Sting Sheds Light On His Future, CM Punk Resurfaces, HoF Announcement Delayed, Is JBL 'Cranky Vince?,' WWE Upset Over Randy Orton Blowup, In-Ring Incident At Raw, TNA Knockout Released When Word Leaked She Was Planning To Quit, Low Morale Causes Triple H To Call A Meeting With WWE Staff - WWE Wrestling News World

Sting Sheds Light On His Future, CM Punk Resurfaces, HoF Announcement Delayed, Is JBL 'Cranky Vince?,' WWE Upset Over Randy Orton Blowup, In-Ring Incident At Raw, TNA Knockout Released When Word Leaked She Was Planning To Quit, Low Morale Causes Triple H

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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, March 15, 2014 to Friday, March 21, 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!

Table Of Contents
- WWE News
- TNA News
- Ask WNW

WWE News

- UFC President Dana White was on The Chad Dukes Show on Friday and was asked about CM Punk. He said they literally never talk about business but if Punk wanted to fight, he'd talk to him about it. You can listen to the interview at this link.

- As Matt Kunka noted here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, it was announced on this week's episode of Smackdown that Carlos Colon will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame over Wrestlemania XXX weekend. His induction video is online at this link. Colon joins The Ultimate Warrior, Lita, Jake Roberts and Paul Bearer as 2014 inductees. The 2014 WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place on Saturday, April 5, 2014 from the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, LA.

- The Usos called out any WWE tag team that wants to challenge them for the WWE Tag Team Championship on this week's episode of Smackdown Fallout. You can watch at this link.

- Sting did a Q&A event on behalf of Revolution Pro Wrestling in London on Friday night. The most notable responses came in regards to questions surrounding The Undertaker. Regarding a match against Undertaker at Wrestlemania 31, Sting said he would love for that to happen. He also said there is only one more match that he would like to have and that it would be one with Undertaker.

- Jim Ross had a great "quotable" in a recent blog entry on his official website. Below is an excerpt:

Speaking of WM, I'm not answering any questions regarding who is going to win the Andre the Giant 30 Man Battle Royal because I'm not even sure who's in it. The irony of this attraction is that many participants wouldn't have been on the card if not for this match but they will be some of the same individuals who complain about their pay offs.

Some things in life never change.

Click here to read JR's latest in its entirety but don't even think about it until you at least check out his BBQ sauces.

- WWE has announced their 2014 Annual Shareholders Meeting will take place Friday, April 25, 2014 from their headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut.

- WWE issued a press release on Friday, announcing they won two 2014 CableFAX Digital Awards. One for Best Smartphone App for the WWE App and another for Best Social Good Campaign for their "Rise Above Cancer" campaign supporting Susan G. Komen. Click here for the official press release.

- CM Punk was with Lyoto Machida, Rener Gracie, Perceu Friza and Tioki Gracie on Saturday night to watch UFC 171. Machida Tweeted the following:

Punk will appear on this week's episode of Talking Dead alongside Nicole Brown and Yvette Nicole Brown. It's interesting that Punk is billed by his real name, Phil Brooks. - CM Punk, appearing as Phil Brooks, was a special guest on AMC's The Talking Dead tonight. Brooks appeared along side Community's Yvette Nicole Brown and The Walking Dead's Melissa McBride. The show aired live with fan interactions pulled from social media and the audience. No mention of Brooks' return to work or status was mentioned. Brooks did say that he, "feels like a new person". He appeared to be well rested and happy. - Total Divas returned to E with the premiere of Season 2 on Sunday night. We'll have viewership information later but you can watch video highlights here at DivaKnockout.com. - This week's episode of After Total Divas is online at this link. - Dusty Rhodes and Goldust have both said publicly a Cody Rhodes vs. Goldust match at Wrestlemania XXX isn't going to happen. As I've stated previously, even if they did it, they'd be a couple of years late. - WWE will return to the American Airlines Center on Sunday, July 27, 2014 for a live event. - TMZ is reporting that WWE will induct Mr. T into the celebrity wing of their Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2014. Vince McMahon is quoted in the report, saying, "His WWE appearances were instrumental in helping to establish WrestleMania as the pop-culture phenomenon it is today." Mr. T turned down WWE's offer to be inducted in 2009. He teamed with Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania I and faced Roddy Piper in a boxing match at Wrestlemania II. Mr. T joins Carlos Colon, The Ultimate Warrior, Lita, Jake Roberts and Paul Bearer as 2014 inductees. The 2014 WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place on Saturday, April 5, 2014 from the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, LA. - WWE issued a press release on Monday, announcing their new animated series called Slam City. The premise of the series is the stars are "fired" from the ring and forced to find day jobs. You can watch the trailer at this link. - To celebrate St. Patrick's Day, WWE posted a clip of Hornswoggle giving a sneak peek of the WWE Studios production "Leprechaun: Origins." The film is set to to be released this summer. You can watch the clip at this link. - With Mr. Tbeing announced as a 2014 WWE Hall of Fame inductee, some readers have asked what this means for Scott Hall. We're told Hall is still on the list to be inducted, however, his announcement was delayed. According to a source, Hall is expected to be announced as a 2014 WWE Hall of Fame inductee before the end of the month. - We have a couple of notes on Zack Ryder. He's not booked for this week's episode of Monday Night Raw but hopes to be included in the 30-man Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at Wrestlemania 30. In the latest episode of Zack Ryder's Latest ReZort, he destroys a United States Championship belt and says he's a future world champion. You can watch at this link. - WWE posted a commercial for this Saturday's "Beyond the Ring" program on the WWE Network. You can watch it at this link. - Dot com has a new Q&A with Orlando and Eddie Colon, better known as Diego and Fernando of Los Matadores, about the Hall of Fame induction of Carlos Colon. You can read it at this link. - Roddy Piper Tweeted the following about Mr. T'sWWE Hall of Fame induction:

- Last week's episode of WWE Smackdown did an average viewing audience of 2,801,000 viewers on SyFy. The show finished as the number two cable original. You can check out more ratings data here on TV By the Numbers. The show ended up with a 1.98 cable rating.

- The promoters of WrestleConannounced on Monday that Sting will be appearing at the event on Sunday, April 6, 2014 at The Sugar Mill in New Orleans, Louisiana. He'll be signing from 10:30 AM until 1:30 PM and they're limiting the appearance to 250 people. Sting will also be available to people that purchase tickets for photo ops. Click here for more information.

- As seen on this week's Monday Night Raw it was announced that no matter what, there will be a Triple Threat Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania XXX. The third participant will be the winner of the Triple H versus Daniel Bryan match earlier in the evening. Stay tuned to WrestlingNewsWorld.com for any future updates.

- It was just announced that Hollywood legend, Arnold Schwarzenegger will appear live on next week's episode of Monday Night Raw.

- We've been following the hilarious saga over the last couple years involving the Twitter parody account located at Twitter.com/CrankyVince. The account has been a riot, posting over accentuated Tweets of the Mr. McMahon character, sometimes even revealing things confidential in nature.

In June 2012, I reported the account was believed to be ran by a former WWE wrestler with strong ties to the company. I've posted several stories about Vince McMahon and company management going to great lengths to find out who is behind the account. We might have got our first public clue of the account's identity 15 minutes into this week's episode of Monday Night Raw.

The following Tweet was posted by both Cranky Vince (located at Twitter.com/CrankyVince) and JBL (located at Twitter.com/JCLayfield) at 7:15 PM CDT (the local time of San Antonio, Texas, the location of this week's Raw)

Cranky JBL?!?

The Tweet was immediately deleted from Cranky Vince's timeline but still remains on JBL's as seen below:

JBL has since gone on the defensive, blocking anyone implicating him to the account. He Tweeted this:

Has the mystery of Cranky Vince been solved or is someone trying to frame JBL?

- Naomi, reunited with Cameron, returned to WWE television on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw. For those that missed it, the Funkadactyls went over WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee & Tamina in 3:37. Dissension between AJ and Tamina was teased after the match. Naomi, who suffered a facial injury on the February 3, 2014 episode of Raw, wore an eye patch. Some have questioned the legitimacy of the need for the eye patch due to the fact she was photographed recently without it. Speculation suggests it was done to incorporate the injury and return from it in a storyline for Total Divas. The injury, however, was no joke. She suffered a displaced fracture in her face that caused communication between her sinus cavity and the back of her eye socket. This kept her from being able to fly, thus she was pulled from WWE live events and Total Divas tapings. She even missed the recent trip to Cabo. The injury that occurred in a match against Aksana couldn't have happened at a worse time as Naomi was in the midst of the biggest push of her career.

- Following the airing of this week's episode of Monday Night Raw, below is the updated list of participants for the 30-man Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at Wrestlemania XXX:

Alberto Del Rio
WWE Intercontinental Champion Big E
Big Show
Christian
Curtis Axel
Damien Sandow
Dolph Ziggler
Fandango
Mark Henry
Ryback
Sheamus
Titus O'Neil

The 30-man Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal will take place at Wrestlemania XXX on Sunday, April 6, 2014 from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. Make plans to join our exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.

- After this week's episode of Monday Night Raw, Daniel Bryan was stretchered to the locker room. John Cena was scheduled to team with Brya to oppose The Wyatt Family. When Cena came out, he got on the mic and told the Wyatts they stole someone's entrance. The Undertaker came out to a massive post-show pop and he and Cena proceeded to take out Luke Harper and Erick Rowan to send the crowd home happy.

- WWE posted the following Raw Fallout videos. If you can't get them to play, click the link above them and it'll open them in YouTube:

Funk is Back:

http://youtu.be/q9kZSkj5xEE

Why Christian Why?:

http://youtu.be/emqFgZ0orK8

- Mr. T Tweeted the following about his 2014 induction into the WWE Hall of Fame:

You can watch his Hall of Fame induction video at this link or embedded below:

http://youtu.be/Z0HZqDaILOE

WWE leaked the news of Mr. T's induction before officially announcing it on Monday afternoon.

- After drawing our attention from disappearing off WWE television, Rey Mysterio has resurfaced. The Master of 619 is in Madrid, Spain, presumably for WWE-related media. He Tweeted:

Real Madrid, led by the beloved CR7, will face Schalke 04 in a UEFA Champions League match on Tuesday. - Muscle & Fitness released a video of John Cena working out as part of his photo shoot for their April 2014 cover. Click here to watch now. - AMC posted a bonus clip of CM Punk on Talking Dead from Sunday night. You can watch at this link. - TV by the Numbers did not include Total Divas in the top 100 cable shows for adults 25-54 for their Sunday cable ratings. I'm not sure if this is notable or not, considering none of E's programming is featured. Backstage news from Monday Night Raw in San Antonio… - For those wondering, the tag team division is somewhat of a mess right now as Vince McMahon continues to change course on it. - A lot of people were talking about CM Punk after his appearance on Talking Dead on Sunday night. There's tension because Punk isn't talking to his WWE friends but is fraternizing with his MMA friends and was just seen on national television. As I've noted previously, Punk has never been known for his likability but his persistence in not acknowledging his WWE departure with people considered to be his friends, isn't doing him any favors with his former co-workers. - WWE officials weren't happy with the way Randy Orton called a fan out at ringside during his match with Daniel Bryan. The incident happened just before the commercial break, where Orton looked at a fan and said, "Ring the bell, are you kidding me? It's no DQ, there's no bell to ring." He then performed offense on Bryan and pointed at the fan and said it was on him. As it was described to me, it's one thing for Orton to play a heel but another to acknowledge specific reactions in the crowd. This same observer pointed to Orton's history at getting frustrated with crowds, noting that could have been why it was brought up afterwards. - Goldust suffered a laceration above his right eye in his bout against Fandango and he wasn't happy about it. We're told he had to have the cut closed when he got to the back. - As of this week's show, there were no huge surprises planned for the 30-man Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. - If you're confused about the direction of The Shield, it's because Vince McMahon and Triple H have differing opinions about what to do with the faction. This is why some are questioning if they are now babyfaces after this week's show. - We're told Road Dogg is expected back in the ring soon after resting his sore back. - The Season 2 premiere of Total Divas on E did an average viewing audience of 1,072,000 viewers Sunday night on E. The show finished with an adults 18-49 cable rating of 0.55. This isn't good news as only two episodes of the series garnered lower viewership averages in Season 1. Both of those episodes (episode #8 and episode #11) were up against WWE pay-per-view events. - Below is the official promotional poster for WWE Legends House that premieres on WWE Network on April 17 at 8/7CT:

You can watch a sneak peek at this link.

- Kane and The Miz discuss their love for Scooby-Doo at this link.

- Dot com posted a kayfabe "injury" update on Daniel Bryan, noting he potentially dislocated his shoulder and had "potential ligament tears" as a result of The Authority's "attack" on him to end Raw. According to their update, the "damage" cannot be determined until the swelling reduces and an MRI can be performed.

This is kayfabe based on the final segment of this week's Raw to continue the build to Wrestlemania XXX. WWE's claim is that Bryan was taken to the hospital as a result of the "attack."

As we noted here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, they did an off-air stretcher job to remove Bryan from ringside.

Click here for kayfabe coverage by dot com.

- This week's episode of Monday Night Raw did an average viewing audience of 4,075,333 viewers on the USA Network. Below is how viewership broke down by hour: Hour one - 4,001,000 viewers Hour two - 4,174,000 viewers Hour three - 4,051,000 viewers It's worth noting this is a different trend than we are used to seeing. Viewership rose and then pulled back, rather than decline as the show aired. The broadcast did a 1.4 adults 18-49 rating as Monday's top cable program. While the show won the night on cable, this was Monday Night Raw's lowest viewership average of the year. The show ended up with a 2.98 cable rating. - It was just announced on Main Event that The Undertaker will be in Brooklyn for next week's Monday Night Raw to address if Brock Lesnar has any problems. We will have full coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com. - While doing overseas media, Rey Mysterio stated that he hopes to finish his career in WWE. He has no plans to retire and hinted he could be in the 30-man Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at Wrestlemania XXX. We confirmed in late February that Mysterio's deal with WWE was coming up soon, however, reported the company was actively trying to re-sign him. He was believed to be in no rush to re-sign because the more interest he drew from outside companies, the more leverage he has with WWE. Mysterio ended up going to Real Madrid's match on Tuesday, Tweeting the following photo of Cristiano Ronaldo:

He's in Rome on Wednesday, where he will speak at a school as part of WWE's Be-A-Star anti-bullying campaign:

- CM Punk is staying busy nearly two months after walking out on WWE. Fresh of a national television appearance on Talking Dead on Sunday, the former 434-day WWE Champion was in the recording studio with New York-based Hardcore band Madball on Tuesday. An intentional dig at CM Punk was scripted in this week's episode of Monday Night Raw as Triple H told Daniel Bryan in the closing segment that "anybody else" would have folded a long time ago and took their ball and gone home. There continued to be a lot of CM Punk talk backstage at Monday's show in San Antonio. Below is a photo of Punk laying backup vocals: - JBL is now connected to the parody Twitter account located at Twitter.com/CrankyVince following an incident after the opening segment of this week's Monday Night Raw. Since then, the former World Heavyweight Champion now WWE announcer has emphatically denied he is behind the account. He posted the following on Facebook:

Post by John Layfield.

The "Cranky Vince" Twitter account has been an interesting topic over the past couple of years. We've followed the hilarious Tweets that over accentuate the quirky personality of Vince McMahon, sometimes even revealing things confidential in nature. We've been told Vince has been more confused about it more than anything else but Triple H and Stephanie McMahon have feared he has some type of stalker.

The account is vile and explicit, which is probably why JBL doesn't appreciate being connected to it. Let's just look at the latest Tweet:

We can confirm WWE has actually tried to have the account shutdown and have been successful in getting it suspended at times, however, Twitter does not have a policy that bans parody. What you won't see on Smackdown from Houston… - Alexander Rusev w/Lana beat Xavier Woods in a dark match - Kofi Kingston beat Heath Slater in a dark match - After the taping, John Cena introduced The Undertaker like he did Monday night in San Antonio to take out Erick Rowan and Luke Harper. - Video footage of how it was done on Monday is online now at this link. - Undertaker has also been announced for next week's Raw. - WWE will return to the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas for the July 28, 2014 episode of Monday Night Raw. The presale password to obtain tickets is HOUSTON. - Variety is reporting that John Cena is in talks to join the cast of "Trainwreck." Check out Variety's coverage at this link for more details on the film. - Roman Reigns is quoted in a new piece to promote this weekend's WWE live event in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Click here to read it. - If you missed The Undertaker's appearance on this week's episode of WWE Main Event, you can watch it at this link. - WWE announced on Wednesday the Wrestlemania 30 Pre-Show will begin at 5 PM ET on the WWE Network and will last for two hours. The first hour will feature analysis and interviews and will be featured on dot com, the WWE App, YouTube and the company's social media platforms. The second hour will continue exclusively on WWE Network and feature an exclusive Pre-Show match. You can read more details on the show that will precede Wrestlemania 30 here on dot com. - This week's kayfabe interview was conducted by Michael Cole with John Cena, as opposed to Triple H. You can watch at this link. - Mick Foley says he's been asked if he thought The Authority's beatdown on Daniel Bryan to close this week's episode of Monday Night Raw went "too far," pointing out the beating he took at the hands of The Rock in Royal Rumble 1999. Below is his response from Facebook:

I thought the closing segment of this week's episode of Monday Night Raw was well done and a nice followup to the Occupy Raw movement. One for Bryan, one for Hunter. It's the way to continue to Wrestlemania.

Check out my full reactions from this week's episode of Monday NIght Raw at this link.

- TMZ.com is reporting that Hulk Hogan's "Hogan's Beach Shop" was robbed by four women. According to their report, three of the women distracted the manager, while another made off with a signed wrestling boot. The theft was caught on surveillance video and the Clearwater Police Department is investigating. Police say the women might have knocked over a statue of Hogan outside the door to create a diversion. The suspect that made off with the boot was described as a heavyset white female in her 50s. Click here for coverage by TMZ.

- WWE Chief Financial Officer George Barrios was interviewed by CFO Publishing. In it, he talked about WWE Network

He said today the company's pay-per-views go for $70 but with WWE Network, you can get them for $9.99/month. (Editor's note: It's fairly bizarre he said that as the cost is actually $54.95 for a WWE PPV in HD, unless he's specifically talking about Wrestlemania, which carries a heftier price tag.)

Barrios went on to put over how many devices the WWE Network is available on. He also re-affirmed the timeline for the Network's phase one international launch. It's scheduled to launch at the end of the year in the following English-speaking countries - “UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Nordics”

He also talked about how WWE chooses their partners, giving partnerships with Mattel and 2KSports as examples. You can watch the interview at this link.

- Bleacher Report has a new interview online with Kofi Kingston. In it, Kofi talked about Wrestlemania XXX and his desire to be in the 30-man Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. He said when you're not part of Wrestlemania, it's definitely a blow to your ego. Kofi said it was "the worst" having to miss Wrestlemania last year but enjoyed being on the Pre-Show expert panel with Dusty Rhodes and Mick Foley. Click here to read the interview in its entirety.

- The Courant has a detailed Q&A piece online with Cody Rhodes to promote Friday's WWE live event in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Rhodes says he doesn't miss the mustache and talked about bringing the white Intercontinental Championship belt back to the company. Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- Cam Carson is no longer with Power 97 out of Winnipeg. This is the DJ that was involved in a ringside incident with Batista at the March 7, 2014 WWE live event in the city.

See also -Fan Incident Involving Batista At WWE Live Event In Winnipeg

Details surrounding Carson's departure were not immediately available. The incident with Batista was not scripted into the show and alcohol was a factor.

- The signed Hulk Hogan wrestling boot that was stolen from Hogan's Beach has been returned. TMZ.com is reporting the husband of one of the women involved pressed them to come clean. While the woman that lifted the boot had already returned home to Michigan, the boot was left in the car of one of the other women involved that lives in Tampa. She called Hogan's Beach, told them she had the boot and was willing to return it. Police were waiting for her arrival as she brought back the stolen item. She wasn't arrested, however, a warrant was issued for the arrest of the Michigan woman. You read read coverage by TMZ at this link. The surveillance video of the theft is online at this link. - Bret Hart spoke to BostonHerald.com's "The Edge" where he talked about his favorite Wrestlemania moments. He also touched on CM Punk'sWWE departure. Below is an excerpt:

“When you look at it closely, Punk’s burned out,” said Hart. “He’s always given 100 percent in all his matches, and delivered some of the best pay-per-view matches in the past 10 years. And it’s not easy when there are legends who only work part-time, and guys like Punk and Bryan do all the work, and watch someone like Brock Lesnar walk in and take those big matches and big paydays without having to be on the road all the time. I think that had a lot to do with his decision, and rightfully so. “One of Vince McMahon’s favorite sayings is, ‘Life’s not fair.’ I don’t see Punk being a factor at WrestleMania, but he still has a lot of greatness left in him. As a fan, I hope he comes back, and as a wrestler, I have a lot of respect for him, too.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety. - This week's episode of The JBL & Cole Show, subtitled Court is REALLY in Session (Pt. 2), is now online at this link. Part 1 from last week is still online at this link. - We're told morale continues to sink in WWE developmental with the complaints about Bill DeMott "louder than ever." The situation has gotten so bad that it's not just talent complaining, it's other trainers as well. One person even claimed DeMott is "determined to make everyone as miserable as he is." When Triple H got word that even the trainers were upset about the issues with DeMott, a meeting was held and DeMott apologpized. Talent found out about the apology and wanted to know where theirs was. Bill DeMott does not have a good reputation amongst the boys and it's so bad we're told there are international stars turning down WWE offers because they do not want to train with DeMott at the WWE Performance Center. - This week's episode of WWE Main Event featuring a special appearance by The Undertaker garnered an average viewing audience of 1,380,000 viewers on Ion Television. We haven't tracked Main Event's viewership until the show began airing first on the WWE Network. So far, the fact Main Event is now a repeat airing on Ion Television does not seem to be hurting its viewing audience. Below are the numbers for the other repeat airings on Ion Television: March 5, 2014 – 1,487,000 viewers March 13, 2014 - 1,396,000 viewers Below is a look at the audience BEFORE the show debuted on WWE Network: February 26, 2014 – 1,289,000 viewers February 19, 2014 – 1,316,000 viewers - WWE updated their Key Performance Indicators on Friday and in them, revealed preliminary pay-per-view buy numbers for Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber. Exact figures for each show were not given but Royal Rumble 2014 exceeded 400,000 buys but was well short of the 512,000 they did in 2013. Elimination Chamber fell below 200,000 buys and was less than the 213,000 buys the show did last year. Below is a screen grab of the chart: The two shows together added together did a reported 664,000 buys. Below is a screen grab of that chart: The official figures for each show will be released when WWE reports their quarter one earnings. Smackdown TV news… - It was announced on the Smackdown Pre-Show that Daniel Bryan will be on Raw this Monday. We'll have play-by-play here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com. - During the Fatal Four Way Tag Match on Smackdown, the match ended in a no contest when Kane attacked Roman Reigns. The rest of the match erupted into a brawl as The Shield was beaten by the other competitors. The New Age Outlaws joined Kane in the attack on The Shield. - The Miz officially announced that he was going to be apart of the Andre The Giant Battle Royal at WrestleMania XXX. Kofi Kingston was also seen during the segment on Smackdown, implying he is also entered into the match. - Kane gave both the team of Curtis Axel and Ryback, and The Real Americans a future WWE Tag Team Title shot in a backstage segment on Smackdown. Kane also announced that all three members of 3MB would be entered into the Andre The Giant Battle Royal at WrestleMania XXX.

2014 Q1
Q1b

TNA News

- Kurt Angle plans to return to the ring next month after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery in February. He Tweeted the following on Tuesday:

Angle delayed his surgery from January to February, so he could make good on advertised dates for TNA's 2014 European tour. However, it didn't stop the company from advertising him in a match against Ethan Carter III for their Lockdown pay-per-view, only to pull it from the card just a few days before the show.

Angle will return to TNA but is expected to fully explore his options when his contract expires in September 2014. According to sources, the general belief is he'll accept any offer that WWE makes for his services, however, we cannot confirm interest as of press time.

- The opening to this week's episode of Impact Wrestling is online at this link.

- The latest Impact Podcast is now online at this link.

- We're being told that Lei'D Tapa is finished with TNA Wrestling and her match with Gail Kimtaped for Xplosion is expected to be her last. According to a source with knowledge of the situation, TNA officials do not think she's committed enough to the wrestling industry and they don't want to build around someone they think will leave anyway. Tapa is a former professional American football player and she's been talking about quitting professional wrestling to try her hand at Mixed Martial Arts. When TNA learned that Tapa had been telling people of her intentions, they decided to write her out of storylines as soon as possible. We're told there is some mild curiosity from WWE, however, one source notes she's viewed as a bodyguard type and would be too similar to Tamina Snuka.

- WhatCulture has a Q&A online with Bobby Roode, where he discusses a myriad of topics. We've published some excerpts from the coverage below:

How confident are you that you’ll get another reign as TNA World Heavyweight Champion?

Oh, I’m very confident that I can get that opportunity again. I think I’ve proven myself significantly from the first time I had the World title, becoming the longest reigning champion in the company’s history. You know, there will come a time when I get another opportunity to become champion and I’m going to make the best of that opportunity and hopefully, if I have it my way, it’ll be a bigger, better, longer reign than the first one.

You’re in your 16th year as a pro. Do you have a long-term plan – how many more years do you intend to wrestle?

Right now, physically, I feel good. I think I have a lot of years left to serve here, a lot of great years left. So long as I am able to go out there and produce great matches and keep the fans intrigued, and stay healthy, I think I have a lot of years left. Once I’m physically unable to do this any more, I’d like to stay in some sort of role where I can help guys get to certain points in their careers. But for right now, obviously the most important thing for me is my career and to continually get better, and to re-iterate the other question you just asked me, to once again become the World Heavyweight Champion and be the top guy in this company.

Sticking with that theme, you had an incredible bloody battle with James Storm at Turning Point last year which was one of the most intense matches I’ve seen in years. Do you feel that blood still has a place in wrestling in this day and age, or is it something that sets TNA apart from WWE?

I don’t know if blood separates us from WWE, I mean, there’s a time when it calls for it in certain situations. You talk about James and I, our rivalry lasted almost a year and a half, so you know, things happen in matches and obviously there’s a lot of hatred there, so to answer your question, I don’t think blood separates TNA wrestling from the WWE, no.

Click here to read the piece in its entirety.

TNA is running an angle on ImpactWrestling.com where they are reporting that Dixie Carter had a "sensitive talent meeting" with Bully Ray at the company's headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee on Thursday. They highlighted Tweets from Dixie's assistant, Daisy Marx and Bull Ray.

The following is from Twitter:

Click here for kayfabe coverage on ImpactWrestling.com.

Impact Wrestling TV News…

- Due to interference by Willow, Ethan Carter III has defeated Bobby Lashley. TNA did an angle where Lashley's victory at Lockdown> was nullified due to Lashley not being an official member of the roster at the time. In the rematch Lashley lost due to Willow coming out an attacking EC3.

- As per a prematch stipulation Lei'D Tapa is "finished" with TNA. Tapa lost a match tonight vs. Gail Kim in which Kim had stated that if Lei'D Tapa lost she would be done with TNA.

- Angelina Love and Velvet Skyreunited tonight to reform the Beautiful People. Former third member Madison Rayne was also invited to rejoin the group but declined saying she felt Angelina Love never gave her the respect she deserves.

- The TNA tag team champions The Bro Mans retained their titles in a triple threat match against The Wolves and the team of Sanada and Tigre Uno.

- A rematch between Gunner and James Storm was just announced to take place on next week's episode of Impact Wrestling. The bout was taped at last week's set of tapings. You can read what happened in our spoilers section.

- TNA Champion Magnus retained his title in a match against Samoa Joe when "The Monster Abyss throws a chair as Joe was attempting a dive. The interference was enough to give Magnus the victory.

- Lei'D Tapa is finished with TNA Wrestling. We broke the story on Thursday morning here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com that the decision was made to write Tapa off television when word leaked she had been talking about quitting and possibly pursuing a career in Mixed Martial Arts.

According to a source with knowledge of the situation, TNA didn't feel she was committed enough to the wrestling industry and wanted to get her off television before any more time was invested in her. This is the reason for the stipulation in her match with Gail Kim that aired on this week's episode of Impact.

Click here to read our initial report.

Click here for news from this week's Impact.

Click here for complete Impact Wrestling results.

- TNA Wrestling issued a press release on Friday morning, indicating that travel packages for their Slammiversary pay-per-view are now available.

- Twitter is celebrating their 8th Anniversary and a result, users are able to search their first Tweet. TNA compiled several for their workers and posted them at this link. You can lookup your first Tweet at this link.

- Ken Anderson answered questioned from fans during the airing of this week's episode of Impact Wrestling. You can read the entire transcript embedded below:

#AskAnderson 3/20 Impact

- This week's episode of Impact Wrestling did an average viewing audience of 997,000 viewers with a 0.89 cable rating on Spike TV. The number was abysmal but the competition was stiff with the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. Impact was not among the top 100 cable shows for the day.

Ask WNW

Should fans expect Bray Wyatt to go over John Cena at Wrestlemania 30? Is Cena trying to put younger talent over?

John Cena has been one of Bray Wyatt's biggest supporters behind the scenes. I remember when Bray was still in developmental that John often raved about his work. Based on the way the program has been booked, I don't think it's a given that Bray goes over John. Considering the Wyatt Family has interfered in Cena's matches, I think there's more of an argument that Cena goes over to gain redemption. If this happens, will Bray be hurt by the loss? However, the idea of Bray over Cena isn't without risk either. We'll have more on the outcome as we get closer to the show but right now it's not a given that Bray goes over, as it's actually that Cena does. As for Cena putting young talent over, this isn't a situation like Chris Jericho and Fandango last year. Jericho entered the Wrestlemania plans late and came back to help out young stars on a part-time basis. Cena is still fully committed to WWE and still the face of the company. He's not being phased out and as he said in a recent promo, the future of the business goes through him.

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With Layla returning to WWE over the weekend, does that mean we should expect her back on television soon?

Layla was back on the road with the WWE roster this weekend where she tagged with Alicia Fox in matches against Natalya and Eva Marie (photo here). I'm still not completely clear about where Layla has been. At first it was thought to be an injury, then rumors spread it was due to personal reasons. The longer she was gone, the louder the whispers got that she could be finished with WWE. Her last appearance on Monday Night Raw was on the September 23, 2013 episode. There's a good chance she returns to television now that she's back on the road, however, we cannot confirm her for this week's broadcast.

Does Phil Brooks own the rights to CM Punk? He was in Talking Dead and Chris Hardwick kept saying Phil Brooks a/k/a CM Punk?

CM Punk used the name before he ever got to WWE, however, I just searched the US Patent and Trademark Office website. That search revealed WWE owns trademarks to the name CM Punk for "Entertainment services, namely, wrestling exhibitions and performances by a professional wrestler and entertainer" as well as for "Clothing, namely, tops, jackets, bottoms, underwear, pajamas; footwear, namely, shoes, sneakers, slippers; headwear, namely, hats" and for use on toys. All three of these marks are of "LIVE" status.

Do think Sting might make a cameo after Undertaker's Wrestlemania 30 match against Brock Lesnar to challenge him at Wrestlemania 31?

Sting broke his silence over the weekend, saying he only wants one more match and that's a match against Undertaker. Based on this appearance, I do not see Sting appearing at Wrestlemania 30 this year. I truly believe Sting is headed to WWE and will possibly work Wrestlemania next year, however, there is clearly no rush on his status. I do not see him making a cameo at Wrestlemania 30 this year based on his appearance over the weekend. He is finished with TNA Wrestling.

From the Ask WNW vault…

April 2011: How many buys do TNA pay-per-views buy? Do they make a profit? - When TNA was considering stopping pay-per-views and airing three-hour live specials on Spike TV they were drawing less than 10,000 buys per show. This is a tremendous loss and makes it impossible to make money. Buy rates climbed up following the Hardcore Justice show they did last August so it was determined to continue to run on pay-per-view. TNA is not a public company so they do not release their buy rate numbers so it is impossible for me to give you exact numbers as they are kept secret. However, we can look at some of the percentages for conversions and I'll give you some numbers to think about. A well-watched edition of WWE Raw does an average audience of around 5,000,000 viewers. A well-watched edition of Smackdown does close to an average audience of 3,000,000 viewers (last week's Smackdown featuring the send-off for Edge did an average viewing audience of 2,982,000, a very strong number). The average pay-per-view buy rate for the three WWE pay-per-views in quarter four of 2010 did 197,000 buys (click here for the breakdown of numbers). Last week's TNA Impact did an average viewing audience of 1,540,000 viewers. There are several variables to factor in when considering how well a pay-per-view does but hopefully those figures will give you an idea. It should be noted that Wrestlemania is a different animal as WWE's goal is to do at least 1 million buys each year for their biggest show of the year but it's a mark they've missed over the past few years. The numbers for this year's Wrestlemania XXVII are not yet available.

Is there any real chance even with the stipulation that Triple H beats Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania XXX?

There is absolutely a chance that Triple H goes over Daniel Bryan and is inserted into the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at Wrestlemania XXX. Critics will say this is Hunter's way of burying Bryan (both in a kayfabe sense and a legitimate sense), however, I still think Bryan is the favorite to go on to the title match later in the night. I like the added stipulation because it creates doubt, which increases intrigue. The big knock on the stipulation when it was announced last week was that it created an obvious situation. With the updated stipulation, it's no longer as obvious.

Do you think that AJ Lee might be getting punished because of her relationship with CM Punk? She seems to be losing a lot lately.

No, AJ Lee, the real-life girlfriend of CM Punk, is not being punished due to the situation with CM Punk. AJ has the protection of Vince McMahon, which is why there ended up being no repercussions over the infamous Michelle Beadle incident last year. The losses are storyline related and if there were real heat on her, she would have dropped the Divas Championship before she broke the "longest reign" record.

Why does wrestling pay-per-views end around 20 minutes early?

WWE and TNA pay-per-views aren't booked right up until 11 PM ET because if they would accidentally go over, they'd lose the feed and have to refund all customers. This actually happened to WCW Halloween Havoc 1998 when the show ran long and the PPV cut off. WCW had to show Goldberg vs. DDP, the main event, for free on Monday Nitro. This is also something I don't foresee changing with pay-per-views moving to the WWE Network as the company will still have traditional providers in place. However, it's worth noting the WWE Network does give the company much more flexibility.

Do you see the Ultimate Warrior as the headliner of the 2014 WWE Hall of Fame class?

Yes, I consider the Ultimate Warrior to be the headliner of the 2014 WWE Hall of Fame class. It's the 30th Anniversary of Wrestlemania, Hogan is back and Warrior taking his rightful place is only fitting. I think we're all highly anticipating what is likely to be a bizarre induction speech, with Linda McMahon formally inducting him. We have details on another induction being delayed that you can read about here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com.

From the Ask WNW vault…

March 2012: How does The Rock vs. John Cena compare to Rock vs. Hollywood Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania X8 a decade ago? - I actually think The Rock vs. John Cena is a bigger match and has more hype surrounding it than Rock vs. Hogan. Hogan was already out of his prime by the time the Wrestlemania X8 match happened and this isn’t the case with Rock and Cena. Rock is not even 40 yet (Hogan was 48) and can still compete at a very high level. The Rock vs. Cena is unique in that you have one of the biggest stars of the Attitude Era versus the biggest star of today yet the former is still young enough to work at a top level. I’m not saying it’ll be the best Wrestlemania match ever, it might not even be the best match of the night, but I do not recall another bout having as much build and hype as Rock vs. Cena.

Is it a given Daniel Bryan is going to be the next champion? If WWE doesn't put him over wouldn't that be a HUGE mistake?

If there is one point I've tried to make in the build to Wrestlemania, it's "there are no givens." Literally anything is possible and we have to get out of this mindset that something is "definitively" going to happen. Such certainties in the pro wrestling business do not exist. Something can be likely but it doesn't go further than that. Here's the thing about the Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H program. It's basically split the audience - some love it and others hate it. Some feel it's too predictable, while others feel Triple H will do whatever it takes to dismiss Daniel Bryan both in a kayfabe sense and in a legitimate sense. I find the program entertaining and think the added stipulations to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at Wrestlemania XXX have helped it. There has also been a philosophical change in the way Daniel Bryan is viewed by the WWE brass. While Hunter will continue to "degrade him" in this program, he's scene as a top guy headed into the pay-per-view. This was not the original plan but a result of what happened at Royal Rumble and the audience refusing to accept Batista as a babyface. If I were booking, I'd put Bryan over in both bouts but that's far from a sure thing.

What is the thinking behind the months of teasing a breakup in The Shield with Roman Reigns poised to turn face, only to turn the three members face at the same time to feud with Kane? Was the buildup done purposefully to build suspense before a switch or is this a change of heart from creative?

As I reported in this week's Backstage News from Raw, the indecision over what to do with The Shield stems from a difference of opinion between Vince McMahon and Triple H. This has been confusing to follow but I'll argue that one feels they are better suited in a turn to face Kane in some capacity at Wrestlemania. However, this is a newer development that has only came about in the last couple of weeks and is certainly subject to change. All of the indecision and lack of direction in the top of the card has resulted in a nonexistent Wrestlemania undercard.

With majority of WWE superstars being booked for the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, is there a chance there definitely will be a lack of matches at Wrestlemania?

As I just mentioned, the lack of direction and indecisiveness in the top of the Wrestlemania card has resulted in a nonexistent undercard. Believe it or not, Wrestlemania 30 is two weeks from Sunday. The card is built on John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt, Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H, Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar and the situation with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship with Batista, Randy Orton and the winner of Bryan/Hunter. Then it's everyone else. Readers have emailed in, asking about secondary titles and other undercard aspects but this is what the card is at this juncture. The battle royal is certainly a way to get guys on the card without developing storylines to explain them. What I don't understand is the fact WWE has more television time now than ever and they aren't able to deliver more storylines for the biggest show of the year. It's disappointing and if you aren't excited about one of the four main events, you're probably not excited for Wrestlemania.

What's the Wrestlemania 30 main event?

Wrestlemania has four main events - Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker, John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt, Triple H vs. Daniel Bryan and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match. Obviously Hunter vs. Bryan has to go before the title match and I would expect as much space as possible.

From the Ask WNW vault…

November 2012: What has Sheamus done/not done to cause WWE to lose faith in him? - I was told this week Sheamus is being tested and hasn’t done anything wrong. WWE wants him to “stay hungry” and know there are others vying for his spot in the company. Sheamus is seen as a guy that always works hard and he has the favor of Triple H.

Do you know if WWE performers are being compensated for money lost due to the WWE Network? How are they offering to make up the difference or are people just taking a cut in pay?

How WWE will handle pay-per-view bonuses are still a mystery. For those unaware, the way WWE has handled pay-per-view bonuses is that workers on the card are given a percentage of show's revenue. With the WWE Network, that's going to change as WWE is sacrificing the pay-per-view business in favor of the Network. The majority of the roster wasn't excited about the WWE Network because they immediately thought about their pay-per-view bonuses. Vince McMahon was scheduled to address the issue at one point but I haven't heard if that meeting has taken place. In the long run I think it will work out, however, the WWE Network is an investment for the company until they reach 1 million subscribers.

If Vince McMahon was to step down in the immediate future, who would replace him?

Vince McMahon is grooming Triple H as his inevitable successor. I know there's a NEWZ story making rounds that it would be another WWE executive that would take over for Vince if he were to unexpectedly depart but I don't believe that for a second. That said, WWE still considers Vince McMahon a critical part of their success and detailed the following in a recent SEC filing, where they elaborated on risk factors:

The unexpected loss of the services of Vincent K. McMahon could adversely affect our ability to create popular characters and creative storylines or could otherwise adversely affect our operating results.

Vince is once again in charge of the WWE creative team, a role he took back from Stephanie McMahon last fall.

Could you see Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H at Wrestlemania XXX ending in a double count out/draw, resulting in both men in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, making it a Fatal 4-Way?

It's possible and something I talked about in the latest WNW Premium Mailbag, however, I don't think it's likely. There is a lot of money in Daniel Bryan as the proverbial underdog but everyone has to get a payoff sooner or later. Wrestlemania is the time for Daniel Bryan to get that payoff and I hope WWE executes it. If not, I fear it will be a mistake.

Did Triple H and Stephanie McMahon take their kayfabe beatdown on Daniel Bryan too far? The head shots, the choking and screaming from Stephanie McMahon.

I agree with Mick Foley's reaction to the final segment of this week's episode of Monday Night Raw. I don't think they went too far, I think they went just far enough. They pushed it about as far as you can push it with the banned elements you mentioned but I felt it was needed. It was needed to sell the significance of Triple H vs. Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania, explain it as a significant hurdle to get in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match and cause fans to take interest . This is another reason why I don't see it ending in a draw. Triple H vs. Daniel Bryan matters, it's a very big part of this year's show. The story of the ultimate underdog overcoming the odds and enshrining himself in Wrestlemania glory is there for Daniel Bryan. Let's hope WWE does the right thing.

May 2012: Why does WWE keep airing WWE NXT online? - WWE has been “sitting on” WWE NXT for several months, however, major changes are underway. Beginning on Thursday, WWE will tape the show from the campus of Full Sail University. Triple H is leading up the changes which will feature a new feel as the company is still looking for a way to bring developmental talent to television via WWE NXT. While no TV deal has been announced, it’s expected the company has one for the series. You can read more here and here.

What would you you say the standards are for being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame?

There are a couple aspects to the WWE Hall of Fame to look at when analyzing who is in and who is out. I want to make it clear that it is an honor to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, so I'm not trying to say there isn't that aspect. However, there are other aspects such as how WWE can use inductions commercially to make money. Remember, the Wrestlemania Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is about selling tickets to an event where tens of thousands of wrestling fans are in the same city. It also increases the hype and visibility of Wrestlemania, thus promoting it at the same time. Further, WWE is able to use inductees to release new merchandise, DVDs and other materials they would have not had success in licensing and releasing commercially had it not been for the Hall of Fame exposure.

Inducting Bruno Sammartino was probably the best thing to ever happen for the legitimacy of the WWE Hall of Fame, however, let's be clear it is still very much up to Vince McMahon as to who is getting inducted. There is no formal selection process with objective voting like there is in professional sports. There is also a timing aspect as WWE wants inductions to coincide with relevant themes to maximize interest. In other words, it's no accident The Ultimate Warrior is headling the 30th Anniversary class. He was a big part of the WWE 2K14 video game and the Hall of Fame is the next step.

We could make a very long list of people that should be in and people that probably shouldn't be in, however, it's up to Vince McMahon and the WWE brass as to who ultimately gets inducted. The WWE Hall of Fame is the most legitimate Hall of Fame in pro wrestling but it's not a legitimate Hall of Fame in the sense of objective voting with a formal selection process. As for standards, mainstream relevance, the ability to draw and of course a storied career all play significant parts.

With Wrestlemania 30 moving to the WWE Network does this mean WWE will no longer have their pay-per-views available to customers that want to order in a traditional sense?

When WWE announced the WWE Network last month in Las Vegas it was their hope that current pay-per-view providers would continue to carry their shows. However, that's not been how it's happened as some of their providers are concerned about the WWE Network offering the shows much cheaper, thus eliminating the need for a traditional provider. Dish Network immediately dropped all WWE pay-per-views and will not be carrying Wrestlemania 30 next month. Their latest statement puts the blame entirely on WWE and they point out they aren't alone.

In my opinion this only hurts the providers as WWE is willing to leave existing agreements in place. The fact of the matter is traditional pay-per-view is a lapsed model and those that do not embrace digital distribution are going to get left behind. WWE is the first over the top network but they aren't the first streaming service. WWE knew the WWE Network would cannibalize their pay-per-view business but were willing to take the risk in favor of the newer model. It is a risk, however, a risk with a huge reward and one that puts them in front of all competition.

So to answer your question, WWE pay-per-views will remain on some traditional providers, however, I expect the 85% of US households covered for Wrestlemania 30 to only decline. WWE made the decision to move their pay-per-view business to the WWE Network and the day is coming when it will be the exclusive provider for the events.

If Daniel Bryan wins the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania XXX, do you think the Yes Movement will still be as over with the crowd?

This is a topic for debate and one that will not be answered until it happens. There is a very good argument to be made that the money in Daniel Bryan is in him as the proverbial underdog, however, everyone gets a payoff sooner or later. Will he take the payoff and decline in popularity or will he take it and rise in popularity? Some peak, while others become legends. I can't tell you which Bryan will be as it all depends on how the crowd responds. Steve Austin made good on his payoff, so did The Rock. Others haven't been as fortunate and you can probably name them, however, we'll just have to wait and see.

Considering how he was utilized and admitted in an interview that WWE wasn't his top priority, how did Low Ki (or Kaval) go the company in the first place?

Low Ki signed with WWE in 2009 and was called up from the company's developmental territory in 2010. I think the possibility of facing Rey Mysterio in a dream match was certainly a motivating factor as well as signing with the biggest and most successful pro wrestling promotion on the planet. He'd arguably accomplished everything on the independent scene and in Japan so why not try to embrace the WWE opportunity? It wasn't for him and it's not for everyone. To be a WWE star you have to be committed to traveling 300 days out of the year and that type of lifestyle is not an easy one.

From the Ask WNW vault…

July 2012: When do you think that The Undertaker will retire? - Many speculated this year’s match against Triple H at Wrestlemania XXVIII with The Undertaker going 20-0 would be his last, however, Undertaker felt great after the match and reportedly has more left in the tank. I’ve even heard there has been talk of him working before Wrestlemania XXIX next year. We’ll see what happens but it wouldn’t be wise to begin projecting Undertaker’s retirement.

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