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 2, 2012 to Friday, June 8, 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!
- Randy Orton met with Vince McMahon, Triple H and other WWE officials on Friday. While specifics of the meeting have not been disclosed as of this writing, I'm told there is still the possibility the company cuts ties with Orton and releases him. The feeling is if the company can no longer push him as a main event talent, there isn't enough upside to keep him around. Orton's current position, with two public Wellness strikes, allows no room for error and many feel like even if it gets back on the "straight and narrow," one mistake results in a mandatory termination. Making matters worse, Orton is currently under a lucrative 10-year contract and WWE would save money by terminating it and spending the money elsewhere. Even if he was brought back and pushed as a mid-card talent, I'm told the company can't justify the amount currently stipulated in his agreement.
- Bill DeMott confirmed his new role in WWE as the company's head developmental trainer on his official Twitter account over the weekend. DeMott has been on the road with WWE this weekend, evaluating developmental prospects that are working with the Smackdown crew. More notably, Richie Steamboat worked last night in Augusta, Georgia with Damien Sandow going over him. DeMott replaces the departing Dr. Tom Prichard who actually replaced Demott in 2007.
- WWE Champion CM Punk said on Saturday at the Wizard World Comic Con in Philadelphia that WWE is planning to reveal a new WWE Championship belt. He said he's seen the new title and it's about 20 pounds heavier than the current spinner belt, however, he doesn't feel it's "any better" than the current one.
- The daughter of WWE referee Scott Armstrong and niece of producer Road Dogg, Kayla Armstrong, will be getting a tryout with the company this week at the Florida Championship Wrestling facilities in Tampa. She posted the news on her Twitter account:
- Mark Henry posted the following on Twitter over the weekend:
Henry underwent surgery on his shoulder on May 15th and is expected to return to WWE when he recovers.
- Arda Ocal reporting:
Arda Ocal (@arda_ocal) of theScore Television Network and the Baltimore Sun currently interviewed injured WWE Superstar Ted DiBiase Jr. (@TedDiBiase).
The interview can be read here.
In the interview, DiBiase outlines that he will be ready to return to WWE in a month, and is currently at 85% (he could "go" today if necessary). He also outlines his exact injuries (ankle, shoulder, wrist) in detail.
DiBiase also talks about changing his character from wealthy heel to a babyface that better suits him, and begging for new theme music. There is also a conversation about the wealthy heel character and how he wasn't fond of being given the Million Dollar Belt.
- In news that shouldn't surprised anyone, Paul Heyman has major heat backstage in WWE. I'm told the company has strong suspicions that he's leaking information to a pro wrestling website in which employs a writer believed to be working with Heyman on HeymanHustle.com. A lot of people view it as "Paul being Paul" so WWE isn't looking to fire him over it as they do need him to keep Brock Lesnar relevant without burning through all of the dates on Lesnar's contract. Remember, the most attractive thing about Heyman is his connection to Lesnar in which provides the company the opportunity to use him as Lesnar's on-air mouthpiece. As a result of the suspicions, WWE has been kayfabing Heyman about any future plans until it's "absolutely necessary" to tell him because they feel like he isn't going to keep his mouth shut about anything. This is one of the reasons why a story made rounds that WWE had nothing to do with Brock's meeting with UFC officials a couple weeks ago when we can confirm the contrary. I'm told the whole thing is starting to drive an even further wedge between Brock and Heyman as Brock is a private person and doesn't like Paul talking about his career to outsiders. While the feeling is almost anybody else would be fired for this, Vince McMahon thinks so little of Heyman and already expects this kind of stuff from him, that now they just need to kayfabe Heyman as much as possible. As a result, expect other bogus Lesnar/WWE stories to materialize so WWE can keep an eye on the leak but of course they will not appear on this website.
- WWE has announced that Mr. McMahon will return to Raw Supershow next Monday to "evaluate" the job performance of John Laurinaitis. The company will tape next week's Raw Supershow next Monday from the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut. We'll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- The following article was written by The Associated Press:
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut newspaper claims wrestling company WWE Inc. violated federal election laws by illegally helping former chief executive Linda McMahon's U.S. Senate campaign when it threatened a lawsuit against the newspaper two weeks ago.
The Journal Inquirer of Manchester filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission last week, saying Stamford-based WWE rendered illegal corporate assistance to McMahon's campaign.
The newspaper reports that a WWE senior vice president, Brian Flinn, accused the paper of libel and threatened legal action for two opinion columns written this year by Managing Editor Chris Powell. Powell asserted that McMahon created her fortune from the business of pornography and violence, but didn't specifically mention WWE.
WWE officials didn't immediately return a message Monday. Flinn told the newspaper there is no merit to its FEC complaint.
- WWE announced on tonight's Raw Supershow that Mr. McMahon will open next week's three-hour show where he will "evaluate" the job of John Laurinaitis.
- After Monday's Raw Supershow went off the air, John Laurinaitis announced that John Cena had a 2-on-1 handicap match against Big Show & David Otunga. Laurinaitis then got in the ring to make it 3-on-1. Show knocked out Otunga with a wild knockout punch and Cena capitalized off the distraction by throwing Show out of the ring. Cena pinned Otunga to win the match. After the match, Laurinaitis swung a crutch over Cena's head and John countered with the Attitude Adjustment to send the crowd home happy.
- Ryback's opponents from Monday's Raw Supershow, Arthur Rosenberg & Stan Stansky, were Carolina independent workers Kirby Mack & Stoney Hooker.
- To recap the atmosphere backstage at this week's Raw Supershow, there was major panic over the 2.7 cable rating the Memorial Day show did last week. The last time Raw scored this type of rating was in December of last year when Monday Night Football did a huge rating. Vince McMahon blew a gasket over last week's number and laid it out on Sunday that he wanted to bring back the Mr. McMahon character and book John Cena with Michael Cole in the opening and closing segments of this week's show in attempt to hotshot ratings. One of the major causes of concern from the writing team was how they were going to explain Mr. McMahon coming back to "evaluate the job performance" of John Laurinaitis when in storyline, the character was "removed" and "lost all power." Vince's response to the question was something along the lines of "no one believes or remembers that." I'm told more than one writer rolled their eyes as if to say why are they booking things they don't buy let alone the fans. Another writer was annoyed that not only were they trying to create a new storyline between Cena and Cole but also try and cover up for the long-term McMahon storyline. This week's show was re-written until nearly one hour before the taping began. In an act of pure unwillingness to write scripts together, a follow-up on Christian vs. Cody Rhodes was scrapped and Sin Cara was added last minute. I'm told the reason the Abraham Washington storyline "comes and goes" because it's simply forgotten some weeks. It was mentioned he would be managing Primo & Epico this week but as was seen on last night's show, there was no sign of any of them.
- WWE producer Arn Anderson spoke to The State out of South Carolina about appearing at tonight's Smackdown taping in Columbia. Anderson hasn't appeared in Columbia since his retirement speech in 1997 at a WCW Nitro taping. Below is a quote from The Enforcer:
“You have to expect some major announcements with those two on the show,” he said when referring to Triple H and John Cena. “I’m glad Columbia is the site for whatever they have planned. We will give the fans the best possible show possible.”
Click here for coverage by The State.
- Teddy Long announced on this week's Smackdown that Brodus Clay is now a permanent member of the Smackdown roster.
- WWE Mobile Alerts just sent out the following:
BREAKING NEWS: WWE COO Triple H is confirmed to appear at No Way Out on Sunday, June 17, to address his future, pending lawsuits against WWE and Brock Lesnar.
WWE No Way Out will take place Sunday, June 17, 2012 from the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. We’ll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- I'm told Sheamus was very sore after a bump he took working with Alberto Del Rio on Raw Supershow Monday night. He received medical attention backstage but wasn't seriously injured.
- Vince McMahon wants to be inserted in the Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H program that is expected to take place later this summer. A source with knowledge of the thinking of the writing team is a possible scenario where Paul Heyman would be with Lesnar and Vince with Hunter to put the program over the top.
- Daniel Bryan recently did an interview with CT.com in which he discusses his lifestyle out of wrestling, the ups and downs of his WWE career, and more. In the following excerpt, Bryan discusses how he felt about being called a "rookie" in NXT after years on the independent circuit:
"See, I don't have a problem with being called anything as long as people treat me with respect. I felt like when I got to WWE, all the wrestlers treated me great, but coming from independent wrestling, you really have to prove yourself more to the office than anybody else because I don't look like your prototypical WWE superstar. I don't have a lot of the qualities they look for in a WWE superstar, so it's [about] going out there and proving that you belong there. At first, it took me a long time to be able to do that. I felt like only in the last six, seven months, I've really proved to the people on top that I really belong here."
Bryan was also asked about his traveling companions, or "road wives," and he revealed why Ryback had a black eye a few weeks ago:
"Right now, my road wife is the Ryback [Laughs] and Cody Rhodes. We don't have any particular good road stories because I feel like we're kind of boring. We just kind of drive to the next town. But what me and Cody really like to do is make up stories about the Ryback and then spread them amongst the locker room. For example, yesterday, we were working out in a gym. He was doing kettle bell snatches with only 35 pounds. You look at him, and you'd think, 'Oh! This guy is way stronger,' but he was lifting this kettle bell and he couldn't control it, and it hit him in the eye and now he's got a black eye. That story spread throughout the locker room all day yesterday.
One thing that we have really gotten into is crushing apples with our bare hands. We like to give the Ryback a lot of crap because he's the only one among the three of us who can actually do it. [Laughs] We only think it's just because of cheating and stuff like that."
Click here to read the full interview.
- The atmosphere was chaotic at Tuesday's Smackdown taping due to the two segments on this week's show with workers dressing up as other workers. I'm told the segments were "pieced together" at the last minute.
- The third positive WWE Wellness test in which I concealed the name was Ezekiel Jackson. I'm told Jackson tested positive for synthetic testosterone but was not suspended because he produced a valid prescription. However, because the specific substance he tested positive for is on WWE's "banned substances" list he was required to notify them he was taking it beforehand. He didn't do this and has been pulled from TV. One source feels his job is in jeopardy.
- In an update to TNA's lawsuit against WWE, a judge has ordered WWE through an injunction they may not hire any worker that has been under contract to TNA in the last sixty days. Basically a hiring freeze until the matters of the litigation are cleared up.
- Steve Keirn, President of Florida Championship Wrestling, posted the following on his Twitter account yesterday:
-The official FCW website has added referees Darrick Moore and Jason Ayers. In addition, the profiles of Cameron, Naomi, Damien Sandow, and Eli Cottonwood have been removed.
-Wrestling News World reader Logan Walker sent in the following tweet from Randy Orton's Twitter account:
- Wrestling News World reader Fernando sent word that Tommy Dreamer has been added to the Alumni section of the official WWE website. Click here to view his page.
- Kelly Kelly will be taking a break from WWE and is now accepting bookings through an agent outside of WWE. The former WWE Divas Champion requested time off due to burn out and her request was granted. There are many in the company that believe she will not return although she remains under contract as of this writing. For information on booking Kelly Kelly, you can contact Heidi at email@example.com.
- Wrestling News World reader Logan Walker sent word that Kelly has changed the description on her official Twitter account. You can view it below:
Barbie Blank/Kelly Kelly, WWE Diva, MAXIM Cover Girl and 100 Hottest Women. For full appearances/endorsements please contact Heidi at firstname.lastname@example.org
tampa,fl · http://www.wwedivakellykelly.com
Deadline.com is reporting that WWE Studios has acquired a new suspense thriller spec by Adam Rodin. The film is called "Interrogation." Below is the plot courtesy of Deadline Hollywood:
The plot: a bomb will go off in Las Vegas on one of the busiest betting days. A brilliant interrogator is called in to question the prime suspect as time runs out, and it becomes clear there’s an even bigger plan in place for both of them.
- Brooke Hogan has been added to the Roster page on the official TNA website. You can view her profile at this link.
- Speaking of Brooke Hogan, Hulk Hogan took to Twitter to address a fan that criticized him for the planned Knockout segment being cut from Thursday's live Impact Wrestling:
- The UK Sun and Mirror.co.uk have new articles online featuring quotes from TNA Champion Bobby Roode. Below is an excerpt each article:
ON THE ACCUSATION OF ‘CHEAP’ FINISHES TO HIS TITLE MATCHES: “I don’t write the shows, I just go out and perform.
"But obviously something’s being done right because from a wrestling standpoint I’m meant to be hated. If people hate me I’m doing a good job.
“I don’t think it devalues the world title at all. I think it’s intriguing, it makes people want to watch and see me get beat. Every time I win it p****s them off even more.”
Click here to read the article by The UK Sun.
"Obviously, I'm not the man who pays the bills; I'm not the wallet, so to speak, But in order for us to take that one step further I think it's a necessity for us to step away from Orlando and do our television tapings elsewhere in the country."
Click here to read the article by Mirror.co.uk.
- TNA issued the following press release in regards to the launch of their official Hall of Fame:
TNA IMPACT WRESTLING ANNOUNCES “TNA HALL OF FAME” WITH FIRST INDUCTEE TO BE ANNOUNCED AT “SLAMMIVERSARY” ON JUNE 10
TNA IMPACT WRESTLING announced the beginning of a “TNA Hall of Fame” with the first inductee to be announced at this year’s 10th Anniversary celebration, “Slammiversary” in Arlington, Texas.
TNA President Dixie Carter announced the news as part of the first live IMPACT WRESTLING event of the summer from Universal Studios.
This is TNA’s chance to recognize the great contributions of the people who gave so much to make this 10-year anniversary possible.
“This 10 year milestone is an incredible achievement for TNA,” stated TNA President Dixie Carter. “In honor of that, we felt it was time to begin recognizing the contributions of those who have made the greatest impact on our success."
TNA Wrestling was founded in Nashville in the summer of 2002 and this June marks the 10th year anniversary. The internationally televised “Slammiversary” pay-per-view event will be one of the biggest nights in TNA’s history.
The annual live, anniversary pay-per-view extravaganza is scheduled for Sunday night, June 10, at The College Park Center in Arlington. Limited tickets for “Slammiversary” are still available at UTACollegePark.com and The College Park Arena box office.
- TNA Champion Bobby Roode and Brooke Hogan are at tonight's MTV Movie Awards. Celebrity-blogger Perez Hilton posted a photo of Brooke on the red carpet and posted a photo that you can view at this link.
- TNA is officially advertising Matt Morgan for next weekend's live events in Texas. Their official website lists him in matches against Crimson on June 14th in Belton and June 16th in Houston.
- A temporary injunction hearing has been set for July 12, 2012 at 9:30 AM after today's status conference in Davidson County Chancery Court in regards to TNA'scontract tampering lawsuit filed against WWE and former office employee Brian Wittenstein. Until then, WWE and Wittenstein must continue to comply with the temporary restraining order issued on May 24th that they will not destroy the confidential information TNA is claiming was obtained.
Dixie Carter posted the following on her official Twitter account:
TNA Slammiversary 2012 will take place Sunday, June 10, 2012 from the College Park Center in Arlington, Texas on the University of Texas at Arlington campus. WrestlingNewsWorld.com will have full coverage of the event.
- Don West has been hired by the Wenatchee Wild minor league hockey team as their Director of Sales and Marketing. The Columbia Basin Herald, who covers the team out of Washington, posted an article on his hire with a quote from West:
"I fell in love with the area," said West, who majored in Sports Broadcasting at Purdue University. "I've been to Wenatchee for a couple shows and literally just fell in love with the place. When the opportunity came up to join the Wild, I knew it was exactly what I've been looking for."
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
West, who has been employed by TNA Wrestling since the company's inception in 2002, gave notice he was leaving last month.
- TNA Wrestling issued the following press release:
TNA IMPACT WRESTLING is proud to announce a long-term contract with the All Sports Network (ASN), bringing superstars including Hulk Hogan, Sting, Kurt Angle and Bobby Roode to TV screens across South-East Asia from Monday June 11.
TNA IMPACT WRESTLING becomes the ONLY wrestling programming broadcast in Hong Kong, and will also be available to fans in Cambodia, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, The Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam exclusively on ASN.
The show will air every Friday at 11.30pm (Hong Kong) with replays on Sunday and Thursday. TNA's monthly PPV events will go out LIVE on Mondays at 08:00am (Hong Kong) being repeated later that evening, as well as the following Thursday and Saturday.
TNA IMPACT WRESTLING will be broadcast as part of the ASN Ringside option, in high definition, starting with the huge TNA Slammiversary X event at 08:00am on Monday June 11.
TNA President Dixie Carter said: “Everyone involved with TNA IMPACT WRESTLING is delighted to be returning to screens in South-East Asia. Partnering with such a prestigious network as ASN is another huge milestone, as we celebrate 10 years of success.
“I get lots of Tweets and emails from our fans in Hong Kong, and all around South-East Asia, so I’m delighted they can now watch TNA every week exclusively on ASN Ringside – starting with our 10th anniversary event.”
Thomas Kressner, CEO of ASN, added: “We are excited to have TNA on ASN Ringside, our unique time slot which brings viewers the world's top fighting events.
"We believe that this partnership is a fantastic one. It represents ASN Ringside's ambition in creating a space filled by professional athletes, fabulous fights and awesome action.”
ASN, which launched in 2009, is the first 24-hour Pan Asian HD sports channel covering some of the world’s biggest sporting brands.
It features National Football League (NFL), National Hockey League (NHL), Australian Football League (AFL), National Lacrosse League (NLL), NCAA, NASCAR and many more. Find out more about the channel at www.asn.tv.
Note From Richard: There were only two new installments of Ask WNW this week due to the birth of Richard and Kara's first son. Ask WNW will resume on Monday with four all new questions. Thanks for your support!
What are your thoughts on TNA introducing a Hall of Fame at Slammiversary next Sunday?
A lot of people are up in arms over TNA announcing their own Hall of Fame, feeling it's too soon and there hasn't been enough success for the company to be enshrining people in glory. I look at it just as I do the WWE Hall of Fame; a promotional mechanism to create hype for one of their biggest pay-per-views and sell more tickets. Obviously any Hall of Fame that's created by a promotion with no objective form of voting is a work to create excitement. I'm not saying it isn't an honor to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, as workers clearly feel it is, but it's not a third party Hall of Fame based on a strict criteria of voting. There are plenty of names that are in that shouldn't be in and plenty of names that should be in that aren't in. I don't know the plan for the TNA Hall of Fame but it's more or less a way for them to create more hype and make people care.
What are your thoughts on Triple H and what is the backstage opinion of him now that he is the boss?
Triple H mastered the art of backstage politics early on, forming alliances with those in power and gaining the favor of Vince McMahon. As a result, his career has flourished and he even ended up in a martial relationship with Stephanie McMahon. Obviously there are a lot of people jealous of Hunter's influence, control and power but who wouldn't be? He started out just like any other worker and one day will be head of the world's largest pro wrestling empire, even beating out Vince's biological son Shane McMahon. Triple H is a guy that "gets it" and has a very close relationship with his father-in-law who sees him as the son he never had. A lot of the younger workers could learn a lot from Hunter, especially how he angled himself behind-the-scenes to gain influence.
In Friday's Ask WNW, you used the phrase "smack at smarks". What is that?
A "smark" is wrestling-slang for a smart mark or an educated fan that understands what is kayfabe (a work) and what is a shoot (legitimate). So when I said Kane was inserted into the CM Punk/Daniel Bryan feud as a "smack at smarks," I was saying that it was WWE's way of telling informed fans that their poster children aren't bigger than the federation. If you still don't get it, you will in time. Just keep reading.
Why is it that Big Show has gone so long without a main event run until now?
There are many factors that lead to a worker getting pushed to the main event but ultimately it comes down to the right situation. Big Show, like Kane and Mark Henry, is a long-time reliable WWE veteran that is someone that isn't a massive draw on their own but in the right situation, can handle main event story lines. When WWE lost confidence in Tensai, Show reaped the benefit. It'll be up to his crowd reactions to determine where he goes from here but I personally feel Big Show is booked much more effectively as a "giant heel" rather than a comedic babyface.
Is WWE not holding a Draft this year?
The 2012 WWE Draft was originally penciled in for April but was scrapped and later replaced with the build to John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar at Extreme Rules. The talk after that was dropping it entirely with the Raw Supershow concept basically rending the brand extension meaningless. Lately we've see workers, such as Daniel Bryan, crossover to work certain programs and the only real difference with the brands has been who tours where. I haven't heard of plans to hold the draft this year but as always, those plans are subject to change.
CM Punk received a monster push after what happened last summer but now it seems that he is taking a backseat to John Cena. Why does Cena get pushed in front of CM Punk?
CM Punk is WWE's new "number two" behind John Cena but that doesn't change the fact that Cena is still the face of the company. Last week's Memorial Day Raw Supershow did a horrible rating without Cena appearing so WWE made sure he opened and closed this week's show. Cena's segments are still highly rated and his merchandise still outsells everyone else. This is why he has the position that he does but it's not a demotion for Punk as Punk has clearly increased his stock in the company.
Why has WWE not featured an update on Brock Lesnar's "lawsuit" in so long?
Vince McMahon wants people to believe Brock Lesnar has legitimately left the company so they can use him coming back as a "surprise" to build to a main event match against Triple H. Lesnar is only under a part-time agreement and WWE is spreading out his appearances to get as much use of him as they can. In the interim, Paul Heyman has been used to keep Lesnar relevant but there's only so much of Paul E that can be seen without following up with Brock. However, I can assure you this is a storyline that will be revisited.
What makes WrestlingNewsWorld.com different from other pro wrestling news websites?
I want to be careful not to sound arrogant while answering this question but compare WNW to any website out there. Search Google, look through your favorite message board, go to Facebook - I will put the quality of WrestlingNewsWorld.com over any pro wrestling publication. The majority of wrestling news websites do not break their own material, the other few that do haven't broken nearly as many stories as we have. We are the industry leader but we are only in that position because of the support of every single person that visits daily. When I became a full-time pro wrestling journalist in 2007 it was my goal to create something different, challenge the status quo and take the quality to another level. Through your support, I have been able to do that and provide a closer look at the business with a quality I feel is unmatched.