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 22, 2014 to Friday, March 28, 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!
- Rey Mysterio visited the Inter Milan training facility earlier this week. You can view photos at this link. (Thanks to WNW Reader Pietro Giampa for sending this in.)
- Dolph Ziggler, Titus O'Neil, Michael Cole, JBL, Jerry Lawler and The Bella Twins filmed an appearance on E's "The Soup" on Friday.
- Bray Wyatt apologized to Nikki Bella before calling her plastic in his promo to John Cena on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw.
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.
- Rey Mysterio visited the Inter Milan training facility earlier this week. You can view photos at this link. (Thanks to WNW Reader Pietro Giampa for sending this in.)
- Dolph Ziggler, Titus O'Neil, Michael Cole, JBL, Jerry Lawler and The Bella Twins filmed an appearance on E's "The Soup" on Friday.
- Bray Wyatt apologized to Nikki Bella before calling her plastic in his promo to John Cena on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw.
- The logo for the WWE Network is in fact the new WWE logo and the company is in the process of transitioning to it. You can view it below:
- For those that missed it on this week's episode of WWE Smackdown, 3MB were announced entrants for the 30-man Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at Wrestlemania 30. That is the subtitle for this week's Smackdown Fallout that's online at this link.
- TMZ cameras caught up with Jerry Lawler at the airport recently. The photog asked Lawler which character is least like the character they play on TV. He said that would probably be him because on TV he's all girl crazy and seemingly after all the Divas all the time and in real life, he's not that way at all. He was asked about Andre the Giant. King said Andre was awesome. When asked about Andre's drinking, Lawler explained how because of his size, a case was equivalent to a six pack to most of the guys.
- WWE United States Champion Dean Ambrose spoke to The Reminder to promote Tuesday's Smackdown taping in Boston. In it, he explained his love for performing.
“The work for me is traveling, getting in and out of the buildings and stuff like that. The pay is getting the chance to wrestle in front of the entire world on TV, in front of big crowds, just being in front of the audience getting to do what you love to do. Just performing. I love performing whether it’s a live event or a pay-per-view or whatever it is; any time that red light of the camera is on. That’s the fun part for me.”
Click here to read the piece in its entirety.
- This week's episode of After Total Divas is now online at this link.
- WWE is running in Brooklyn on Monday night which means it's a busy media day for talent in New York City. John Cena, Hulk Hogan and The Bella Twins are among those making the rounds:
- The word going around this weekend was that Scott Hall will be announced as a 2014 WWE Hall of Fame inductee on this week's episode of Raw from Brooklyn, New York. Specifically, Gene Okerlund told fans at the Mad Monster Party in Charlotte, North Carolina that Hall will be inducted. We reported exclusively that Hall was in the mix for this year's class and followed up last week that his induction was delayed. Hall's announcement was rescheduled for the end of March, making tonight's rumored announcement a possibility.
- WWE has teamed with the foundation of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and the Boys and Girls Club in a global online auction to raise money for charitable work in the New Orleans area. The auction began on Monday at CharityBuzz.com and closes on Tuesday, April 8, 2014. Proceeds will be divided 50/50 between the two charities. WWE will also build a playground in a poor neighborhood of New Orleans. The charitable work is part of WWE bringing Wrestlemania 30 to the area. You can read a local news report, with more on the items for bid at this link.
- Bret Hart spoke about his relationship with Hulk Hogan at a Q&A event in Manchester, England on Sunday night. In it, Hart got choked up when recalling that Hogan said other wrestlers felt they couldn't trust Bret and he was never one of the boys. You can watch the footage at this link.
- Scott Hall is included in the advertising materials for the 2014 WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Based on this, his inclusion is confirmed. We posted the details coming out of the weekend here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
WWE talent were present at the premiere of "Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery," which is available on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital HD Tuesday, March 25, 2014. You can watch video the company posted on YouTube at this link. Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Machine will be on this week's episode of Raw in Brooklyn, New York.
- WWE Battleground 2014 will take place from the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida on Sunday, July 20, 2014. Local event information is available at this link. For a recap of 2014 WWE pay-per-view dates and names, click here.
- The April 2014 issue of WWE Magazine has been mailed out to subscribers. I posted some photos on Twitter that you can view below:
- Adidas used the mask of Rey Mysterio as an inspiration behind the 2014 World Cup shirts of Mexico. You can watch a video of the Adidas designers at this link:
- WWE posted a video on YouTube featuring highlights of Vince McMahon, The Miz, Triple H, Brodus Clay, John Cena, Santino Marella and AJ Lee recording vocals for "Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery." You can watch it at this link.
- We received some mail following up on the latest WNW Premium Mailbag, asking how WWE gets by with classifying their performers as independent contracts and not as employees. The classification has been challenged in court twice, once when they were sued by Nicole Bass for sexual harassment and again in a 2008 lawsuit filed by Raven, Kanyon and Mike Sanders. A federal judge dismissed the 2008 case because the statute of limitations had expired.
- Last week's episode of WWE Smackdown did an average viewing audience of 2,597,000 viewers on SyFy. Coverage of the 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball dominated the night on cable. TV by the Numbers has more at this link.
- At Wrestlemania XXX there will be a Vickie Guerrero Divas Championship Invitational that will include Divas Champion AJ Lee, Naomi, Cameron, Brie and Nikki Bella, Natalya, Eva Marie, Emma, Aksana, Alicia Fox, Summer Rae, Rosa Mendes, Layla and Tamina. All of your Wrestlemania XXX coverage will be right here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- This week's Monday Night Raw was a legitimate sellout with 15,708 fans.
-It was announced on tonight's Monday Night Raw that the final inductee of the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2014 is Razor Ramon.
The complete list of new inductees are:
The Ultimate Warrior
Jake "The Snake" Roberts
Join us here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com on Saturday April 5, 2014 for all the coverage of the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2014 Ceremony.
-Just announced on Monday Night Raw that on next week's Raw we will see a preview of the Wrestlemania XXX WWE World Heavyweight Title Match with Batista vs Randy Orton as its main event.
- After weeks of speculation and uncertainty, at Wrestlemania XXX, The Shield will face The New Age Outlaws & Kane. For your complete event coverage, stay tuned to WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- Christian will challenge Big E for the WWE Intercontinental Championship on this week's episode of WWE Main Event after Christian's win on this week's Raw. That point is picked up on this week's episode of Raw Fallout that you can watch at this link.
- After this week's episode went off the air, The Wyatt Family faced The Shield in a dark match main event. The match ended in a double count out. Afterwards, The Shield thanked the Brooklyn crowd and had everyone hold their fists up.
- Shane McMahon and his wife Marissa are reportedly seeking no less than $50 million plus interest from the penthouse building where they live, the Cobblestone Lofts at 28 Laight Street, its managing agent, the Andrews Organization and other design firms and construction organizations. The complaint is due to water leaks in their penthouse, which the McMahons claim caused the growth of “certain toxic, airborne contaminants." As a result of the contaminants, Shane, his wife Marissa and their three children have severe respiratory ailments. In addition, they claim a potential $5 million-plus loss in property value and over $130,000 in damage to furniture, appliances, clothing and artwork. The majority of their personal property has been placed in storage facilities, costing them close to $5,000 a month. The McMahons lived in the 3,860-square-foot penthouse from 2002 to May 2012. The complaint claims their new rental apartment is approximately $15,000 a month but they will not be able to return home into the problems are remedied. Click here for more.
- This week's episode of Total Divas garnered an average viewing audience of 1,280,000 viewers and regained a spot as one of the top 100 cable shows for adults 25-54 for the whole day. The number is much better and up an average of 208,000 viewers from last week's lackluster Season 2 premiere.
- Dish Network has changed their position and will in fact carry Wrestlemania 30 next month. Details surrounding their about face are not immediately available and the show has not been re-added to the pay-per-view section on their official website.
The provider has really embarrassed themselves, publicly expressing their disdain over WWE pay-per-view availability with a WWE Network subscription. They've pointed to their lead competitor, DirecTV, also being upset about WWE Network and have placed the blame completely on WWE. They were the only major provider to immediately pull all WWE PPVs from their schedule, including Elimination Chamber, which was not even featured on WWE Network.
Dish Network will handle WWE pay-per-views on case by case basis moving forward.
- Scott Hall Tweeted the following about his 2014 WWE Hall of Fame induction:
You can watch his Hall of Fame video at this link or embedded below:
WWE put an emphasis on Razor Ramon, the 4-time Intercontinental Champion, that was getting inducted and not Scott Hall of the nWo. This was intentional and something I'll have more on later in the week.
Backstage news from Monday Night Raw in Brooklyn…
- Hulk Hogan has been very well received backstage and has been friendly with all of the talent. One observer noted he seems to truly be enjoying his time "back home."
- Alberto Del Rio'sbotched kicks didn't go unnoticed backstage and he took "a lot of grief for it." Del Rio has been in and out of the company doghouse over the last several months and it's little things like this that do not exactly help his cause.
- We're told some of the boys felt that Ryback tried to dead weight Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose on the triple powerbomb spot.
- Dolph Ziggler is "back on track" and while it's not a monster push, he's out of "job city." The feeling is WWE cannot ignore their audience, especially when a worker (such as Ziggler) has so much noticeable talent. Vince Mahon by in large enjoys the work of Ziggler but feels he can be a little careless with his own body at times. It's Triple H that views Ziggler more as a lower mid card talent.
- Speaking of guys Vince is high up on, Sheamus is someone that has always been labeled one of Triple H's guys. We're told Vince is sour on Sheamus as a babyface and wants to turn him. Vince is also ready to push Roman Reigns but Hunter wants to leave The Shield in tact. This doesn't mean there is a behind the scenes feud between Vince and Hunter, as they actually get along fine, it's just their difference of opinion is interfering with storylines that are playing out on television.
- There is worry about the crowd turning on John Cena at Wrestlemania XXX in his match against Bray Wyatt with the thinking what happened on Monday was "just a taste."
- Lita is featured on the latest 30 Years of Wrestlemania podcast. On it, she called Trish Stratus to ask if she would induct her into the WWE Hall of Fame this year. You can listen to the podcast in its entirety at this link.
This confirms that Trish will induct Lita. We also know that Diamond Dallas Page will induct Jake "The Snake" Roberts and Linda McMahon will induct The Ultimate Warrior.
The 2014 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place Saturday, April 5, 2014 from the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, LA. We'll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- Batista has some fun at his own expense on Twitter following his wardrobe malfunction on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw. He Tweeted the following:
I captured the moment and posted it on my own Twitter account:
As for Batista's skinny jeans, the "tight jeans" he re-debuted in, I assume he's talking about, Vince McMahon told him to leave those at home.
- This week's episode of Monday Night Raw did an average viewing audience of 4,272,667 viewers on the USA Network. The broadcast was the top show on cable with a 1.5 adults 18-49 rating.
Below is how the viewership broke down by hour:
Hour one - 4,218,000 viewers
Hour two - 4,393,000 viewers
Hour three - 4,207,000 viewers
The audience was up from last week's disastrous numbers.
Click here for coverage by TV by the Numbers.
- WWE has announced that Christian, who became Number 1 Contender for the Intercontinental Championship on this week's Raw, will not be facing Big E for the title on tonight's Main Event. The reason as to why Christian is not competing has not been announced, but the situation will be addressed on Main Event. We will have all your play-by-play coverage on Main Event tonight here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- I wanted to follow-up a little more on point I made in Tuesday's installment of Ask WNW of WWE over saturating their audience with content, causing a lack of interest in the product.
Some readers have pointed out that last week's lackluster viewership for Monday Night Raw could be attributed to the St. Patrick's Day holiday. With that, I wanted to compare the last three years of Raw viewership data leading into Wrestlemania.
Therefore, for a sampling of data I took the four episodes of Raw prior to Wrestlemania in 2012 and 2013 and created viewership averages for each year. Those numbers are as follows:
2012: 4,563,005 viewers
2013: 4,688,000 viewers
2014: 4,323,583 viewers
It is worth noting 2012 Raw was still two hours and viewership from 2012 to 2013 was actually up. However, regardless of what that data shows, the average this year is lower than both the two previous years.
- It was announced on this week's Main Event that The Usos will defend their Tag Team Championships against Los Matadores, The Real Americans & Rybaxel in a Fatal Four-Way Tag Team match at WrestleMania XXX.
- For those that missed this week's live episode of WWE Main Event, the company claims that Christian suffered a concussion on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw. As a result, Dolph Ziggler replaced Christian to challenge Big E for the Intercontinental Championship after winning a Triple Threat Number 1 Contender Match earlier in the night. Big E ended up going over to retain the title. While we cannot confirm WWE's claim about Christian's health, it's certainly feasible the injury is legitimate. Alberto Del Rio connected with a kick directly to his head during the Fatal 4-Way Match on this week's Raw. What's even more concerning is Christian missed the latter of 2013 after suffering a concussion in a match against Randy Orton on Raw in August.
- Kofi Kingston told Ring Rust Radio he would love to turn heel and has been clamoring for it for a while now. You can listen at this link.
- Wrestling News World reader Patrick Peralta sent this video that shows what happened after this week's episode of Monday Night Raw went off the air.
- CM Punk was in attendance at Tuesday night's NHL game between the Dallas Stars and his hometown Chicago Blackhawks. Below is a photo of him at the United Center:
- ESPN'sJonathan Coachman Tweeted that he has a "really cool announcement" in the next month or so about something happening this summer. He specifically addressed "WWE fans." The following is from Twitter:
- After cameras stopped filming at this week's WWE Smackdown taping in Boston, the dark match main event was setup. What started as Bray Wyatt challenging John Cena and developed into Kane making it a 3-on-1 handicap match (Cena vs. The Wyatt Family), turned into an 8-man tag match setup by Vickie Guerrero.
The bout was Cena and The Shield vs. Kane and The Wyatt Family. The babyfaces went over when Roman Reigns pinned Luke Harper. Cena cut a promo and put his fist in with The Shield as a sign of solidarity to end the taping and send the crowd home happy.
Below is a photo:
- For those that missed the news on Tuesday evening, Christian was pulled from the Intercontinental Championship match on this week's live episode of WWE Main Event shortly before the show went live on WWE Network. The company claimed it was due to a "slight concussion" and another number one contenders bout was booked to open Main Event, with Dolph Ziggler going over and challenging Big E later in the broadcast. Big E went over to retain the title. Christian's injury happened in a Fatal 4-Way match on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw, where he went over against Alberto Del Rio, Sheamus and Ziggler. Del Rio had two notable botches. One on a missed enziguri kick and another where he kicked Christian in the back of the head. We're told Del Rio was given a lot of grief backstage over the botches and it appears one of them has cost Christian yet another injury. What's even more concerning is that Christian missed 5 months after suffering a concussion in a match against Randy Orton on the August 26, 2013 episode of Raw. He didn't return until late January and appeared to be just getting back in the swing of things. It's worth noting we haven't received independent confirmation that Christian's injury is legitimate and there is still a chance WWE's claims could be kayfabe but the former is more likely given the botched kick, change in booking plans and Christian's concussion history.
- Forbes has a new interesting piece profiling Vince McMahon now online. Vince isn't very transparent in his responses and it's interesting he doesn't outright deny 'WWE is for sale' rumors. Below are the highlights of the piece:
'WWE for sale rumors' are mentioned, naming Comcast and Madison Square Garden Co. as rumored suitors
$75 million was spent on preparations for WWE Network and the change from a traditional cable channel in 2011 to launching as an over the top service is explained
Vince explained his love for speed and spoke about his Bentley and Boss Hoss 502 but distanced himself from "rich people" - McMahon stated, “I don’t really have anything in common with anyone in Greenwich except zeros. Normally I do not like rich people.”
Vince McMahon's life from meeting his biological father at age 12 to who he is today is detailed.
Regarding the XFL and its failure, McMahon said, “I like learning from my mistakes and bringing the values I’ve learned forward... But I’m not good at patting myself on the back. I’m not good at looking back.”
Finally, Vince is asked if a McMahon will run WWE in the future and he said, “I would like to see a degree of that… I just think as times go on, things will evaporate. Eventually Uncle Sam sees the benefit. You can’t do anything without Uncle Sam taking a huge bite of it.”
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
- Zack Ryder "kills" his old gimmick in the latest episode of "Zack Ryder's Last ReZort." Before a scene that features Ryder in his old gimmick lying in a coffin, he comes into a room where the "old Ryder" is filming "Z! True Long Island Story" and tells him to stop being so "damn goofy." You can watch episode three at this link.
- Part of the deal for Hulk Hogan to return to WWE includes the opportunity to headline another Hall of Fame class, sources informed us earlier in the week. We're told it's a situation similar to what the company did with Ric Flair and The Four Horsemen as they plan to make Hogan a two-time inductee by inducting him as part of the new World order. With that being said, the induction is said to take place "in the next few years." This is another reason why the decision was made to induct Razor Ramon and not Scott Hall as they do not want to take away from the impact when "Scott Hall" goes in later with Hollywood Hogan and others as part of the nWo faction. At one point, Kevin Nash was someone WWE wanted to induct this year but once it was decided to put in Razor Ramon, they didn't want Nash going in the same year as it would make the nWo induction less special if Hall and Nash were inducted in the same year. It's also worth pointing out that Nash isn't particularly interested in going into the Hall of Fame, so they didn't want to push the issue yet. One idea talked about internally was to see if he'd be willing to go in next year as Diesel and then finally the new World order would go in the year after that. Either way, WWE wants another Hogan Hall of Fame induction sooner than later.
- This week's kayfabe interview is Michael Cole interviewing Hulk Hogan. The storyline is Triple H will not do WWE.com interviews until after Wrestlemania 30. You can watch the interview at this link.
- Daniel Bryan was backstage at Raw in Brooklyn on Monday night but wasn't scripted into the show to sell the "beating" he took at the hands of The Authority the week prior. This was a creative decision I felt to be a mistake as I explained in the latest WNW Premium Mailbag.
- A new "Five Things" with Tom Phillips is online at this link, where he discusses five things bound to happen at Wrestlemania 30.
- Wrestlemania XXX is being offered by DirecTV at $69.95 for HD or $59.95 in standard definition. I Tweeted a photo of the listing that you can check out below:
You can also watch a cool commercial for the pay-per-view at this link.
- One of my Twitter followers, Brendan, was in attendance at Tuesday's WWE Main Event/Smackdown taping from the TD Garden in Boston and Tweeted me the following photo:
- The May 26, 2014 episode of Monday Night Raw will emanate from Knoxville, Tennessee.
- While we normally do not analyze WWE's stock price, I wanted to provide a look at the stock price following the piece Forbes did on Vince McMahon. In it, not only did Vince not deny 'for sale' rumors, he made a very strange comment that "things will evaporate."
- The Miz is quoted in a piece by The Miami Herald to promote the animated film Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery! In it, Miz says Santino Marella is a comedic genius and talks about Maryse supporting him 100%. As of last week he hadn't seen the film but said from reading the words, it seems like it's going to be really cool and fun. Click here to read the article in its entirety.
- Hornswoggle is quoted by the Oshkosh Northwestern Media for his cameo in Muppets Most Wanted. Video of him on the red carpet is also shown. You can check it out at this link.
- There have been a lot of questions regarding the status of Christian after suffering a concussion in the Fatal 4-Way Match on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw off an errant kick from Alberto Del Rio. Because it's Christian's second concussion within a calendar year (with the other being suffered on August 26, 2013 in a match against Randy Orton), Christian must undergo a one on one evaluation by Dr. Mark Lovell. This is the same specialist that Dolph Ziggler had to see before he gained medical clearance when returning from his second concussion within a calendar year. Dr. Lovell is based out of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Additionally, Christian will have to be asymptomatic and pass an ImPACT Concussion Test before being cleared to return. For more, look over the WWE & ImPACT Concussion Management Program.
- Joey Styles Tweeted the following about the original Sin Cara:
I'm not sure what to make of the Tweet as Ignascio has been gone from WWE for months and already been announced by World Wrestling League. He's been in a battle with WWE over the Sin Cara gimmick and even trolled his replacement.
- WWE Main Event is not scheduled to air on Ion Television past next Wednesday, April 2, 2014. You can check out the official schedule at this link. WWE began airing the show live on the WWE Network on Tuesday, March 5, 2014. I haven't heard details about the show's future.
- This week's episode of WWE Inbox was shot at the premiere of Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery! You can watch it at this link.
- Chris Jericho did an interview with FoxSports.com and he talked about the CM Punk situation and more. Here are some of the questions:
FOXSports.com: WrestleMania XXX is on April 6. Are you excited to watch it or do you not have much interest since you're not part of the WWE at the moment?
Chris Jericho: Kind of half and half. I'm not wrestling because I choose not to. I have other things going on. I don't see myself wresting five years from now, so now is the time to make that transition. I follow the shows more online than anything. I don't really watch wrestling because there are too many other things I like to watch. If I were at home for a couple of days, I'd rather watch "True Detective" or "Walking Dead" or "House of Cards" than wrestling. WrestleMania, I might check it out if I'm home. But my house isn't really a wrestling house. My kids don't care for it, my wife's not a fan. If I do watch it, it's more like I have to tape it and watch it later.
FS: The big story in the WWE right now is the status of CM Punk, who walked away from the company a couple of months ago. Did you walk out on the WWE? And what is your opinion on what Punk did?
CJ: No. I've never done that. When I felt the way that Punk did in '05, I just waited until my contract was done, and then I left for two-and-a-half years. I never walked out in the middle of a contract, nor would I. I'm not saying that it's a bad thing that Punk did because that's his decision. I don't know anything about it. I know as much as everyone else. The thing is, the wrestling business goes on. There's never been one guy who has ever left and caused the business to shut down. Hulk Hogan left. Bret Hart left. All these guys have left and guess what? They get replaced.
Read the rest of the interview here
- Chris Jericho spoke to FoxSports.com about a myriad of topics. Matt Kunka posted an excerpt at this link where Jericho more or less said he was finished wrestling. Jericho also said WWE asked him to cover the Hall of Fame this year and he turned down the offer. He said he follows along online but doesn't watch wrestling regularly. The complete interview is available at this link. While Jericho won't be there, Steve Austin plans to attend Wrestlemania 30 in New Orleans. I haven't heard if he'll be doing anything in terms of an appearance but he is expected to attend the 2014 WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony the night before.
- WWE has scheduled a Wrestlemania XXX press conference on Tuesday at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York City. Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, Triple H, Hulk Hogan, Randy Orton, Batista, John Cena, Daniel Bryan, Alberto Del Rio, Mark Henry, The Great Khali, Big Show and more are scheduled. Michael Cole will be hosting the affair live.
- There is a photo circulating of the Wrestlemania XXX setup from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. You can view it below:
- Rey Mysterio was in Europe last week where he did international media for WWE. Sky Sports has an article featuring quotes from Mysterio during his visit, where he puts over Tyson Kidd.
"He hasn't really been given the opportunity but when he gets it he will blow people's minds," Mysterio said of Kidd
"He will wow Superstars - including even myself - and fans because top to bottom and all around he is a complete athlete with a ton of potential."
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
- OneGoodDad interviewed Titus O'Neil about being a father that's on the road with WWE. O'Neil said he uses FaceTime with his children every night and they always call him after school. You can read the article at this link.
- The fine folks over at BetweenTheRopes.com interviewed Daniel Bryan ahead of his main event(s) at Wrestlemania 30. Below are some excerpts they sent along:
On whether or not he feels like someone that is the face of the WWE:
"It's interesting because I don't feel any different that I did six months ago really. I'm just kind of me, I just do my thing. People ask me to do different stuff and now they ask me to do more stuff and that's pretty much it. It's strange because Total Divas is following us around now but next week the (WWE) Network is going to be following me around just to follow me around and see what I do to get prepared for WrestleMania and all that kind of stuff. I don't feel like a cover guy or anything like that but people are asking me to do more stuff!." (laughs)
On getting into a main event position at WrestleMania 30:
"I've never gone up to anybody and said 'hey, look at what I'm doing, I should be a main guy here'. I've always let my work speak for itself and I've always let the fan reaction speak for itself and make it so they don't have a choice but to do what they do with me right? It's not me pushing for me to get this opportunity. It's the fans who have been pushing for it and them saying no, this is what we want. We want this at WrestleMania and WWE has to listen to them. And that to me is pretty cool. People have so much more power than they think and not just in wrestling, in the world in general. A lot of these building have got like 14,000 people in this building compared to a couple people backstage who run the WWE. And that's pretty much the ratio of people in the world and people in power. You know what I mean? We have a lot more power that we think. So it's pretty cool."
Listen to the interview in its entirety at this link.
- Dot com posted details of Wrestlemania XXX week on the WWE Network. They'll air next Tuesday's Wrestlemania XXX press conference live from New York City at 11:00 AM EDT, a Wrestlemania Today show from Fan Axxess on Thursday, Friday and Saturday as well as the 2014 WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony in its entirety.
- While I'm aware their are reports that claim Rob Van Dam's return to WWE is imminent, I cannot confirm them. I know he was hoping to get back in time for the build to Wrestlemania XXX but it didn't happen. He could obviously return in the 30-man Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal or WWE may opt to wait until the push after the show in April.
- Episode 70 of The JBL & Cole Show is now online at this link.
- Roman Reigns spoke to The Washington Post to promote next week's go-home to Wrestlemania 30 episode of Monday Night Raw. Below are the highlights:
Not having a Samoan gimmick:
It was a process. Of course, immediately the thought was: “He’s Samoan, so let’s run with that.” But then I think they saw my personality, being more of a cultured guy, going to college, playing ball, things like that, just the kind of guy I am, you know, just be me — don’t try and focus on a nationality or an ethnicity or anything like that. Just be myself.
Getting mentioned as a main eventer and future champion:
I’ve always pictured myself being in the main event. It’s always been my expectation to be the top guy, the face of the company, the one with all of that responsibility. But that should be everybody’s goal. I didn’t get into this to just be in the middle of the pack. If you want to do that, go work in a different line of work. This isn’t the place to camouflage yourself. I’m trying to be the most exotic animal on this safari.
What's after Wrestlemania?
It’s Mania first. We want to get there the right way, and we want to just tear the house down. We wanna burn it down, put cracks in the wall, just demolish that place and have an awesome match.
As far as the next day? There’s going to be some gaps. There are going to be a bunch of big names that are gonna compete [at Wrestlemania] and then not be there on Monday. That’s when guys like myself, the rest of the Shield, Cesaro, the Usos . . . there’s a bunch of guys who want this and are willing to work every single day. If I’m a fan of the WWE, I would feel safe to know that your entertainment is in the right hands.
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
- This week's episode of WWE Main Event did an average viewing audience of 1,219,000 viewers on Ion Television. Apparently the show is ending on the broadcast network. Below is a look at viewership since it began airing live on WWE Network on Tuesday nights:
March 5, 2014 – 1,487,000 viewers
March 13, 2014 – 1,396,000 viewers
March 20, 2014 - 1,380,000 viewers
Below are the viewership numbers for WWE Main Event when it was still a "first run" show on Ion Television, before it started airing on WWE Network:
February 19, 2014 – 1,316,000 viewers
February 26, 2014 – 1,289,000 viewers
- Christian had WWE officials worried coming out of this week's television tapings. As one observer noted, he's not young and there were enough concerns with his health after he suffered the concussion last August. Prior to suffering the concussion on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw, Christian basically looked at this run as his "last hurrah," something the company even played up in the billing to his inclusion in February's Elimination Chamber match.
- Those counting on a major surprise to save the 30-man Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal shouldn't get overly excited. We can confirm Rob Van Dam has been discussed as an entrant, something I suggested as a best-case scenario to bring him back at Wrestlemania XXX.
- Vince McMahon was talking with creative over the course of the last week about coming up with something to surprise the fans at Wrestlemania. Nothing major or a big swerve, just something people can say they didn't see coming. No word on what that could be.
- We're told WWE is looking to hire more developmental talent after Wrestlemania and hopeful independent talent are being careful about committing to anything long-term. While workers such as Prince Devitt and Karl Anderson don't want to go to the WWE Performance Center, guys like Chris Hero won't sign with TNA so they can have a chance at another run with WWE.
- TNA X-Division Champion Sanada defended the belt against Seiki Yoshioka at Wrestle-1's show in Japan on Saturday. TNA covered the successful title defense at this link.
Below is a photo from Twitter:
- Velvet Sky pushed hard for TNA to re-sign Angelina Love as she continuously pitched her over the last year. It's no surprise they're working with Madison Rayne not only because of past storylines but because it was Rayne that actually talked Velvet into returning to the company.
- TNA Wrestling just announced that tickets for Slammiversary will go on sale this Friday, March 28, 2014. They also announced information in regards to travel packages. Below is the official statement, or click here:
The Superstars of IMPACT WRESTLING will descend on Dallas Fort Worth Sunday, June 15 for an epic summer showdown at Slammiversary XII live from the College Park Center at the University of Texas at Arlington.
Slammiversary XII travel packages will be available March 21 at ShopTNA.
Tickets to Slammiversary XII go on sale this Friday at 10 a.m. CT, and will be available at utatickets.com, by phone at 817-272-9595, and at the College Park Center Box Office.
Tune in to IMPACT WRESTLING every Thursday night at 9/8c on Spike TV, and follow us on Twitter @IMPACTWRESTLING for Slammiversary XII news and updates.
Get Your Slammiversary Travel Package
Be part of the most fan-friendly experience in professional sports as you celebrate twelve years of TNA at Slammiversary XII, broadcast live around the globe from the College Park Center at the University of Texas at Arlington on Sunday, June 15.
Lock in the best seats at the PPV and experience an unforgettable Slammiversary weekend hanging out with and getting to know your favorite IMPACT WRESTLING Superstars by purchasing a Travel Package, available now at ShopTNA.
All Slammiversary Travel Packages include:
Premiere seating at the Slammiversary XII PPV event Sunday, June 15 3 nights hotel accommodations (Friday, June 13 – Sunday, June 15) An exclusive Welcome Reception with IMPACT WRESTLING Superstars on Friday, June 13 VIP Weekend Pass, which includes A full-day pass to Six Flags Over Texas on Saturday, June 14 A meet and greet session with IMPACT WRESTLING Superstars A Slammiversary XII Anniversary Celebration inside Six Flags An exclusive Breakfast Before the Bell with IMPACT WRESTLING Superstars on Sunday, June 15, before Slammiversary XII A commemorative Slammiversary XII souvenir
A limited number of VIP Weekend Passes are also available at ShopTNA.
IMPACT WRESTLING Superstars scheduled to be part of the Slammiversary weekend include, World Heavyweight Champion Magnus, Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy, MVP, Bobby Roode, Mr. Anderson and Ethan Carter III.
A short recap of the news has been published on TNANews.com, as well as the official poster for Slammiversary. You can see the official poster here.
- TNA Wrestling continues to tease the future of The Beautiful People following Angelina Love's "attack" on Madison Rayne.
They posted a feature on ImpactWrestling.com with clips from Impact and followed with a Tweet. Check out the recap below:
- TNA Wrestling is using James Storm's "attack" on Gunner's dad as a promotional factor leading into their "Unlocked" match on this week's episode of Impact. The following social media aspects are highlighted in the match build:
Here's the "update" on Gunner's father:
- AJ Styles is committed to New Japan Pro Wrestling and Ring of Honor for the rest of the year. He continues to be "heavily pursued" by Jeff Jarrett's new group, however, AJ didn't want to be inactive this year and Jarrett's promotion isn't likely to get off the ground until the end of 2014. We're told Styles is also curious to see how things shake out with TNA Wrestling and Spike TV. There are a lot of moving parts. Will Jarrett's promotion end up on Spike? If not Spike, what about another Viacom channel such as CMT? Will TNA keep their clearance for Impact Wrestling? It's this that has caused Styles to take a "wait and see" approach in terms of the United States and he likes working for Ring of Honor because it doesn't prevent him from working for NJPW, which carries a nice payday. While New Japan isn't paying Styles what TNA was, between working there, ROH and select independent dates, Styles will end up earning more than TNA's final offer when they were trying to re-sign him earlier this year. Another element to this is Styles would like to go to WWE. He's been informed through intermediaries that if they had any intention of giving him a look, it would be after a year or so when it wouldn't seem like they were bringing in one of TNA's top guys. Styles' patient approach could end up putting him in a nice position at the beginning of next year. TNA could be more in need of top talent and if Jarrett's group signs Kurt Angle like many anticipate, Jarrett will obviously want AJ as well. Take into account that WWE could be interested by then in addition to his current options with NJPW and ROH and he would have a lot of leverage. Remember, TNA lowballed Styles because he had nowhere to go so opting out and getting booked independently could end up making him a highly sought after free agent.
- TNA Wrestling's Vice President of Talent Relations and Creative John “Big” Gaburick will be answering fans questions for the first time in a Q&A session. Below is the official statement from TNA Wrestling (or at this link):
ImpactWrestling.com is providing you unique access to the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and Creative, John “Big” Gaburick. Next Thursday, April 3rd, an hour before Impact Wrestling on Spike TV, this very special Q&A session will air as an exclusive video on ImpactWrestling.com hosted by Jeremy Borash.
How do you get your question answered? Follow John on Twitter @JohnGaburick and tweet your questions to him with the hashtag #AskBig. Also you can visit our Facebook page (Facebook.com/ImpactWrestling) and submit your questions there as well.
- On this week's episode of Impact Wrestling, MVP announced a Four Way Dance for the World Heavyweight Title between Magnus, Samoa Joe, Eric Young and Abyss.
- The Sioux City Journal has a new article online featuring quotes from TNA Champion Magnus to promote this weekend's TNA live event in the city. In it, Magnus calls winning the TNA title the highlight of his career so far. He also talks about being a natural villain because he's not from the United States. Click here to read the article in its entirety.
- For those that missed it, Jessie Godderz, Robbie E and Zema Ion answered questioned from fans during the airing of this week's episode of Impact Wrestling. You can check out the transcript embedded below:
- TNA Wrestling issued a press release on Friday with official details on Slammiversary 2014. The show will emanate from the College Park Center at the University of Texas at Arlington on Sunday, June 15, 2014. Below is the release in its entirety:
TNA CELEBRATES 12 YEAR ANNIVERSARY
SUNDAY, JUNE 15 IN DFW WITH
EPIC SUMMER SHOWDOWN “SLAMMIVERSARY”
GLOBAL PAY-PER-VIEW EVENT TO BROADCAST LIVE
FROM COLLEGE PARK CENTER AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT ARLINGTON
NASHVILLE, Tennessee (March 28, 2014) – TNA Entertainment, home of IMPACT WRESTLING, which is viewed by millions each Thursday night on SPIKE TV, is heading back to DFW for the second time in as many years to celebrate the company’s anniversary at Slammiversary XII, the epic summer showdown broadcast around the globe live from the College Park Center at the University of Texas at Arlington on Sunday, June 15.
Tickets for Slammiversary XII, which start at $12 in honor of the company’s twelfth anniversary, go on sale Friday, March 28, at 11 a.m. CT, and are available at utatickets.com and the College Park Center box office. The Superstars of IMPACT WRESTLING scheduled to appear at Slammiversary XII include World Heavyweight Champion Magnus, Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy, Director of Wrestling Operations MVP, Bobby Roode, Mr. Anderson and Ethan Carter III.
“I am thrilled to once again bring Slammiversary, our biggest show of the summer, back to my hometown,” said TNA President Dixie Carter. “We had such great success two years ago at the College Park Center it was just the perfect place to come back to celebrate TNA’s twelfth anniversary.”
Continuing a Slammiversary tradition, during the event the next inductee into the TNA Hall of Fame will be revealed.
Fans can lock in the best seats and experience an unforgettable TNA weekend by purchasing a Travel Package, available now at ShopTNA. A limited number of VIP Weekend Passes are also available at ShopTNA.
In June 2012, a crowd of more than 5,500 fans from around the world attended Slammiversary at the College Park Center.
“We are thrilled TNA’s Slammiversary PPV event is returning to the College Park Center,” said Jeff Davis, General Manager. “This event was one of our highlights in 2012, and we look forward to having wrestling fans return to the venue this June.”
- This week's episode of Impact Wrestling did an average viewing audience of 1,156,000 viewers on Spike TV. The company regained a spot in the top 100 cable shows for adults 18-49 for the whole day. More data is available here at TVbytheNumbers.
When will Legends' House and Monday Night War premiere on the WWE Network?
WWE Legends' House will premiere on the WWE Network on Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 8 PM ET. A premiere date has still not been announced for Monday Night War. WWE is strategic in the way they release their original programming, as they want to make sure they promote it properly so that people will watch. It's just like any other network. They strategically plan the release of shows around when they believe the programming will be the most successful. The best thing about Legends' House is that it's actually going to be seen as it's been in the can for two years.
With Wrestlemania XXX less than two weeks away what are the plans for the WWE Tag Team Championship, the WWE Intercontinental Championship, the United States Championship and the WWE Divas Championship?
It's likely the WWE Tag Team Championship and Divas Championship find their way onto the Wrestlemania 30 card but I wouldn't expect defenses of the Intercontinental and US titles respectively. Big E is an announced participant for the 30-man Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal and Dean Ambrose will likely be involved in something involving Kane and/or The Wyatt Family. Naomi is probably the favorite to challenge AJ Lee for the Divas Championship but it'll be interesting to see if more Total Divas get on the card as WWE plans to tie in the reality series into the Wrestlemania card. The Usos defending is likely, at this point it's just a matter of against who. Vince McMahon often goes back and forth on the importance of tag team wrestling. Some weeks it's like the division has been restored, others it's been forgotten again.
Does WWE know what they're doing with Damien Sandow?
Damien Sandow was in line for a push that never got off the ground. He's one of many workers lost in the shuffle that has more potential than is being realized but it's Wrestlemania season and it's a very difficult time for up and coming talent to be prominently featured. Let me also take the opportunity to mention that I do not like how Sandow unsuccessfully cashed in his Money in the Bank contract. At the time, it was still believed to be an elevation when he went under to John Cena but he quickly fizzled out. The intrigue in the Money in the Bank stipulation has not been lost, however, many hoped Sandow was on his way to a more prominent spot following last year's victory. He went under to Dolph Ziggler in live event matches on the weekend loop of the Northeast.
What's the latest on WWE Network subscriptions? Are they close to their 1 million target and if not, what's their time frame to achieve it?
WWE has stated time and time again the benchmark is 1 million subscribers for the WWE Network to become profitable. Until that point, the WWE Network will be seen as an investment. As for how many there are currently, WWE plans to reveal initial data the day after Wrestlemania 30 on Monday, April 7, 2014. Company officials have also stated as long as they reach 1 million subscribers by the end of the year, the WWE Network will be seen as a success. Considering the target for Wrestlemania buys in years past is 1 million buys, it'll be interesting to see how far along they are after the show this year.
From the Ask WNW vault…
July 2012: Throughout the past several weeks we’ve heard from WWE names about their favorite Raw moments. What is your favorite Raw moment? - As a long-time wrestling fan, I have many favorite Raw moments but for the sake of conversation I will mention a few. One of my best memories of the Attitude Era was Steve Austin driving the beer truck in the arena and hosing Vince McMahon. A lot of my favorite Raw moments from the Attitude Era included Austin as it was edgy programming that was very entertaining. The night that Shane McMahon showed up on WCW Monday Nitro was a memorable one as it was something I don’t think anyone would have imagined just five years prior to it happening. As for a recent memory, CM Punk’s worked shoot promo on Raw last summer was one of my favorites and elevated him to an entire different level.
Do you feel a lack of hype for Wrestlemania 30?
Yes, the hype surrounding Wrestlemania XXX is not as intense as it's been over the last several years. Just look at last week's Raw viewership as it's clear fans aren't tuning in with excitement. Last week's Raw only did an average of 4,075,333 viewers, to mark the lowest viewing audience of the year. These numbers were down an average of 540,667 viewers from the comparable show last year. This is troublesome and something that must worry WWE as they look to push towards 1 million WWE Network subscribers. The WWE Network could actually save the show from disaster as buys will be masked by people that have already signed up. Before readers go blaming Batista or Daniel Bryan (depending on which side of the fence you sit on), I point to product over saturation.
Yes, the build to Wrestlemania 30 has been all over the place with the constant changes in plans but I believe WWE is seeing negative effects from overwhelming their fans with too much content. I'm not just talking about Raw being three hours long, Raw has been three hours long for nearly two years. I'm talking about starting Raw a half hour early and ending a half hour late. I'm talking about an additional live hour each Tuesday, preceding an hour on Wednesday and three more hours on Friday. I'm talking about viewers not even getting the commercial breaks to catch their breath during Raw. As a result, I believe everyone is worn out. Not just the fans but the workers, the writers and the staff.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban recently spoke out about the NFL's expanded television coverage, predicting the league is 10 years away from an implosion in terms of its popularity. Cuban argues the NFL is trying to take over every night of TV and because it's all football at some point the people get sick of it. He says, "hogs get slaughtered. And they're getting hoggy." I think we can say the same is true for WWE. No one but Vince McMahon wanted to expand Raw to three hours. There was such an uproar amongst the writers there were people lining up to quit. They've struggled to keep a head writer and it's even to the point where Stephanie McMahon gladly handed the job of EVP of creative back over to her father.
With the evolution of the WWE Network, I believe the company is asking too much of their fan base. Not in terms of price but in terms of commitment. I truly believe there are cases where less is more and I believe WWE needs to scale back to help re-energize their fans, their talent and their staff.
Why is Hulk Hogan not booed out of the arena? I understand he did more to advance the business than anyone, but I also feel he did a lot of harm to the business with selfish actions and his obsession with himself. Even smarks tend to cheer him. Why is this?
It was interesting to see how the Brooklyn audience embraced Hulk Hogan on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw. I thought he would at least get a little bit of heat but he seemed to get over well as a babyface. Not only that but he's been very well received by the WWE locker room. I don't know why this is, perhaps fans are willing to overlook the negatives in favor of all the positives. When I questioned Hogan's motives in TNA last year, he dismissed me as the biggest new mark. My claim was Hogan was all about Hogan, not all about TNA and the wrestling business. While he can deny that, actions speak louder than words and he sure wasn't willing to take a pay cut. My view on Hogan is he is our Michael Jordan. He took the pro wrestling business places where it could haven't gone without him. However, I also think Hogan has a very narcissistic personality where he feels threatened by anyone that has the courage to speak up against him. Bret Hart has never been shy about Hogan and Hogan dismissed him to the point where he accused he was never one of the boys.
Why is it that the WWE seems to inducting Razor Ramon and not Scott Hall?
WWE is inducting Razor Ramon, the 4-time Intercontinental Champion, into their Hall of Fame. They are not inducting Scott Hall, the Outsider and nWo founder. This distinction is important and something I'll have more on later in the week. However, the basis is not hard to figure out as there will likely be another induction coming for the founding members of the nWo like there was for the Four Horseman.
From the Ask WNW vault…
May 2012: What is a “road agent”?- Road agents are now known as producers in WWE. They are former wrestlers that act as liaisons between the creative team and wrestlers. Storyline plans will come down from creative and are given to the producers to go over with talent. It’s also the producers who are in charge of live events and make sure things run smoothly.
Will Chris Hero (Kassius Ohno) return to WWE in the future?
When Chris Hero was released from his WWE developmental contract he hoped to be back in a situation similar to Claudio Castagnoli, who of course is now known as Cesaro. It's not uncommon for this to happen as even Daniel Bryan endured a release, although for a very different reason. This is also one of the reasons why Hero has not gone to TNA despite their interest. He knows if he signs with TNA it will damage his chances of returning to WWE at some point. I've been told Hero hopes to be back as soon as this year, however, we're told there isn't interest in his services at this time.
Do you think WWE even worries about television ratings?
WWE certainly cares about how many people are watching their programming, however, the two-fold interest on TV viewership and pay-per-view buys is no longer the business model in WWE. Back in the 90s and throughout the Monday night wars, it was literally a war between the WWF and WCW as to who was getting the highest rating and most pay-per-views buys. Since WWE won the war, WWE has transformed into a much bigger entity. They're now a publicly traded company that has expanded globally. The launch of the WWE Network gives them their own TV clearance even though they consistently have some of the most-watched programs on cable. That's not to say pay-per-view isn't important as it made up 17% of their net revenue in 2012 so the launch of the WWE Network is not without risk, however, their hope is the network will become profitable and help them moving forward to stay ahead of any possible competition.
Now that there is a Wrestlemania undercard (which, wasn't the case last week), what are your thoughts on it?
Disaster is a good word to describe the Wrestlemania 30 undercard. They've added Los Matadores and The Real Americans to the WWE Tag Team Championship bout with The Usos and Rybaxel but what about the most legitimate tag team they have in the Rhodes brothers? Even then, the way Los Matadores and Rybaxel have been booked leaves their inclusion in a Wrestlemania title match a head scratcher. The Vickie Guerrero Divas Championship Invitational gets all the Divas on the card but gives no payoff to help a single Diva moving forward. The 6-man tag match with The Shield is fine, I guess, but haven't they teased dissension for months? The 30-man Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal is a last minute attempt to get guys on the card but they're still taking talent in and out of the match. It appears to be a train wreck waiting to happen that is likely to be constricted by time constraints. So unlike a week ago, there is an undercard for Wrestlemania but it's not without issues.
Do you think the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match has the potential to be booed out of the building like Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg was a decade ago?
I've stated numerous times the only way WWE can save the title match at Wrestlemania 30 is to insert Daniel Bryan. I stand by that 100% and if they do not do that, it will be a disaster. Given the issues I just mentioned, the risk that is Undertaker vs. Lesnar, WWE is putting a lot of pressure on Bryan, Triple H, John Cena and Bray Wyatt to save this show. I'm not discarding Undertaker either, I just think it's not going to be easy for him to have a good bout with Lesnar given Lesnar's physical style and the miles on Undertaker's body. Undertaker has proved me wrong before but it's not without a big risk.
From the Ask WNW vault…
October 2011: How do wrestlers know how long they have to wrestle? If a wrestler has 15 minutes to wrestle how does he or she know exactly what time it is to end their match? - Performers in WWE and TNA Impact Wrestling are given an approximate amount of time for their match and they are to stay within those time constraints. As for “how they know,” the referees wear wires where producers can communicate with them and they can relay that information to the wrestlers.
How does the WWE contract system work? How does it differ from someone in the main event, to someone in the midcard, to even someone who rarely appears?
WWE Superstars and Divas are signed to Performer's Contracts, independent contractor agreements that include downside guarantees and structured bonus payouts. The downside guarantee is money they make for as long as the contract is active. The only time a worker would not collect this money would be due to a suspension. Bonuses are paid depending on appearance. For example, if a worker appears on a show, they are paid a flat $500 bonus. They are also paid a percentage of merchandise sales using their character's likeness, bonuses structured on pay-per-view buys and other factors not easily explained. Pay-per-view bonuses also vary depending on where a worker is placed on the card, as main event talent receives more than an undercard worker. One factor that hasn't been addressed is how WWE will handle pay-per-view bonuses with the evolution of the WWE Network. This has been a topic of discussion backstage over the last month and one that has caused concern regarding the new direction.
It seems Prince Devitt is on his way to WWE do you think he has what it takes to be at the top of the card?
We reported on February 16, 2014 here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com that WWE reached out to Karl Anderson and Prince Devitt from New Japan Pro Wrestling. According to a source, neither were interested in signing at the time. The issue had to do with the fact that they didn't want to go the WWE Performance Center for seasoning. If they were guaranteed an immediate call up, they might reconsider, however, they had no interest in working in WWE's developmental system.
Why did the WWE give Roman Reigns such a massive push in the Royal Rumble only to back off and keep The Shield together?
Vince McMahon was set to push Roman Reigns to the moon while Triple H wanted to wait and keep the faction together. It's been a difference of opinion that has spilled over to television and became quite obvious to anyone following closely. However, there was also concern over a singles match between Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt on Monday Night Raw, in which the crowd turned and some WWE officials took it as a sign Reigns wasn't ready for a push on his own. Vince feels that all three Shield members will eventually do well when they are broken up. I agree the booking has been problematic and it's affected their build for Wrestlemania.
As we've seen multiple times in the past year with Alberto Del Rio and his botched spots resulting in injury to WWE superstars, I understand this is a profession where injuries are common but are there any repercussions for injuring another performer?
First I want to note that Christian was indeed concussed in the Fatal 4-Way match on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw after the botched kick from Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio was spoken to about the spot backstage and has been in and out of the company doghouse. There is not a set disciplinary procedure for a worker that consistently causes injury, however, they are dealt with accordingly. The one constant is it's always the injured worker that gets the worst end of the deal. No matter how much of "tongue lashing" the botching superstar gets from Vince or Hunter or a WWE producer, it doesn't make up for what the injured worker loses. Think of Nikki Bella on the Tamina super kick that was featured on Total Divas or Jack Swagger concussing Dolph Ziggler during the biggest push of his career. How about Aksana injuring Naomi on the brink of her biggest push or as we see now, more problems for Christian, who has been injury plagued over recent years. Injuries are part of this business and no matter what happens to the people that cause the injury, no one is effected as badly as the people that are injured.
From the Ask WNW vault…
October 2012: What point (if any) does Vince McMahon meet developmental talent when a worker is brought to the main roster? - One thing that would probably surprise you about Vince McMahon is he is very “hands on” with his roster. He’s not oblivious to signed talent, including talent in his developmental system. As far as some type of “warm and fuzzy, we’re so glad you’re here” meeting, that doesn’t happen but if Vince wants something out of a particular worker, he will make sure they get the message. Everyone knows Vince has final say.
While I understand it's very unlikely to happen, how would you feel if at the close of Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar at this year's Wrestlemania 30, the lights go out and when they come back on Sting is in the ring to build to Wrestlemania 31?
Many readers have called for a full year build between Undertaker and Sting for next year's Wrestlemania 31 show in Santa Clara, California, so your idea isn't as out there as you might think. I personally wouldn't be opposed to it nor would I react negatively to such a surprise. However, given the fact Sting is booked for WrestleCon in New Orleans on the day of Wrestlemania XXX, it makes it unlikely for him to appear on the WWE show. One would think if he had an active WWE contract, they would look to utilize him at one of their events. If they were looking to bring him in as a surprise, there is little probability they would sign off on a promoted appearance where a third party profits. Sting has said he only wants one more match, one against Undertaker, so if he gets a deal done with WWE, that's the match I would expect to see.
Has The Shield's babyface turn become one of the greatest and most subtle transitions of all time?
That's one way of looking at it but not how I see it. I see the booking of The Shield as obvious indecision about what to do with the faction. Vince McMahon wants to break them up, Triple H wants to keep them together. One can hope this is all part of an elaborate swerve that results in the elevation of at least one of the members but as we talked about Thursday, the push of Roman Reign was at least temporarily stopped.
Could you see CM Punk coming back to WWE at Wrestlemania 30 and costing Triple H his match against Daniel Bryan?
CM Punk returning to WWE at Wrestlemania 30 and costing Triple H a victory over Daniel Bryan would have the potential to generate the biggest pop of all time, however, I look at that as highly doubtful. Punk has seemingly moved on from WWE. I wish I could tell you more but he's distanced himself from the wrestling business. I'm on record as to saying it's unsettling that Punk is in the public eye again after walking out on his WWE contract but it is what it is. Punk has only increased his stock since he left but when Vince McMahon couldn't get him back for Raw in Chicago, he was officially eliminated from Wrestlemania plans.
Did Luke Harper steal the show this week on Raw?
Luke Harper had a great match against John Cena on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw. He was the babyface in the match, which was certainly cause for concern with Cena supposed to be the protagonist in his Wrestlemania bout against Bray Wyatt. Prior to signing with WWE in 2012, Harper established a very good reputation on the American independent scene as Brodie Lee, where he also impressed in Japan. Monday was the first time the mainstream WWE fan base got to see what he can do on his own, which is something I felt was needed. Unlike The Shield, The Wyatt Family are Bray Wyatt thenHarper & Rowan, whereas The Shield are treated more as equals. Harper has had a lot of success on his own so it's good WWE got to see he's more than Bray's backup man.
From the Ask WNW vault…
July 2012: Is the way AJ Lee is being used the new way of pushing Divas in WWE? Helping to expand story lines rather than wrestling. - It’s funny because the last two Divas to get over, Eve Torres and AJ Lee, have done so assisting in main event angles and not by performing in the ring. I don’t know if it’s necessarily the “new way” as using female talent in top angles isn’t really anything new. AJ’s success certainly helps her standing in the company as I heard Vince McMahon was pushing for her to get a run with the Divas Championship down the road. AJ’s work has been fantastic and it’s great to see talented people get opportunities to shine on television.