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 21, 2015 to Friday, March 27, 2015 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!
- USA Today’s “For the Win” blog has a new article online featuring quotes from Daniel Bryam. In the piece, he was asked if he was surprised at the negative reaction towards the 2015 Royal Rumble match.
Below is his response:
I wasn’t really that surprised, I thought that a lot of fans wanted me to win the Royal Rumble… but it’s a great story, right? The guy who has never lost a title had to lose the title because of the neck surgery, comes back and he fights the guy who’s just this monster destroyer, a David versus Goliath story, and I think a lot of fans were excited by the prospect of that. And also by the prospect of a match of me versus Brock Lesnar, I feel like I do pretty good against big guys.
CLICK HERE to read the piece in its entirety.
- The latest episode of The JBL & Renee Show is online at this link.
- WWE posted a new feature on dot com titled - The 10 best Wrestlemania performers ever.
We’ll bring you the list below:
1) The Undertaker
2) Shawn Michaels
3) Hulk Hogan
4) ”Stone Cold” Steve Austin
5) John Cena
6) The Rock
7) Bret “Hit Man” Hart
8) Triple H
9) ”Macho Man” Randy Savage
CLICK HERE to read the piece in its entirety.
- WWE announced on Friday that there will be an NXT tournament at WrestleMania Axxess on Thursday. The winner will earn a spot in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 31. Adrian Neville, Tyler Breeze, Finn Balor, and Hideo Itami have been announced for the tournament. Click here for more details from dot com.
- This week's episode of WWE Smackdown garnered an average viewing audience of 2,595,000 viewers on SyFy. That is up +22,000 viewers from the week prior. Smackdown was the highest rated non-basketball program with a 0.8 adults 18-49 rating, even with last week. TV by the Numbers has data for the top 100 cable shows among adults 18-49 for the whole day at this link.
- El Hijo del Perro Aguayo (whose real name was Pedro Aguayo Ramírez) has died due to injuries suffered during a match at a show in Tijuana, Mexico on Friday night.
The bout saw Aguayo Jr. tag with Manik (TJ Perkins from TNA Wrestling) against Rey Mysterio & Xtreme Tiger (Tigre Uno from TNA).
According to El-Mexicano.com, El Hijo del Perro Aguayo was pronounced dead at 1 AM Saturday morning due to whiplash.
AAA issued the following statement in Spanish:
Below is the English translation:
The grief overwhelms our hearts again. Rest in peace , Son of Perro Aguayo.
ZETA originally covered the story at this link, where they documented the moments after the injury with photos from the event. They originally reported El Hijo del Perro Aguayo was stable but later confirmed that he died.
The injury first occurred after a dropkick from Mysterio onto Aguayo Jr, which was to set him up for the 619 finisher. Video of the injury is online at this link or embedded in the video below (injury at 6:20 mark):
As seen in video of the injury, El Hijo del Perro Aguayo took a dropkick from Mysterio, hit the middle rope and stopped moving.
Mysterio spoke to crowd as Aguayo Jr. was receiving treatment at ringside and led a chant for him.
Aguayo Jr. was transported to Hospital del Prado where he was later pronounced dead.
Manik Tweeted this:
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- Chris Van Vliet interviewed The Rock in Los Angeles on Thursday to promote his new film “Furious 7.” Van Vliet asked him about Roman Reigns headlining Wrestlemania 31 against Brock Lesnar and rumors of him possibly returning for a main event against Lesnar at Wrestlemania 32.
Below are excerpts sent to us:
Whether he thinks Roman Reigns is ready to be the WWE Champion?
“Ready to headline WrestleMania and ready to be the Champ are two different things. I think that he’s in a unique position. He’s being pushed quickly, I was in that position before so I know what it’s like, but at the same time you either sink or swim so you’ve got no choice but to be ready. Fans have expressed their displeasure in it and that is the best part about the WWE Universe is that they’re so vocal and passionate about how they feel. I think he’s going to go out with Brock, who I’ve known for a very long time, and they’re going to have a hell of a match and that’s what I expect.”
On the rumors about facing Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 32:
“In Dallas? Possibly. There’s a lot of things that are up in the air. We’ll see. I would love that rematch. Whatever it is I think that you want to create something that is going to be special, memorable and especially in Dallas at that stadium and you have a shot at breaking the attendance record.”
Rock said this about CM Punk fighting for UFC:
“I think he’s going to great because he’s putting in the time to train. And he’s had the background anyway so I think he’s going to great.”
The complete interview is available at this link.
- Rey Mysterio Tweeted the following on Saturday afternoon:
Translated to English, the comments read:
Just formed a friendship between brothers who start years ago and we should not argue God's decisions.
But on this occasion I wonder why and I do not understand , miss you and I will take with me the rest of my life , rest in peace HijoDelPerro
As previously reported here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com, El Hijo del Perro Aguayo was pronounced dead early Saturday morning following a match involving Rey Mysterio in Tijuana, Mexico.
Richard Reacts: Today is a horrible day for the pro wrestling business, as we’re all in a state of mourning. I posted these comments on social media: I've interviewed wrestlers from all over and they will all tell you they know and understand the risks of stepping in the ring. Today is a day we mourn as fans and remember the risk every performer takes each time out. Today is not a day of finger pointing.
- The Associated Press is reporting that an investigation into possible manslaughter is underway in regards to the death of El Hijo del Perro Aguayo (whose real name was Pedro Aguayo Ramírez).
As we reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, Aguayo Jr. died early Saturday morning due to injuries sustained in a match at a show in Tijuana, Mexico. The spot in question involved Rey Mysterio as the bout saw Mysterio tag with Xtreme Tiger to face Aguayo Jr. & Manik.
While the match continued for almost two minutes after Aguayo Jr. was injured, he began getting treatment immediately. The doctor in charge wasn’t at ringside because he was treating another injured wrestler. However, paramedics and a doctor who was a spectator attended to Aguayo.
Aguayo was transported to Hospital del Prado where he was later pronounced dead. The cause of death, based on an autopsy, was trauma to the neck and a cervical fracture.
Mysterio commented on Saturday afternoon.
CLICK HERE for coverage by the Associated Press on ESPN.com.
- Last week we brought you the epic “Wrestling Isn’t Wrestling” parody video that centered around the career of Triple H. Not only has Hunter seen the video but he thought it was awesome.
The following is from Twitter:
If you haven't watched, you must stop what you're doing and watch it now. Please be advised, language is NSFW. https://youtu.be/VYvMOf3hsGA Nice to see that Hunter has a sense of humor. - Vince McMahon plans to meet with WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar at Raw on Monday to make a big push to get him to sign a new contract, Wrestling News World has learned. Vince is posturing that the money and terms offered in the meeting at Raw will be the most generous WWE will be offering and any offer after his contract expires would be less lucrative. Sources close to the WWE boss indicate he isn’t bluffing and while he could change his mind, the word heading into this meeting is that this is it. If Brock doesn't re-sign, Vince wants Roman Reigns to get a definitive and clear win over Lesnar for the belt. At that point, Vince can’t be blamed for thinking Brock is less valuable to the company after that happens. Brock may still play this out to the end and wait until he can field offers from UFC and Bellator, but if he wants to stay in WWE, his best offer may be coming Monday. We’re told that Paul Heyman has urged Lesnar re-sign, which is to be expected as Heyman's days in WWE would be numbered if Brock leaves the company. If Brock does re-sign, expect a lot of misinformation throughout the week. Vince believes the controversy of whether Brock will stay or not is helping generate interest in Wrestlemania 31. If Brock is staying, then rumors that he's going to UFC would be in WWE's best interest as it garners attention for Sunday’s show. If Brock does re-sign, Brock vs. The Rock at Wrestlemania 32 next year has been agreed to by The Rock. It's a match Vince wanted for Wrestlemania this year originally and a match he's had in mind since the day Brock returned to the company. If Brock re-signs, the chance of Rock being at Wrestlemania 31 on Sunday is very good. The finish of the title match could end up changing a lot throughout the week. If Brock doesn't re-sign, Roman is obviously beating him, but if Brock does re-sign, one finish pitched involved interference from The Rock to set up the match with Brock next year. The Rock is concerned though that it would turn him heel if he cost Brock the title. If Vince can pull off getting Brock to re-sign on Monday, he's going to revel in the public uncertainty and use it for all it’s worth in terms of getting people to check out Wrestlemania. - WWE has officially announced Kevin Nash as a WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2015 inductee. Yes, it will be Nash that will get the nod and he won’t have to go in as Diesel. There has been a story surrounding the induction of Nash that we first brought you on March 13, 2015 here on Wrestling News World Premium. Vince McMahon originally wanted Nash to go in as Diesel — like Scott Hall went in as Razor Ramon — so Nash himself could be inducted later with the nWo. Nash was so against going in as Diesel, we were told he was willing to sit out the Hall of Fame altogether. When we broke the news that Nash’s induction would be announced today, we noted that Vince was still trying to get him to go in as Diesel. We’re told production had videos made up for both Diesel and Nash so they would be prepared regardless. In dot com’s coverage, it’s Nash that gets the nod but Diesel featured in the picture. Nash completes the 2015 WWE Hall of Fame induction class that now looks like this:
- “Macho Man” Randy Savage (inducted by Hulk Hogan)
- Arnold Schwarzenegger
- Rikishi (inducted by The Usos)
- The Bushwhackers (rumored to be inducted by John Laurinaitis)
- Alundra Blayze
- Tatsumi Fujinami
- Warrior Award recipient Connor Michalek
The 2015 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place the night before Wrestlemania 31 on Saturday, March 28, 2015 from the SAP Center in San Jose, California.
- One of the most ask questions we get each week in Ask WNW has to do with how much the WWE announcers know when they are calling a match. Do they know what’s going to happen?
I know we’ve quoted Jim Ross on this before, where he’s made it clear the information was always available to him if he wanted it. Michael Cole reiterated this in a new interview with Sports Illustrated and also shared his reaction to The Undertaker’s streak ending.
Below is an excerpt from the Sports Interview interview:
How privy will you be to knowing what the specific storylines viewers will see at WrestleMania? If I wanted to know, I could know everything. But I don’t want to know and especially at WrestleMania. A perfect example was last year with the Undertaker and Brock Lesnar. When Undertaker’s streak was ended by Brock, oh, my God, I was as shocked as the people sitting at the stadium that night inside the Superdome [New Orleans]. I had know no idea in a million years that was going to happen, and that was the reaction you got out of our call hopefully. I was expecting The Undertaker to kick out and I did one of my normal "One, two…" and I was expecting to say kick out and all of a sudden it was three. I looked at John and he looked at me and I mouthed to him off-air, "Is it over?" His eyes were big and wide and I said to myself: "Okay, the streak is over." I want those moments to happen. One of my favorite WrestleMania matches to call was the first time Rock and John Cena met in Miami [at Wrestlemania XXVIII]. I didn’t know what would happen and it was such a great year-long build. It makes that moment so much better. At the end of the day, just like anyone else who calls any sport, we are fans of the product and we want to be as intrigued as everybody else.
CLICK HERE to read the piece in its entirety.
- WWE and NBCUniversal are teaming up for a new marketing plan that will launch their new advertising strategy. The partnership will begin at Wrestlemania 31 during Triple H’s entrance to promote an upcoming Paramount movie, Variety is reporting.
Hunter will enter for his match against Sting to imagery and video outtakes from “Terminator: Genisys” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger at the pay-per-view on Sunday.
This is just the beginning as the report states NBC will run television ad sales for WWE, while they’ll continue to supervise sales on their official website and on the WWE Network.
CLICK HERE for coverage by Variety.
- Travis Barker from Blink-182 stated in an interview with Billboard.com that he’ll be performing live with Kid Ink, David Guetta and Skylar Grey at Wrestlemania 31 on Sunday.
Below is an excerpt from the interview:
Oh, I love that. Actually before Coachella this weekend I play with Kid Ink, David Guetta and Skylar Grey over at Wrestlemania. That just popped up, so immediately like tomorrow all my focus goes into learning that song. So I have four days to learn that song, then right afterwards it goes straight to Coachella work. But I love switching it up -- I get so bored. I love playing with Blink, I love playing with Yelawolf, I'm never bored with those, but I like someone throwing me a curveball and going, "You have 24 hours to learn this." That's awesome.
CLICK HERE to read the interview in its entirety.
- WWE has officially announced that Tyson Kidd and Cesaro will defend the WWE Tag Team Championships in a fatal four-way match against The Usos, Los Matadores, and The New Day on the two-hour WrestleMania 31 kickoff show. It appears Jey Uso has been cleared to compete.
- Hulk Hogan appeared on Raw in a segment with Snoop Dogg and Curtis Axel.
- Konnor and Viktor of The Ascension have been added to the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 31. As of this writing, nineteen superstars have been announced for this match.
- 17,540 was the announced attendance from this week’s go home to Wrestlemania 31 episode of Monday Night Raw from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The show was sold out.
- There were a lot of guests at this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw. In addition to who was seen on the show, the following names were there:
* Max Landis (Wrestling Isn’t Wrestling)
* Michelle Beadle
* Rick Rubin
* Kid Ink
* Paul Stanley (KISS)
* Tiny Lister Jr.
- Below are this week’s Raw Fallout videos:
Bill Simmons' big prediction: Raw Fallout, March 23, 2015Ryback wants the trophy: Raw Fallout, March 23, 2015SnoopMania runs wild: Raw Fallout, March 23, 2015
- Following this week’s WWE TV tapings, below is the updated lineup for Wrestlemania 31:
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match
- Brock Lesnar (c) w/Paul Heyman vs. Roman Reigns
- Triple H vs. Sting
- The Undertaker vs. Bray Wyatt
WWE United States Championship Match
- Rusev (c) w/Lana vs. John Cena
- Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins
Ladder Match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
- Bad News Barrett (c) vs. R-Truth vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Stardust vs. Daniel Bryan
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Announced participants: The Miz, Curtis Axel, Ryback, Fandango, Adam Rose, Zack Ryder, Jack Swagger, Titus O'Neil, Darren Young, Big Show, Kane, Erick Rowan, Damien Mizdow, Sin Cara, Goldust, Heath Slater, Mark Henry, Konnor, Viktor and the winner of the NXT Wrestlemania Axxess Tournament.
Divas Tag Team Match
- WWE Divas Champion Nikki Bella & Brie Bella vs. Paige & AJ Lee
Kickoff WWE Tag Team Championship Match
- Tyson Kidd & Cesaro (c) w/Natalya vs. The Usos vs. Los Matadores vs. The New Day
Wrestlemania 31 will take place Sunday from Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California. We’ll have complete coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- WWE has officially announced that Travis Barker, Skylar Grey and Kid Ink will perform a medley of Wrestlemania 31 theme songs live at the pay-per-view on Sunday. You can read the official release at this link.
- We can also confirm a themed Wrestlemania 31 entrance for Triple H that we reported on Monday. Additionally, WWE is planning grand entrances for Rusev and Sting although specifics are not known at press time.
- WWE issued a press release on Tuesday, detailing Wrestlemania 31 events for the week. CLICK HERE to read it.
- Mick Foley is not inducting Kevin Nash into the WWE Hall of Fame over Wrestlemania 31 weekend. Apparently Foley was joking as he Tweeted this:
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I’m a huge Foley fan and respect him as one of the all time greats but why did he Tweet this?
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Obviously a work but certainly strange as well. I file this one as "only in pro wrestling."
I would assume Nash will be inducted by either Shawn Michaels or Scott Hall.
- WWE posted the trailer for the The Marine 4: Moving Target starring The Miz and Summer Rae at this link.
- Maryse was at Monday Night Raw in Los Angeles on Monday. She and The Miz (her husband) live in LA.
- As CJ Blaze speculated in his coverage, Jey Uso is cleared to work the Kickoff match at Wrestlemania 31. One has to wonder if it was just another pay-per-view if he would still work, however, I would expect his involvement to at least be somewhat limited. He didn’t work live events over the weekend.
- Goldust Tweeted he was disappointed he wasn’t facing Stardust at Wrestlemania 31 on Sunday:
- Scott Hall and Shawn Michaels have both congratulated Kevin Nash on his WWE Hall of Fame induction. You can read their Tweets below:
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Nash responded to all the support he has received by Tweeting this:
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There were some comments attributed to Scott’s son Cody where he reportedly Tweeted his displeasure with WWE allowing Nash to go in as himself when Scott had to go in as Razor Ramon but I didn’t see them or screen shot them. They are no longer online at press time.
That story was a huge topic surrounding Nash’s induction as we first brought you on March 13, 2015 here on Wrestling News World Premium. Vince McMahon originally wanted Nash to go in as Diesel — like Scott Hall went in as Razor Ramon — so Nash himself could be inducted later with the nWo. Nash was so against going in as Diesel, we were told he was willing to sit out the Hall of Fame altogether.
When we broke the news that Nash’s induction would be announced on Monday, we noted that Vince was still trying to get him to go in as Diesel. We’re told production had videos made up for both Diesel and Nash so they would be prepared regardless.
- Fast Company interviewed Stephanie McMahon ahead of Wrestlemania 31 and she had some interesting comments in regards to her own usage of social media, how the company tracked the success of it and the decision for her to Tweet out of character.
Below is an excerpt from the interview:
I noticed that. The "you" on TV is a totally different personality from the "you" on social media.
You're exactly right. I play a character on TV—that's my persona, that's the villain personality. Stephanie McMahon, one half of The Authority.
In real life I’m very different than that! I am chief brand officer of WWE. I am a mom of three beautiful daughters. You know, I just I wear a lot of hats.
It’s interesting because when we first launched social for me, we weren’t sure what voice I should be using. In the beginning, I used a combination of my character voice and my personal voice, and we found it didn’t work. We found it confused the audience. So we strategically decided to put it in my personal voice. And that's what we've been doing for some time now, and it's been successful. We've had a large number of engagements.
Was sort of feedback on social were you guys looking at when you made that call?
Tracking the numbers. Certainly the response rate. When I would try to put out something positive, it wasn’t received well because some people wanted to engage with me in my character. But it was a much smaller group that fans that wanted my character versus the bigger opportunity, which again is why it was a strategic decision for me to be in my personal voice.
CLICK HERE to read the piece in its entirety.
- Last night's WWE Monday Night Raw received an average viewing audience of 4,187,667. The number is up +268,667 compared to last week's viewership, which was 3,919,000.
The show was cable's top show as it earned a 1.5 adults 18-49 rating. You can view all the details, and the show's competition, on TVByTheNumbers at this link.
Below is how the show did each hour:
Hour one - 4,178,000 viewers
Hour two - 4,342,000 viewers
Hour three - 4,043,000 viewers
Raw increased from the first hour to the second, but it lost just under 300,000 viewers in the third hour. On the bright side, the viewership increased from the previous week as we head into Wrestlemania 31.
- Current WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar appeared on ESPN's Sports Center this evening where he made the monumental announcement that he signed a new contract with WWE last night.
In a tweet that was sent out on Sport Center's official Twitter account, Brock Lesnar stated, "I'm officially closing the door on UFC. I re-signed last night with WWE.. Below is the tweet:
After the announcement broke, Triple H gave his thoughts on his official Twitter account about Brock Lesnar staying with WWE. Below is his tweet:
The news spread like wildlife as soon as Brock made the announcement. WWE published the following on their website:
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar revealed he re-signed with WWE on ESPN’s SportsCenter during a March 24 interview with Michelle Beadle.
During the build-up to Lesnar’s title defense against Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 31, Paul Heyman admitted his client’s contract was set to expire soon after The Show of Shows. Heyman even threatened Lesnar was willing to take the title wherever he pleased — including various mixed martial arts promotions — leaving Lesnar’s post-WrestleMania status up in the air.
The Beast Incarnate returned to WWE in 2012 after an eight-year hiatus, during which time he competed in UFC. Lesnar captured his fourth WWE World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam 2014 and ended The Undertaker’s legendary undefeated Streak at WrestleMania 30. He will defend the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania against Reigns on March 29 on WWE Network.
Richard Gray published an exclusive yesterday stating that Brock Lesnar was going to have a meeting with Vince McMahon before WWE Monday Night Raw to pitch him a contract to stay with the company. This contract was said to be the "most generous WWE will be offering and any offer after his contract expires would be less lucrative".
With Brock Lesnar now staying with WWE, the outcome between Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania 31 has become even more unpredictable.
- Michelle Beadle interviewed WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar on ESPN SportsCenter on Tuesday evening. It was there Brock officially announced that he has signed a new contract with WWE at this week's Monday Night Raw and has retired from UFC. He stated Vince McMahon made him an offer that he couldn't refuse.
Brock confirmed he's been training for the past couple of months to get back into the octagon (I told you all he was looking "fight ready") but something lacked mentally.
He also confirmed talks with Dana White, Lorenzo & Frank Feritta and Vince about his future. He discussed in detail his fighting career ending due to diverticulitis but said he was officially closing the door on MMA.
Brock talked about getting full-time pay in WWE for a part-time schedule. He also talked about hating being on the road everyday and the miles wearing on him during his first run with the cmopany.
Footage of the interview is currently available at this link.
See also - Brock Lesnar Officially Re-Signs With WWE
We reported Monday morning here on Wrestling News World Premium that Vince was meeting with Brock Lesnar at Staples Center in Los Angeles to make a big push to get him to sign a new contract.
In that report, we detailed that Vince was posturing the money and terms offered at Raw was the most generous WWE would be offering and any offer after his contract expires would be less lucrative.
While Vince wanted to keep Brock's future with WWE in question, in hopes of generating more curiosity and hype around Wrestlemania, Brock wanted to go public with it. The next part is where things get interesting.
- We reported on Monday morning here on Wrestling News World Premium that if Brock Lesnar re-signed at Raw, Vince McMahon was pushing for Lesnar vs. The Rock next year at Wrestlemania 32 from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
It’s a match Vince wanted for Wrestlemania this year originally and a match he’s had in mind since the day Brock returned to the company. One possible finish in play for Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns on Sunday that we heard pitched involved interference from The Rock to set up the match with Brock next year. However, this is by far a sure thing as The Rock himself was concerned it would turn him heel if he cost Brock the title.
As for Vince not keeping Brock’s status private and “reveling” in the public uncertainty, Brock wanted to go public. While it was debated internally, we’re told Vince made the decision it would be better press to announce Brock had re-signed publicly to also make who was going over [at Wrestlemania 31 on Sunday] a bigger question mark.
The Rock is NOT yet confirmed for Wrestlemania 31 and the finish we went over is just one we heard.
While much was written and speculated, let the record show that Vince McMahon was confident that he could get Brock Lesnar to re-sign with WWE all along. The sticking point had to do with merchandise and I do not have terms at press time but clearly, something was worked out and Vince got the deal done when everyone else thought Brock was out the door.
- Brock Lesnar has signed a new contract with WWE to remain with them for multiple years.
While terms have not been disclosed, I’m being told it’s believed Lesnar signed a two year agreement. The deal is still a part-time agreement, where he'll work limited dates under a hefty full-time downside guarantee. Merchandise was a huge issue on an extension but it'll take us some time to find out what got done there.
This is actually Brock’s third extension since returning on a part time basis in April 2012.
Below is a timeline of Brock Lesnar’s contracts with WWE:
April 2012: Brock Lesnar signed a one year contract with WWE to return on a part-time basis. The deal ran through Wrestlemania 29 and included a significant downside guarantee.
January 27, 2013: We learned and reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com that Brock Lesnar had re-signed with WWE for two years to remain with WWE through Wrestlemania 31. He was booked through the Raw the night after Wrestlemania 31 on Monday, March 30, 2015. In addition to Brock’s hefty downside guarantee, his contract included a higher merchandise royalty rate and was rumored to stipulate a reign as WWE Champion.
March 23, 2015: Brock Lesnar signed new multiyear agreement to remain with WWE, officially ending his UFC career. The deal was signed as part of a big push by Vince McMahon, including very generous terms. The announcement was broadcast live on ESPN SportsCenter and covered here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com. We provided more details here and detailed what was next on WNW Premium.
- Fox Sports interviewed UFC President Dana White moments after news broke on ESPN that Brock Lesnar had re-signed with WWE.
White said that Brock texted him hours before to let him know. He said from what he understood, Vince McMahon made him an offer he couldn’t refuse and he was happy for them both.
Dana said MMA is a sport you’ve got to be all in and that Brock had a really good stint and did something amazing things. He said it was fun to have him.
CLICK HERE to watch the interview.
- Roman Reigns was on Conan on Tuesday night. The show sent us the following videos from the appearance:
- Vince McMahon got a deal done with Brock Lesnar when everyone else thought Brock was out the door and that Vince was delusional. The hashtag #CongratsToUs was Tweeted from McMahon’s verified Twitter account. You can view it below:
- Now that WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar has re-signed with WWE following his meeting with Vince McMahon at Raw, the focus is on his future booking.
We noted on Tuesday night a match that Vince still wants to do is Brock Lesnar vs. The Rock, which included the possibility of Rock making an appearance at Wrestlemania 31 in some capacity.
We’re now being told The Rock is able to make the show on Sunday if needed. WWE and The Rock’s representatives have been going over a deal for Wrestlemania 32 but now it’s just a question of coming to an understanding by Sunday. While Rock vs. Brock would be huge, it would also be the most expensive match in WWE history.
We cannot confirm Rock for Wrestlemania 31 at this point but we can confirm he’s been talked about and one of the goals now that Brock is secure under contract, is for a main event between the two.
- The Associated Press covered WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar re-signing with the company and announcing his decision on Tuesday’s evening episode of SportsCenter on ESPN.
In their piece, they detailed a last-minute attempt from the UFC to obtain the services of their former heavyweight champion. According to their report, Lesnar said UFC was offering “10 times” what he making earlier in his MMA career.
UFC Chairman Lorenzo Fertitta reportedly continued to pitch Brock when he called him and Dana White on Tuesday to inform them that he was remaining with WWE on his way to ESPN’s downtown Los Angeles studios.
Obviously the pitch was too late as Brock signed on the dotted line Monday night at Raw.
CLICK HERE for coverage by the Associated Press.
- USA Today’s “For the Win” blog conducted an interview with Triple H back in February. In it, he spoke on a number of topics including preparing for his upcoming match against Sting at Wrestlemania 31.
Hunter had some interesting comments in regards to wrestlers getting time off.
Below is an excerpt:
I got in the ring for the first time the other day and fell down for the first time and it felt like my body exploded when I landed. It takes a little bit. You can train, but its one of those things where ‘experts’ of our business that have never done it will say ‘oh if they gave guys time off it would be better for them’ or whatever, but it’s honestly, having done this for 20 plus years — time off is your worst enemy. It really is, it makes it so much harder to do this. When you’re doing it all the time it’s like a callus, you’re doing it and it doesn’t bother you. You’re functioning and you can do it every night. When you haven’t done it, getting in there and doing the simplest thing, you’re like ‘oh my God, why am I doing this again?’ You’ve got to get yourself back in the process of getting back in the ring, and the hardest [part] of doing that is… it’s easy to go through that stuff when you’ve got 80,000 people screaming at you, it’s not so easy when you’re in a warehouse with a ring set up all by yourself. It hurts a whole lot more.
CLICK HERE to read the piece in its entirety. Triple H’s comments are in direct opposition to those that suggest WWE should have an offseason like there is in professional sports to allow talent to get time off to recover. Richard Reacts: Is there a contradiction here? Brock Lesnar has only worked 10 matches for WWE since re-signing in April 2012. I completely understand Triple H’s point -- that time off causes one to get out of shape and accumulate ring rust. But Brock Lesnar has as much time off as anyone, yet he's the guy that gets the strap. - WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar signed a three year contract with WWE on Monday, we can now confirm. The news was actually also confirmed in a report by the Associated Press, that we mentioned earlier. Lesnar’s deal includes a hefty downside guarantee, structured bonuses and a part-time schedule. - WWE officially announced their deal with the MMA clothing brand TapouT. You can catch up on the details here on dot com. - The following names have been announced for the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at Wrestlemania 31:
- The Miz
- Curtis Axel
- Adam Rose
- Zack Ryder
- Jack Swagger
- Titus O’Neil
- Darren Young
- Big Show
- Erick Rowan
- Damien Mizdow
- Sin Cara
- Heath Slater
- Mark Henry
- Maria Menounos is returning to WWE for their Red Carpet Special they're airing prior to the 2015 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on the WWE Network Saturday night. The show starts at 7 PM EDT.
- Stephanie McMahon told the Los Angeles Times that her oldest daughter has already told her that she wants to be a WWE Diva. Below is an excerpt from the interview:
That has already happened! My oldest daughter would love to be a WWE Diva. She actually wrote a book that said, "I want to be a WWE Diva." We are telling her what we would tell any girl or boy, that school comes first. Get your education and then if you want to pursue becoming a WWE Diva or Superstar, absolutely. But a huge part of it too is your health and your fitness. You have to be sure you are active, eat right and exercise every single day.
CLICK HERE to read the piece in its entirety.
Richard Reacts: The oldest daughter of Stephanie and Triple H will be 9 years old this year. Her dad is Triple H and her mom is Stephanie McMahon, of course she wants to be a WWE Diva! We all think it's just something cute an 8 going on 9 year old says now but we'll look back at this one day. Just look at Ric Flair's daughter, Charlotte. She seemingly came out of nowhere and is now one of the top developmental prospects in WWE. I think it's great and I admire Stephanie for her answer. She and Hunter seem like great parents and are doing what any loving parent would do. Education first. Great piece.
- Roman Reigns and Renee Young are featured in a new Snickers commercial. You can watch it at this link.
- Aloe Blacc is scheduled to sing America the Beautiful at Wrestlemania 31 on Sunday, according to the verified Twitter account of Florida Georgia Line.
The following is from Twitter:
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- Neither Jonathan Coachman nor Michelle Beadle were smartened up to the fact that Brock Lesnar had signed a new contract with WWE prior to his live interview on Tuesday’s evening episode of SportsCenter. ESPN positioned Coach to be an analyst for the segment so he could ask Brock Lesnar followup questions on his decision. Since Coach didn’t know what Brock was going to announce, he came up with his questions on the fly.
- WWE has entered into a partnership with Toy State to develop remote-controlled vehicles for the North America market, that will be in stores later this year. CLICK HERE for more.
- WWE talent look at the most underrated matches in Wrestlemania history in the latest WWE Inbox. You can watch at this link.
- Tatsumi Fujinami is expected to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on Saturday night by Ric Flair, Wrestling News World has learned. Fujinami worked Flair at SuperBrawl 1991.
Lee Herbert took a fantastic look at the career of Fujinami in an article that you can read at the link below:
Below is an updated look at the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2015 inductees and inductors:
* “Macho Man” Randy Savage (inducted by Hulk Hogan)
* Kevin Nash (rumored to be inducted by Shawn Michaels)
* Arnold Schwarzenegger
* Rikishi (inducted by The Usos)
* Larry Zbyszko (inducted by Bruno Sammartino)
* The Bushwhackers (rumored to be inducted by John Laurinaitis)
* Alundra Blayze
* Tatsumi Fujinami (rumored to be inducted by Ric Flair)
* Warrior Award recipient Connor Michalek
The 2015 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place on Saturday from the SAP Center in San Jose, California. We’ll have complete coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar’s new WWE contract is for three years and includes a 7-figure downside guarantee. I heard the total value of the contract was just under $10 million but I still don’t know how everything breaks down. What we’re most interested in hearing is whether or not he was given some type of merchandise guarantee because that was a key sticking point in negotiations. We'll keep asking and hopefully get some answers after Sunday. As for Brock, his deal is full time pay for part-time work. It's obviously not the norm and seen more as an investment as Vince McMahon has changed his mind on using part-time talent, especially when it comes to building the WWE Network from the ground up. Regardless of up and coming talent, we're told the feeling was AT&T Stadium was going to a heck of a lot easier to fill next year with Lesnar than without him.
- Jey Uso has been cleared but probably wouldn’t be working if it wasn’t Wrestlemania 31. However, he will give his injured shoulder a try in the Kickoff match for the WWE Tag Team Championship. We’re expecting his involvement to be limited.
- Sheamus is still expected to return to WWE very soon, with the biggest decision being whether it’s on the Wrestlemania 31 pay-per-view itself or the TVs that follow. Regardless, he’s on the company’s upcoming overseas tour in the coming weeks. If he returns at Wrestlemania, we're expecting involvement in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal or even the Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match.
- We’re being told that Tatanka was contacted for Wrestlemania 31 weekend by WWE. We’re unable to confirm anything beyond that but if you’re at Axxess and see Tatanka, this is your heads up. He’s made some surprise cameos with the company over the years, appearing at an “Old School” episode of Raw back in 2010.
- The Associated Press is reporting that an autopsy performed on the body of El Hijo del Perro Aguayo — whose real name was Pedro Aguayo Ramírez — revealed he died almost immediately due to injuries he suffered in the ring last Friday night.
Aguayo Jr. had three fractured vertebrae and was dead by the time he reached the hospital. He was pronounced dead around 1 AM Saturday morning.
Just to be clear, the show was promoted by CRASH and while Aguayo was a AAA talent, they were not running the show.
As previously reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, prosecutors have opened an investigation.
Rey Mysterio, Extreme Tiger and Manik are among four wrestlers that will be questioned about the incident. In addition, prosecutors are expected to question Wrestling and Boxing Commission officials who handled Aguayo's body and the medical workers who attended to him.
- Michael Cole announced on WrestleMania Today on Thursday that the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, originally scheduled for the main card, has officially been moved to the WrestleMania 31 Kickoff Show. The battle royal joins the fatal four-way match for the WWE Tag Team Championships on the pre-show. Nineteen superstars have been announced for the battle royal.
- Gene Simmons, band member of Kiss, has partnered with WWE Studios, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Both combined their forces to launch horror movie label Erebus Pictures, which will be finance and co-prodouce three films, the first one called Temple.
Gene and Michael Luisi, WWE Studios President, gave their thoughts on the partnership. Below is an excerpt of the article:
“The horror genre continues to fascinate me as it proves to be endlessly thrilling and engaging for audiences,” Simmons said in a statement. “I am so thrilled to be working with the masterminds from WWE Studios in launching Erebus Pictures.”
WWE Studios president Michael Luisi added, “Horror films fall into a genre that thrives on genuine passion, and I believe this partnership truly capitalizes on that sentiment and supports our vision. I am confident that Erebus will provide audiences with an unprecedented horror experience.”
You can read the entire piece at this link.
- Hideo Itami defeated Finn Balor in the finals of an NXT tournament held at WrestleMania Axxess to earn a spot in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 31. The match, which will take place during the Kickoff, now has 20 announced participants.
The official NXT Instagram account posted the following photo of Itami's victory:
- Steve Austin is stating publicly that he won’t be in Santa Clara, California for Wrestlemania 31 but he’ll be at his ranch in Texas. We’re told The Rock is available if needed but can’t confirm him just yet. As we’ve been reporting, there is very much a possibility of Rock working Wrestlemania 32 next year in Arlington, Texas. A match against Brock Lesnar is something Rock has expressed interest in and something Vince McMahon has wanted to do the past couple of years.
- Upcoming WWE Hall of Fame inductee Tatsumi Fujinami is at Wrestlemania Axxess and appeared with Hideo Itami after he won the NXT Tournament to earn a spot in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
Fujinami came out with Triple H to celebrate the moment with Itami after he went over Finn Balor.
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Fujinami will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, Class of 2015 on Saturday night.
- The Ultimate Warrior was honored at Wrestlemania Axxess at the San Jose Convention Center on Thursday night. His wife, Dana Warrior, and their two children got in the ring to get an up close look at a new 6-foot statue of Ultimate Warrior.
“The legacy that he leaves behind is something I am so deeply proud of,” Dana told the crowd at Axess. “I am also so proud of what he did here with all of you.”
She added, “The Warrior fans really are the ultimate, and I want to thank you; thank you for taking the girls and I in, and loving us too because it has meant the world.”
CLICK HERE for coverage by WWE.com.
Below are some photos from Wrestlemania Axxess on Thursday:
So there it is, directly from Rey - he's not retiring.
- Linda McMahon is in San Jose, California for Wrestlemania 31 weekend. She Tweeted the following:
- The Usos are featured in a new Smackdown Fallout video that you can watch at this link.
- Booker T interviewed Seth Rollins on Wrestlemania Today on the WWE Network. You can watch it at this link.
- Below is new video content from WWE:
Episode: Who was kidnapped?!? - The JBL & Renee Show - Ep. #122Hideo Itami reacts to his impending WrestleMania debutUltimate Warrior statue revealed at WrestleMania Axxess
- WWE issued the following press releases on Friday:
WWE AND FACEBOOK LAUNCH EXCLUSIVE WRESTLEMANIA EXPERIENCEWWE TOPS ESPN AND TURNER SPORTS WINNING TWO CABLEFAX AWARDS
- This week’s episode of WWE Smackdown — which featured live look-ins from Wrestlemania Axxess — garnered an average viewing audience of 2,506,000 viewers. That is (-89,000 viewers) from the week prior as WWE goes home to Wrestlemania 31. TV by the Numbers has data for the top 100 cable shows among adults 18-49 for the whole day at this link.
- TNA Wrestling has confirmed their next set of Impact tapings from Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida in May. They also confirm the May 8th taping will broadcast live on Destination America.
The tapings will take place at SoundStage 20.
Below are official details:
IMPACT WRESTLING RETURNS TO ORLANDO’S UNIVERSAL STUDIOS MAY 8-11 FOR FOUR NIGHTS OF TELEVISION EVENTSMAY 8 EVENT WILL BE BROADCAST LIVE ON DESTINATION AMERICAWHAT: Be part of the hard-hitting, high-flying in your face action as IMPACT WRESTLING returns to Orlando and Universal Studios Florida® May 8 – 11. The Friday, May 8 event will be a LIVE broadcast on Destination America. The events May 9, 10 and 11 will be television tapings. Admission to each event is FREE. VIP Packages, which include priority seating and a TNA Superstar meet and greet with photo op for all four events, are available for $74.99 at ShopTNA.com WHEN: Friday, May 8 – LIVE broadcast on Destination America Saturday, May 9 Sunday, May 10 Monday, May 11 The event begins each night at 7 p.m. ET Doors open at 6 p.m. ET WHERE: Sound Stage 20, Located on the backlot at Universal Studios Florida® Orlando, Florida WHO: TNA Superstars including Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle, “The Charismatic Enigma” Jeff Hardy, “The Destroyer” Lashley, Bobby Roode, James Storm, Gail Kim and many more.
We broke the news of the tapings earlier this week here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- John Gaburick announced more talent news from his Twitter account on Friday.
First, he announced that Robbie E and Bram have renewed their contracts with TNA Wrestling. He then announced Bobby Lashley has signed a new contract with TNA.
The following is from Twitter:
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- Kurt Angle beat Lashley to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship in the main event of this week's Impact Wrestling. This match marked the first time Angle and Lashley ever went one-on-one. Angle is now a six-time TNA World Champion.
- Rockstar Spud cashed in his Feast or Fired Briefcase on Low Ki to win the TNA X-Division Championship on this week's Impact. This is Spud's first championship in TNA.
- Last week’s episode of Impact Wrestling did an average viewing audience of 403,000 viewers on Destination America. That number is down (-18,000 viewers) from the week prior. The replay that proceeded it did an average viewing audience of 143,000 viewers.
It is sad news to hear of a wrester’s death. We saw the video of El Hijo del Perro Aguayo being fatally injured on Friday night. What was the cause of death and what went wrong?
It is very sad and a sobering reminder of the risks that wrestlers take each time out.
Remember when Jesse Sorensen broke his neck in a TNA PPV match against Zema Ion a few years ago? I attended a TNA show the next week and had a chance to speak with several performers about what happened. While everyone was obviously shaken, they all told me they knew and understood the risks they take every time they compete. Outcomes are pre-planned and spots are choreographed but that doesn’t mean the risk isn’t real.
I have been very disturbed by some of the comments coming out after Aguayo Jr’s death blaming Rey Mysterio. Mysterio is one of the greatest in-ring performers of all time and one of the safest people to be in the ring with. The fact of the matter is accidents happen and that appears to be what occurred over the weekend.
The latest on cause of death, as reported here on Wrestling News World, was trauma to the neck and a cervical fracture. An investigation has been opened and we’ll continue to provide updates as they become available.
Noticeably, there is no NXT Takeover scheduled this month. Do you think WWE is protecting Wrestemania's matches from getting out shined as the last few PPVs have?
WWE just had an NXT special event last month and they don’t do them monthly. NXT will have a heavy presence over Wrestlemania 31 weekend and there will be developmental talent on the pay-per-view itself. There is a continued issue with NXT outshining the main roster and it’s still causing problems.
Having recently watched the PPVs Taboo Tuesday and Cyber Sunday on the WWE Network, do you not think the WWE should utilize their App and have another interactive PPV?
I always thought the Taboo Tuesday/Cyber Sunday shows were fun. They were cut because the buys dwindled away. The final Cyber Sunday in 2008 did 153,000 pay-per-view buys. In the WWE Network era, buys are no longer the primary driver but fan interest is obviously still the top priority.
With the WWE Network, I’m not sure how these shows would work. WWE promoted the interactive show through online voting but with the shows broadcasting online there would probably be some concern about people having to leave the feed to cast their vote. If WWE could configure the voting where it popped over the feed without interrupting it, that would be pretty neat.
I would love to see ROH results more than TNA results, as ROH is a FAR superior product.... My question is this: Will you please start showing more ROH content?
Ring of Honor is a great in-ring product and they aren’t alone. There are many indies that have great iPPVs and a superior in-ring product compared to what you may see in the mainstream. The thing is, we’re a publication that covers mainstream sports entertainment. Yes, we appreciate great in-ring work as the next person but I made a philosophical decision a couple of years ago to hone in on WWE and the promotions that broadcast to the mainstream audience.
We have significantly scaled back our coverage of TNA Wrestling because they are no longer a mainstream promotion. They are bigger than an independent promotion, which is why you’ll still find coverage of their shows, but much smaller than they were when they aired on Spike TV.
I would rather provide the most insightful and in-depth coverage mainstream coverage than trying to sift through independent promotions. That doesn’t mean they’re bad, they just aren’t part of our vision.
What are your thoughts on the ending of Raw? In what world does Brock Lesnar not knock Roman Reigns out for touching his title?
A world completely devoid of a realistic Wrestlemania main event storyline is one that features Roman Reigns snatching the title right out of the hands of Brock Lesnar with no repercussions. He’s “The Beast” that ended the streak! Wow, what an anti-climatic way to send us home to Sunday’s pay-per-view. Just awful. I saw one reader commented that it looked like two old ladies at the deli fighting over the last ham.
Paul Heyman set that up to be an epic — and much needed — final staredown and the show faded with nothing.
That’s it folks, that’s the final TV before Wrestlemania. There is no saving the way Raw signed off but that’s how they’re expecting to sell the show. I re-watched the segment just before writing this and I’ll tell you that had the potential to be a lot more than it was.
They needed something intense, with neither side getting the upper-hand, but the way the crowd reacted was complete proof WWE fell flat on their face and will limp to the Wrestlemania 31 play button. I stated on social media that Wrestlemania 31 feels way too "9.99ish” and I think a lot of people agree. It’s not that the card is bad, the stories just haven’t been told this year.
Something dawned on me listening to Bad News Barrett on Raw that surprised me... He's a 5-time Intercontinental Champion. Now, we have debated for months that WWE needs to build up and coming talent and restore prestige to the championships (which they are doing). By having the title change hands so much, was this WWE's way of quickly building talent to boast impressive records of holding championships?
In other words, do I believe the reason WWE has played hot potato with the Intercontinental Championship is so they can have multiple Superstars with multiple reigns? That’s possible but I do not believe the prestige of the Intercontinental Championship has been restored. I believe there is more interest and intrigue in the Ladder Match heading into Wrestlemania but is that because it’s a gimmick match with workers like Dolph Ziggler or Daniel Bryan in it or because the belt is more prestigious?
I believe it’s the former and the fact WWE has actually taken time to build the Intercontinental Championship match rather than the lackadaisical build most of the other matches have received. I believe titles are made more prestigious when reigns are longer and champions go over in title matches. WWE hasn’t done either one of those things but they’ll have the chance with the Intercontinental Championship on Sunday. We can argue the United States Championship means more, however, is it too late?
It’s official - Undertaker will not return to WWE TV before Wrestlemania 31. Do you see his bout against Bray Wyatt as a passing of the torch and eliminating the possibility of Undertaker vs. Sting?
Last year when Brock Lesnar went over Undertaker was supposed to be the passing of the torch. Now, Undertaker vs. Bray Wyatt is supposed to be a special attraction match featuring two mystical characters. It’s going to be complicated to book but I find it very hard to believe Undertaker is going to show up only to lose. I think Wyatt goes under here, I just hope he’s not completely buried in the process. As for Undertaker vs. Sting, it’s still in play for Wrestlemania 32 next year as long as both men are willing and able and Vince McMahon thinks there will be money in it. I can tell you Vince wanted to do it this year but Triple H wanted Sting to himself.
If the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal has had such bad luck (so far) with elevating talent, has WWE thought about bringing back the King of the Ring Tournament?
WWE wanted to use the inaugural Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal last year to launch Cesaro’s push but they tried to force him heel after teasing him going babyface in the months prior. It didn’t work. I see the bout as a lazy attempt to fill out the pay-per-view card with names that have been regulars on TV over the past year. While it does that, I’m not sure it does anything else. I would rather the Money in the Bank ladder match, the finals of a resurrected King of the Ring tournament or pretty much anything else as a fun undercard match.
With Brock Lesnar re-signing with WWE does the Wrestlemania 31 main event now become a booking nightmare? If they have Lesnar lose it has to happen without making him look weak or they have him win, they have to keep from killing off Reigns. In a perfect world I think they (WWE) should have The Rock cost Lesnar the title, helping his cousin and setting up a Wrestlemania 32 match.
Brock Lesnar re-signing with WWE gives them more options. If Brock didn’t re-sign on Monday, they were putting Roman Reigns over in a clear and definitive way and making Brock less of an attraction. This is why Vince came into the meeting we detailed at Raw with the attitude that if Brock didn’t re-sign, he was never going to be worth as much to WWE.
Now that Brock is here to stay at a premium, it does present a booking quandary. How do they keep him a “must-see” attraction without aborting the push of Roman Reigns? Let me be clear. Roman Reigns is seen as a top talent. If anyone thinks they’re just going to dismiss him by feeding him to Brock Lesnar, they’re not seeing the full picture. Reigns was hand picked years ago and I don’t see that plan getting demolished because Brock re-signed.
I can tell you the plan you described of The Rock costing Brock the belt and setting up a match at Wrestlemania 32 has been discussed. We’ve already detailed that on more than two occasions but there are issues with that scenario. One, The Rock isn’t confirmed for Sunday and two, he’s concerned that could turn him heel.
WWE has to be careful on Sunday but let’s also remember that Seth Rollins is equipped with the Money in the Bank briefcase. Could that become a factor? Or does WWE have Brock retain and have John Cena and Daniel Bryan win secondary titles, making them the new weekly showcase? All of these possibilities are now in play.
I have been very consistent in writing that I’ll be happy as long as Brock Lesnar loses the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. While that was a sure thing if he didn’t re-sign, he has re-signed. For that reason, I can’t help but be disappointed with his new contract. Yes, I believe WWE has a deeper and more talented roster with Brock than without him, but that depends on them actually using him. They haven't used him enough for him to hold the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Two simple questions: How good was Bray Wyatt’s promo on Raw this week? Should Wyatt have broken the streak instead of Brock Lesnar?
Bray Wyatt’s promo was outstanding on Raw and I am as high up on his mic work as anyone else on the roster. In fact, the only person that I believe talks better than Bray Wyatt is Paul Heyman. WWE agrees as they’ve left it up to him to build a program with The Undertaker at Wrestlemania on his own. That’s a huge responsibility and something a lot of younger talent would not be able to accomplish.
As for Wyatt ending the streak, no I do not think it should have been him. I’ve really gone back and forth on the streak ending since it happened last year. When Brock Lesnar ended it, I was outraged. After I understood Undertaker’s mindset and Brock’s position, I was fine with it. A year later, I don’t think it helped Brock Lesnar as much as it should have because of WWE’s reluctance to use him.
WWE had the chance to make Brock Lesnar a dominant WWE World Heavyweight Champion but they haven’t done that. He’s had limited title defenses and only one successful title defense, which was the triple threat at Royal Rumble. There is a fine line between overexposing a must-see attraction and not using them enough and I believe WWE fell into the latter. He needs to be around more to prevent fans from becoming apathetic towards him.
Having written that, I would much rather Brock Lesnar be the disappointment from ending the streak than Bray Wyatt. Why put the pressure on Wyatt? Brock can handle it and while he’s WWE’s new top act, I’m not sure ending the streak was needed.
I’ve been to several different televised shows, but not a house show. What are the house shows like in comparison?
WWE live events or house shows usually feature longer matches and more crowd interaction. A lot of people prefer them because they actually get to see some of the good undercard talent the company has, including longer Divas matches. I recommend going if you enjoy more in-ring action, less talking and more crowd interaction. The downside is the shows usually feature predictable match outcomes as WWE will sometimes run the same card two or three times in different cities in a weekend.
I recently read a blog by Jim Ross where he suggested WWE should talk to Steve Austin about working a match at Wrestlemania 32 in Texas. I found this particularly interesting, as JR has always stated that it is extremely unlikely that Austin will wrestle again, but in recent months appears to have changed his stance a little. I can't imagine a bigger settling point for any WWE event than an Austin return, and given how close JR is to Stone Cold, do we think that might mean there is a chance that 'The Rattlesnake' will actually wrestle at Wrestlemania 32?
There is absolutely a chance and it comes down to Steve Austin’s willingness to work and WWE’s ability to adequately compensate him for his services. I agree Steve Austin at Wrestlemania 32 in Texas would be huge but he’s going to have to share the spotlight with Brock Lensar now confirmed for that show and The Rock not far behind. The part-time era is far from over, which was clear by Brock Lesnar re-signing on a part-time schedule for full-time money. He actually said that, something I’m sure didn’t go over very well in the locker room.
As much as I hate the part time champion portion of it; shouldn't WWE make Brock Lesnar the monster they promote? He ended the streak, he destroyed John Cena. I say let him beat Roman Reigns and continue to be a huge monster... What are your thoughts?
Brock Lesnar re-signing makes one thing clear - WWE will protect him at Wrestlemania 31. I’m not saying that he’ll definitely retain but they’re going to make sure he’s one of their top attractions for years to come. He’s coming at a premium and the company must make sure they see a return on their investment and book him as strong as possible.
Had Brock chose to reject Vince McMahon’s final offer on Monday, the plan was for Roman Reigns to get a definitive win over him, thus damage Brock going forward. The point conveyed to Brock was that if he didn’t re-sign, he would never be as worth as much to WWE.
Now, you’re correct, he’s The Beast and he’ll be booked like one. There are multiple ways to get the title off him without him appearing weak and I believe it’s time to execute such a plan. WWE has laid out a card where some of their up and comers are getting big chances, just think of the “launchpad” this show could be if someone like Roman Reigns or Seth Rollins walks away WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
With Brock Lesnar’s announcement of his decision to stay with WWE on SportsCenter, I noticed one thing he said. He said in regards to the timing of his announcement "he wanted to be fair to the fans." Do you think this could cause a huge face reaction at Wrestlemania?
Brock Lesnar has already started garnering babyface reactions and many expect the Wrestlemania 31 crowd to treat him like one. I’ve pushed back on the idea of a double turn, with the sole reasoning that it’s too late, but it may happen anyway. But to answer your question, I am expecting the babyface reaction to Brock that you suggested.
Is it me being pedantic or is the fact that Dean Ambrose and Luke Harper wear the exact same outfit really annoying? - especially since they've been highlighted a lot together of late!
It’s not just you and I’m thrilled someone else agrees with me! I have criticized Dean Ambrose’s post-Shield ring attire for nearly a year now. Most readers seem to be completely fine with it but I think it’s far too plain and similar to Luke Harper. Ambrose is super talented so it hasn’t served as a deterrent but it’s annoying nonetheless.
I am extremely picky when it comes to elevating up and coming talent and believe they should be given every chance to succeed. That means Ambrose should have attire that makes him appear different. It means talent like Roman Reigns shouldn’t be given questionable lines for promos. It means long term plans for success aren’t just needed but imperative.
You have stated on numerous occasions that Brock Lesnar’s title reign has failed due to him being used so little throughout the year. I don't believe it has been a success, but the concept of the title being defended only at the major PPVs I think can work. I think the title being defended on Raw or Smackdown doesn't demean the title, but it demeans the performers going for the titles. If Brock had defended the title against different opponents over the course of the year at the major PPVs, do you think the concept would have been received better?
Brock Lesnar is a credible and established main event performer in WWE. There is no doubt he provides the company roster with more talent and more depth and those are good things. My biggest problem with him in WWE is the company’s reluctance to use him. I completely understand the idea of putting the WWE World Heavyweight Championship on Brock and having it defend it at the “biggest shows,” but such a strategy has proved ineffective for a number of reasons.
Do I think if Brock had more than just John Cena with a side of Seth Rollins to feud with after winning the title things would have turned out differently? Probably so. WWE could have added credibility to the reign by giving him more clean title defenses. The profile of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship is NOT raised by just removing it from TV.
As I stated in the comments area earlier in the week, for those that have enjoyed the reign, what reign are they talking about? Brock won the title at SummerSlam, lost via DQ at Night of Champions and went on hiatus. He came back, pinned Seth Rollins at Royal Rumble (in a great match but it was overshadowed immediately) and has largely been absent in the build to defend against Roman Reigns. They finally got an opportunity to get face-to-face to close Raw and things didn’t even get physical.
Bringing a big attraction back for a major show is one thing but to put the WWE World Heavyweight Championship on them and remove them from television is another. WWE struggles with moderation. The idea of Undertaker or The Rock as a Wrestlemania attraction is a good one. The idea the show is built completely around part-time talent -- talent that can't even bothered with weekly TV -- is a problem. I don't understand why WWE swings hard to the left or the right and can't find a happy medium.
Is Rey Mysterio retiring after the unfortunate in-ring incident that resulted in the death of Pedro Aguayo Jr?
I’m told Rey Mysterio stated at MLW’s Walemania event on Thursday night that he isn’t retiring and that was apparently a rumor started by someone else. Mysterio seemed to make it clear in a Tweet on Thursday that while a lot has gone on over the past week, life must continue. You can read that Tweet below:
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With that, we’ll say Rey Mysterio isn’t retiring and will continue his career as he transitions back to Mexico and other independent opportunities.
Is it true Jerry Lawler is not hosting the 2015 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and it will be hosted by Eva Marie instead?
Some readers Tweeted me about this but I saw where Bill Apter spoke directly to Jerry Lawler, who said it wasn’t true (Lawler reportedly texted him “BS rumor”). Apter concluded his video report by stating that Jerry Lawler will host the 2015 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. So with that, I’ll say the rumor you heard is not true and I’m not sure where or how that got started. Eva Marie over Lawler for the Hall of Fame, really?
I imagine some talent is at least slightly disgruntled with Brock Lesnar's "part-time schedule, full-time money" comments, and Nikki Bella's comment to AJ on Smackdown about Brock working more days last year than her seemed unnecessary for the encounter and like a blatant stab at the whole situation. Do you see any backlash on her for making the comment?
Nikki Bella’s promo towards AJ Lee that aired on this week’s episode of Smackdown was scripted and it was done to promote the Divas tag team match at Wrestlemania 31. WWE hasn’t been afraid to incorporate non-kayfabe comments in some of the promos for Wrestlemania build this year, such as Paul Heyman mentioning UFC by name before Brock Lesnar had signed a new WWE contract. Even if Nikki was shooting, which she wasn’t, she’s the real life girlfriend of John Cena. Not only does that provide her great protection in terms of backstage backlash, The Bella Twins in general have very good standing amongst Vince McMahon. Much of the success of Total Divas is credited to them and they are considered a big part of the company’s vision for the Divas division. As a result, they can get away with things some people probably wouldn’t be able to get away with. However, there is no story to Nikki’s jab at AJ Lee.
Since this is the last Ask WNW before Wrestlemania 31 - come Sunday, who wins between Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns?
I will make a bold prediction and say Brock Lesnar retains the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Roman Reigns on Sunday. I will then not rule out something that happens afterwards that could cost him the title, such as Seth Rollins “cashing in” the Money in the Bank briefcase. Please note this is completely you putting me on the spot and NOTHING that I have heard creatively from WWE. If we hear anything regarding the creative direction, we’ll post it but keep in mind that Vince McMahon keeps the Wrestlemania outcomes close to his vest.
From the Ask WNW vault…
June 2007: Whatever happened to The Freakin’ Deacon appearing on SmackDown? - The Freakin’ Deacon (real name Drew Hankinson) was going to be repackaged under a new “Southern” gimmick and work as Festus Dalton as part of the Dalton Boys with fellow WWE developmental talent Ray Gordy. After a short run, WWE made the decision to drop the Dalton Boys gimmick on June 2nd and have sent both Hankinson and Gordy back to Ohio Valley Wrestling. This is the third time that Hankinson has been demoted from the main WWE roster. He is currently working as Justice Dalton in OVW.
July 2008:How did Ask WNW come about and what made you start this? - I started Ask WNW in June 2007 because we got so many questions sent to us about wrestling I thought that it would be a good idea to start answering questions on the site. Also I am always looking to add features that make us different since so many websites rip off every piece of content that we put out. Ask WNW is a Monday-Friday ritual for me and I actually enjoy doing it.
August 2009: Is it true that Bryan Danielson has been recently signed by WWE? - Yes, Bryan Danielson has agreed in principle to a contract with WWE. I haven't heard the terms of the deal but I would imagine he'll go to Florida Championship Wrestling in Tampa before getting the call up to the main roster. I understand Daniels is one of the best workers in the world but I would imagine WWE will want to take a look at him in their developmental facility before calling him up. I really hope Danielson does not get buried as a WWE worker.
September 2010: What happened to The Spirit Squad? - The Spirit Squad gimmick only lasted ten months in 2006. It was a group of young wrestlers (only one of which that is still with WWE in Dolph Ziggler) that was formed to put over the return of DeGeneration X featuring Shawn Michaels and Triple H. They were later used as enhancement workers before disbanding for good. It's common for a group, especially of younger workers, to be put together to put wrestlers over. Some have drawn comparisons between The Spirit Squad and The Nexus, however, I argue The Spirit Squad was never over to the point The Nexus has been. I am not as optimistic about The Nexus as I was at the beginning of the summer as Raw has ended the same way for three months (a Nexus run-in). Wade Barrett is the star but the others have legitimate reason to worry they'll end up like members of The Spirit Squad.
December 2011: What is Hulk Hogan’s relationship with Vince McMahon like? Is there a chance Hogan could ever end up back in WWE? - Hulk Hogan and Vince McMahon have a very unique relationship to say the least. Both have huge egos, however, the success they’ve endured can be traced back to one another. I personally believe there is a mutual amount of respect between Hogan and McMahon but they are not by any means friends. The talk when Hogan first came to TNA was that he couldn’t agree to terms on a WWE deal so he decided to help out TNA. While initially unhappy that Hogan joined Dixie Carter and company, I’ve heard McMahon has grown apathetic to workers such as Hogan and Ric Flair working for his “competition.” There was probably some initial fear that Hogan could elevate TNA but that clearly has not happened.
August 2012: Don’t you think the premise that Brock Lesnar is the conqueror, with nothing left to prove in the WWE, would have been WAY more effective if Lesnar had beaten John Cena? - WWE is basically in damage-control mode by portraying Brock Lensar as the dominant conqueror that “accomplished everything” in a very short period of time. The problem is Lesnar is 1-1 since returning and is hardly a dominant force by beating Triple H who is 0-2 for the year. The company expects logic to be thrown out the window with fans ignoring match outcomes and basing it on Lesnar’s “destructive tendencies.” The fact of the matter is WWE made a monumental mistake by putting Cena over Lesnar at Extreme Rules and are paying for it with every Lesnar match going forward. I have more on the original plans for Lesnar vs. Triple H at SummerSlam this link.
April 2013: With Dean Ambrose getting a singles match against The Undertaker on this week’s Smackdown, is this a sign that Vince McMahon and Triple H see him as the breakout star in the group? - All three members of The Shield are held in high regard. While the feeling before they debuted was that Roman Reigns had the most to prove, even he has drawn high marks from those within WWE and all are highly touted young workers. The fact Undertaker worked a singles match against Dean Ambrose goes to show how much he thinks of them as we heard he put the trio over in front of everyone after the match on this week’s WWE Raw. I don’t mind the classification of Ambrose as #1, Seth Rollins as #2 and Roman Reigns as #3 but I think all three are held in equal high regard and are looked at as future superstars as singles performers.
January 2014: Did CM Punk take his ball and go home? - Basically, CM Punk took his ball and went home. However, I want to use the lead question of Ask WNW to try and clear up as much as possible. This isn’t something that just suddenly happened and Punk flipped out and quit the company. Punk has been unhappy with the direction of his character for months, with people speculating it was either out of boredom or the fact he just wanted more. One of his biggest goals for this year was to be in one of the top matches at Wrestlemania XXX. We’ve gone as in-depth on it as possible, touching base with multiple sources, despite the fact Punk isn’t talking to anyone. You can catchup on our coverage here, here and here.
I will add that Punk was never told 100% that his proposed match with Triple H at Wrestlemania was off but word going around backstage at Raw was that Daniel Bryan might get that match in response to what happened at Royal Rumble. The word regarding Punk was that his issue with Kane might stretch to Wrestlemania when it was originally supposed to be blown off at Elimination Chamber, leading to the Punk vs. Hunter bout at the show in April. Punk went directly to Vince McMahon and wanted assurance that he would be in a top match at Wrestlemania or otherwise, he was going home. According to a source, Punk felt Triple H was playing favorites with Batista coming in, going over at Royal Rumble and onto the main event at Wrestlemania XXX. Punk felt he wasn’t one of Hunter’s guys. Vince originally suggested Triple H vs. CM Punk at Wrestlemania so they could play off some of the real-life heat as an option for Triple H if they went with John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt (which is where they are now going).
We’re told Vince is not giving up and wants Punk on the Wrestlemania XXX lineup. WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee, who is Punk’s real-life girlfriend, is seen as the company’s only line of communication to him at this time.
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