live events in Kansas:
- Kansas Expo Centre in Topeka, Kansas on September 29, 2012
- Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas on September 30, 2012
With WWE pay-per-view buys down do you think WWE will either lower prices of their events or possibly have restaurants charge a cover fee for patrons to watch the shows? Answering the second part of this question first, restaurants such as Buffalo Wild Wings have to pay a significant fee to show WWE pay-per-views. Due to the fact they are a public place where the show will be seen on multiple screens, they have to pay significantly more than you or I would by watching at home. As for WWE lowering their pay-per-view prices, there has been talk about tweaking the pay-per-view model with the launch WWE Network but I haven't heard anything about reducing the cost of the pay-per-views. WWE is aware things need tweaked but given the fact Wrestlemania XXVIII set a buy record (even though it's been lowered), they know people will buy if there is enough interest. Why does WWE continue to push workers such as Tensai and Ryback when they are just getting mocked with "Albert" and "Goldberg" chants? Tensai's push has been scaled back significantly as WWE producers along with Vince McMahon recognized he didn't get over how they planned. Much of what you have seen with Big Show was originally slated for Tensai. WWE has not completely given up on him and are tweaking things in attempt to make the gimmick work. As for Ryback, the general feeling is not one of optimism but Vince McMahon is still high up on him. We'll see how it plays out but it's also important not to judge a gimmick too quickly. So many fans want to criticize a gimmick before it even gets a chance. There are a lot of gimmicks that started awful and turned out to be entertaining. Patience is key but there is a point when the plug needs to be pulled. What do you expect for the 1000th Raw in terms of returns and surprise appearances? The 1000th episode of WWE Raw is going to be loaded and will feature all WWE has not only to try and boost a huge rating but also create momentum for their permanent move to three hours. Some names already announced for the 1000th Raw that are not reoccurring on WWE television are Brock Lesnar and D-Generation X. Do you feel it's the right time for CM Punk to drop the WWE Championship or do you feel he needs to continue his long title reign? CM Punk is clearly established as a main event star in WWE and given his extended reign as WWE Champion, dropping the title would not hurt him. Is it time? This is a whole other question and I'm not sure I have a clear-cut answer. On one hand, Daniel Bryan is capable of carrying the title but on the other hand, I'd like to see Punk get a chance to headline a pay-per-view as WWE Champion, which is something that hasn't happened this year. - Some of the horrible lines from John Cena's in-ring promo with Chris Jericho on this week's Raw Supershow were removed from repeat airings. Cena's line where he told Jericho he was going to win "the whole fudgin' thing" in regards to the WWE Championship Money in the Bank Ladder Match along with his claim that the majority of WWE's audience is comprised of 9-year-olds were edited off. Below is an excerpt of the promo as recapped by Kendra Bunyon:
Cena says stop Big Show in the MITBLM and keep him from being Champ? They both know that everyone with the suitcase has always cashed it in to be the Champ. Cena knows it better than anyone, he’s had that suitcase cashed in on him more than once! He figures it’s time to be on the other side of the fence. He hasn’t been Champ in over a year. Come to think of it, at MITB, he’s out to win the whole fudgin’ thing. Jericho says,”Fudgin’?” “It’s a PG show, it’s the best I could do,” says Cena. “What are you, nine?” asks Jericho. Cena says,”Most of our viewers are about that age.”
- Mick Foley has been pushing for a match at SummerSlam but has been getting the cold shoulder. From what I've been told, Foley would like to wrestle Dean Ambrose as a culmination of their online/viral feud that started over Wrestlemania XXVIII weekend earlier this year. Foley's biggest hurdle is Triple H. Hunter "has it out" for Foley and often shoots down ideas involving him, especially if he knows the hardcore legend is behind them. Regardless of strong opposition from Triple H, Foley's pitched program with Ambrose may still happen but it's not currently in the plans for SummerSlam. I'm told Hunter isn't big on the idea of Foley wrestling again. Foley had been scheduled for a while to return to TV at the end of June, so he ended up just being used as the interim GM, although originally Foley thought he'd be returning to kick off his program with Ambrose. As for Foley's reaction to being blackballed by Hunter, he's trying to "no sell" the whole situation and roll with the punches but he's very aware of what is going on. - WWE Studios will team with Troika Pictures to co-produce and co-finance the upcoming thriller, "The Hive," starring Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin. Principal photography is scheduled to begin on July 6th in Los Angeles. Click here for coverage by dot com. - Maxine has left WWE, I can now confirm. While she worked Monday's Divas Battle Royal, she was unhappy with her position in the company including but not limited to the structure of her contract. Maxine, whose real name is Karlee Perez, has been with WWE since 2009 when she signed a developmental contract.
- Eric Young posted the following on Twitter regarding his status with TNA:
As far as rumor I have quit TNA totally not true they last minute changed impact schedual and all my Thursday's where booked by animal planet show. TNA is upset I'm not there but can't wait to have me back and I will be back soon!!!!
For more on Young, including the latest on his show on Animal Planet, follow him on Twitter @ShowtimeEY. - TNA announced today that Sting has been added to upcoming live events in Aberdeen, Maryland on July 20, 2012 and Brooklyn, New York on July 21, 2012. - Madison Rayne won first place in a fitness/bikini competition over the weekend. You can view a photo of her at the competition at this link. - King Mo recently stated in an interview with MMAJunkie.com that he will begin training in Ohio Valley Wrestling, TNA's official developmental territory, in about two months. - Hernandez recently signed a new one-year contract with TNA Wrestling. - Hulk Hogan wrote the following on Twitter:
- The worker that played Rubix in a match against Sonjay Dutt during the X Division Tournament on this week's Impact Wrestling was Jigsaw. Jigsaw's real name is Ed McGuckin and he's known for his work in Ring of Honor, Chikara and Dragon Gate USA. Click here for full Impact Wrestling results.
- For those that missed it on this week's Impact Wrestling, Christopher Daniels & Kazarian beat AJ Styles & Kurt Angle to win the TNA Tag Team Championship.
- Scorpio Sky, known for his work in Wrestling Society X, worked against Rashad Cameron as Mason Andrews on this week's Impact Wrestling.
- Following this week's live Impact Wrestling, below is the updated lineup for TNA Destination X:
TNA Championship Match
- Bobby Roode © vs. Austin Aries
Last Man Standing Match
- AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels
Bound for Glories Series Match
- Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe
X Division Championship Tournament
- Qualified thus far: Sonjay Dutt, Rashad Cameron
- TNA Wrestling issued the following about their X-Division Title Tournament:
Three weeks ago on IMPACT WRESTLING, Hulk Hogan gave Austin Aries a choice: To receive a World Title Match at Destination X on July 8, he must relinquish the X-Division Championship. Austin Aries’ counter-proposal to Hogan was “Option C”; that every year at Destination X, the X-Division Champion be given the same World Title Match option. With Austin Aries deciding to take the gamble, a new X-Division champion must be crowned.
Announced this week, the new X-Division Champion will be determined in a one-night tournament at Destination X. This tournament will feature current X-Division stars battling wrestlers from outside IMPACT WRESTLING. Qualifying matches for the outside wrestlers started this past Thursday on IMPACT WRESTLING on Spike TV and continue on the July 5th edition.
At Destination X, eight wrestlers will battle in four single matches in the opening round of the tournament. The four winners will advance to the championship match that evening where the X-Division title will hang in the balance in ULTIMATE X!
Ultimate X is a match unique to the X-Division and features the most death defying moves and moments ever captured inside and above a wrestling ring. Now, with the added value to the X-Division Championship, these brave athletes will do whatever it takes to start their road to destiny; a potential World Championship match at next year’s Destination X!
Current X-Division Stars Entered for Destination X
Outside Wrestlers Qualified for Destination X
We hear so much about the WWE Wellness Policy; what about drug testing in TNA? Do they have a counterpart comparable to what WWE does?
TNA Wrestling has no Wellness Policy in place. They do test from time-to-time but there is no set procedure as to what happens if a worker tests positive. TNA, as a private company, isn't subject to the same level of scrutiny [as WWE] due to the fact they are private as well as much smaller than WWE.
When do you expect to see The Rock back on WWE television?
The Rock said on Twitter last month he's coming back to WWE at the beginning of 2013. He noted how busy he is with three films to shoot. Obviously there is a chance he could return sooner but as things currently stand, it doesn't look like he'll be used at SummerSlam or any more events in 2012. However, I always like to remind readers anything is possible.
I've noticed what WWE has done with Heath Slater recently. He went from appearing only on NXT and Superstars to every Raw and Smackdown in the last few weeks. Do you feel that considering the amount of television time he's receiving that he may be in for a push?
There's good news and there's bad news for Heath Slater. The good news is he's getting on WWE television and live events, which is a position many people not being used would desire. However, the bad news is he's being used as an enhancement talent scripted in embarrassing segments. Carlito candidly spoke about how he was used on last week's Raw Supershow at this link. Could he be due a push? It's possible but he's currently an enhancement talent.
Chris Jericho's suspension is up so will he appear on tonight's Raw Supershow?
WWE announced last week that Chris Jericho will return to the company on tonight's Raw Supershow. It was also noted that Fozzy's new album is due out on August 14, 2012. We'll have full Raw coverage here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com beginning at 9 PM EDT tonight.
Will more participants be added to the WWE Championship Money in the Bank ladder match?
My initial feeling was there would be more participants added but after looking at the wording today on dot com, it appears this year's WWE Championship Money in the Bank ladder match is going to have four participants. Here's the official wording: "It will consist of only former WWE Champions. This year’s participants are Big Show, Kane, Chris Jericho and John Cena!" We'll see if things change but it appears WWE wants it to be a main event level match with only four workers.
With Vader, Wendi Richter and now Sid, is WWE planning on signing older talent to the roster or were these one shot deals? If they are one shot deals, isn't having these old guys squashing the newer talent just undermining them going forward?
WWE is bringing back past names to work one shots to promote the 1000th episode of Raw on July 23, 2012. I don't know if the plan is to squash Heath Slater every week but he's an enhancement worker whose job is to put people over. Does it undermine him and make him look weak? Yes, but that's what an enhancement talent is supposed to do.
In Randy Orton's new DVD he and John Cena were seen being extremely friendly with Cena even being shown with Orton's daughter. Did their friendship fall apart recently?
Randy Orton upset everyone with his latest WWE Wellness Policy suspension and attitude afterwards. The feeling is Randy is unreliable and not someone WWE can invest in long-term with two official Wellness strikes. I posted a huge story here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium how John Cena and CM Punk have gone to Vince McMahon in attempt to try and nudge Orton out.
CM Punk calls Kofi Kingston his "road wife." What is the meaning of this term?
CM Punk and Kofi Kingston are friends that travel together. Given the fact WWE workers are on the road 300 days out of the year, most travel with friends for company and to share expenses. Someone like Punk probably doesn't have to worry about money (he has his own tour bus) but I'm sure he enjoys hanging with Kofi.
Despite Randy Orton being suspended, will WWE push him upon returning due to lack of depth on the roster?
As I reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, Randy Orton is on the booking sheets in main event triple-threat matches against Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship when he is scheduled to return. While this is subject to change, it made it clear that Vince McMahon is planning to put Orton back in the main event upon his return to the company. The way I look at it is if Orton is working, he has to be in the main event given his hefty contract.
I've read where Vince is concerned about not having enough main event guys, however, I disagree. Christian, The Miz, Cody Rhodes, Jack Swagger should all be in the heavyweight title picture. I can't understand how Christian and Miz and Swagger went from world champs to midcarders. Why doesn't Vince McMahon use these guys and a few others that have been there in the main events more instead of trying to bring back former talent?
All of the workers you mentioned are workers that have had opportunities in the main event but are still not looked at as top draws in WWE. I also want to clear up The Miz is currently away filming "The Marine: Homefront." There are specific reasons for why each of those you named haven't remained in the main event scene and I can't give you the "catch-all" explanation I'm afraid you are looking for. Specifically, I could make a strong argument for Christian being a top guy in WWE but Vince McMahon has always had a certain lack of confidence in him. As for WWE looking to someone such as Brock Lesnar or Batista (who still doesn't have a new deal), it's the company bringing in names they know draw big rather than trying to create a big draw with names they feel have already been given the opportunity.
What are your thoughts on the importance of the 1000th episode of Raw?
It's a huge accomplishment that is a significant milestone regardless of any negative stereotypes associated with the pro wrestling business. Television is cutthroat and given that WWE has been able to broadcast a show for 1000 episodes is monumental and something that no one else has done. For the sake of this website I'm hoping the show goes for another thousand, however, I have serious questions about the decision to go to three-hours.
I know Alex Shelly already is going to attempt a run with the WWE. But do you think this could be a reoccurring theme? I've always wanted to see what would happen if AJ Styles made the jump to WWE. Do you think TNA would release him from his contract anytime soon if he wants too much money?
Given the litigation TNA has filed against WWE, Alex Shelley's possible jump to WWE has been halted for the time being. As for a "reoccurring theme," this has already been happening. Workers have made the move from WWE to TNA or TNA to WWE and some have had success while others haven't. We get the question about how AJ Styles would fare in WWE all the time and I remind everyone that regardless of success outside of WWE, workers have to prove they can have success in WWE. Some, such as Daniel Bryan, are able to do it while others, such as Chris Harris, are not. It also comes down to the right opportunity and good booking but I will maintain that talented workers are able to overcome hurdles while others will fizzle out before making it.
Do you think Ezekiel Jackson will ever be able to work his way out of the WWE doghouse and get back into a storyline or TV or do you think he will just continue to lose until he is released?
Ezekiel Jackson has a tremendous look but had heat for a Wellness Policy violation that he cleared with a valid prescription. He resurfaced earlier in the week on WWE Inbox but it's anyone's guess if he'll be able to angle his way back in favorable light. I heard shortly after his positive Wellness test he was on the road with the company but wasn't used.
Was Chris Jericho's "what are you going to do, suspend me?" line to Vickie Guerrero on this week's Raw Supershow a dig to the people in the back?
The line was a creative line by Chris Jericho that was obviously making reference to his recent 30-day suspension for desecrating the Brazilian flag at a live event last month. I don't know how much of a "dig" it was considering Jericho didn't have heat for the suspension as it was seen as something that was done to "save face" more than anything else.
Is there still a backstage rule of "paying your dues" between all talent?
Many of the veterans will argue the business isn't what it once was and that younger workers come in today with a sense of entitlement where they are "above" paying their dues. We can point to many different factors as to why this is but it's still in a younger worker's best interest to come in humble, ready to "pay their dues." The pro wrestling business is unlike any other in that the outcomes are predetermined but how you are booked and pushed can determine whether you make very little or millions of dollars. Backstage politics can cost a very talented worker their chance at stardom so if someone is going to come in with an attitude, they better know who not to rub the wrong way.
With the WWE Championship match at Money in the Bank having only four participants and featuring two guys in Kane and Big Show that you wouldn't normally associate with this type of match, do you think this is a good opportunity for WWE to bring back Rey Mysterio from suspension and The Miz from filming to put workers in the match capable of hitting more high risk spots as right now the match on paper at least appears pretty lackluster.
I was told by a WWE source after the four participants were announced for the WWE Championship Money in the Bank match they would be surprised if someone else wasn't added, however, WWE's wording in their official preview seemed to indicate the plan was for the match to be limited to Cena, Kane, Big Show and Chris Jericho. As I stated earlier in the week, we'll see how it plays out.