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Sheamus Calls Out "Dirt Sheet Heroes," Mick Foley Compares Daniel Bryan's Booking To Zack Ryder, WWE Disappointed w/New Female Talent, When The Decision To End The Streak Was Made, Daniel Bryan Unhappy?, Vince & HHH Disagree On Flair, Angle Finished w/TN

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Welcome to the WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium Newsletter. This is where you will find all of the big news and Ask WNW segments from the week neatly archived for your viewing pleasure. This week's edition covers news from Saturday, May 3, 2014 to Friday, May 9, 2014 as well as all five Ask WNW segments from the week. Use this newsletter as your own personal tool to catch up on any of the news that you may have missed during the week. Below is a table of contents:

Note From Richard: For those that have asked, the Newsletter is organized with the news posted on Saturday at the top with the most recent stories at the bottom. We have it organized this way so you can read the news in the order in which it happened. Thanks for your support!

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

WWE News

- Following his release from WWE earlier this week, Mason Ryantweeted out the following statement:

After four great years with the WWE, as of today I am no longer with the company. I enjoyed every second of my time there, met some great people and got to entertain audiences all over the world! I am very thankful for the opportunity I was given, but now I move on to another chapter of my life. I'm going to work as hard and have the same hunger and attitude I always have, which is the desire to be the very best! This definitely isn't the end, in fact it's just a new beginning and I look forward to the future and all that it brings!
I am still going to be wrestling, and I'm available for shows and conventions, please contact me at welsh.warrior@outlook.com
for any bookings.
Thank you everyone for the support!

- This week's Smackdown Fallout features Big E discussing his brawl with Titus O'Neil. The video is available at this link.

- Wrestling News World reader Dustyn sent word that WWE has announced the July 7, 2014 episode of Monday Night Raw will emanate from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Click here for official event information. On July 8, 2014, the company will hold their Main Event/Smackdown taping from the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Click here for local event information.

- CM Punk recently spoke to the Holy Trinity High School baseball team (out of Chicago, IL) after meeting them in a hotel parking lot. The team's manager, Joe Glorioso, said Punk was a nice guy and a good role model. He said that Punk told the kids to stay in school and do the right thing. As for Punk's health…

“He doesn’t look injured,” Glorioso added. “He looks good.”

Click here for coverage by HallofVeryGood.com, who also published a photo of Punk with the team.

- Luke Harper had friends and family in attendance at Friday night's WWE live event in Rochester, New York. Harper is from the city and following WWE booking 101, did the honors in the main event, which saw John Cena & The Shield beat Alberto Del Rio & The Wyatt Family. We have show results online at this link.

- Lilian Garcia started a new video blog that you can watch at this link.

- Mark Crozer talked about his "Live In Fear" being used as Bray Wyatt's theme music and getting the opportunity to perform live at Wrestlemania 30. Crozer emailed WWE around Christmas and told them he would love to do it. He met Wyatt prior to the show at Raw in Brooklyn. You can read the piece in its entirety at this link.

- WWE Intercontinental Champion Big E spoke to The Record to promote Monday's WWE Raw taping in Albany. Click here to read it.

- Below are the favorites to win at tonight's WWE Extreme Rules pay-per-view based on international betting odds. Please note these aren't based on what we know from creative sources but based on actual bets submitted on the matches. They are accurate as of Sunday, May 4, 2014 at 3:27 PM EDT. Also, I would never recommend betting on professional wrestling:

Daniel Bryan (71.05%) over Kane (28.95%) to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Evolution (52.26%) over The Shield (47.74%)
Bray Wyatt (68.89%) over John Cena (31.11%)
Bad News Barrett (62.79%) over Big E (37.21%) to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Alexander Rusev (94.12%) over R-Truth & Xavier Woods (5.88%)
Cesaro (50.00%) over Rob Van Dam (30.00%) & Jack Swagger (20.00%)
Paige (72.73%) over Tamina Snuka (27.27%) to retain the WWE Divas Championship
El Torito (58.82%) over Hornswoggle (41.18%)

- 15,907 was the announced attendance for WWE Extreme Rules. The show was a legitimate sellout from the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

- WWE will return to Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ on Friday, September 26, 2014.

- This week's episode of After Total Divas is online at this link.

- Dot com has their playlist of backstage interviews from Extreme Rules that you can watch at this link.

- The Sunday Telegraph out of Australia has a new article online featuring quotes from Emma to promote WWE's upcoming tour down under. She revealed her mother as her biggest supporter. Click here to read the piece in its entirety.

- The status of Batista headed into summer angles is unknown. We noted in our Raw Preview that he wasn't on the official listing for this week's show in Albany and I reported in April he was pulled from all shows after Extreme Rules. The expectation is that he'll be taking some time off this summer to do media for Guardians of the Galaxy but it's unknown if this is the reason for Batista's removal from official show listings. His name has come up for possible upcoming main event programs, however, those plans appear to be in flux given his unknown status.

- Remember the fist from the old Smackdown setup? It's featured in the latest episode of WWE Warehouse that you can watch at this link.

- WWE introduced a referral system for the WWE Network on Monday. Per an email blast sent out on Monday afternoon, you get a $25 WWEShop.com promotional git card for each friend who subscribes to WWE Network. The offer is limited to 10 friends or $250 in gift cards. The friend that subscribes will also get a $25 gift card with the offer ending on Saturday, May 31, 2014. So if you haven't signed up, click here, enter your first name, last name and email address. Signup and we'll see if we both get $25 gift cards.

- John Cena was on ABC's The View on Monday to promote his 10 Weeks Body Change program that you can learn more about at ChangeTime.com. Cena said he could talk about Nicole (Nikki Bella) all day long and while he wouldn't comment on rumors of a TV wedding, he said he was in love. In typical Cena fashion, he said you would have to watch Total Divas to find out what happens next. You can watch the segment at this link.

- Last week's episode of WWE Smackdown, the go-home to Extreme Rules, garnered an average viewing audience of 2,271,000 viewers on SyFy. The number was down sharply up against the NBA Playoffs on ESPN. Click here for more ratings data from TV By the Numbers.

- In the opening match of RawSheamus won the 20-Man Battle Royal for the United States Championship. The final four men included Sheamus, Dean Ambrose, Jack Swagger, and Ryback. Sheamus eliminated Ambrose to win. After the match, Triple H came out and announced The Shield will be facing The Wyatt Family in the main event.

- We noted through Wrestling News World reader Al Figueroa on Sunday night that Sheamus seemed to be dozing off a bit at the expert panel desk during Alexander Rusev vs. Xavier Woods & R-Truth at Extreme Rules on Sunday. He Tweeted the following:

Speaking of Sheamus, he's the new WWE United States Champion. He Tweeted this photo:

- Mick Foley, who has been vocal about Daniel Bryan's booking in recent months, spoke out about his current direction and angle with Kane:

Foley was also vocal about commentary failing to note Bad News Barrett's use of his Cactus Elbow:

- After this week's Monday Night Raw went off the air, John Cena beat Bray Wyatt in a dark match main event. The referee called for the bell after interference from Erick Rowan and Luke Harper. After the match, Cena overcame the odds and hit the Attitude Adjustment on Harper and Rowan to send the crowd home happy. - Short Sleeve Sampson has issued a public apology over a photo he posted on Facebook. Sampson was one of the midgets called in to work the Extreme Rules Kickoff and portrayed Jerry Smaller. The photo in question showed John Cena and The Wyatt Family sitting in the empty Izod Center before the event started. JBL was also shown with his feet up at the announce position. Below is the apology from Facebook:

Below is the photo:

- The most watched shows on WWE Network last week were as follows:

1) Extreme Rules 2014
2) Extreme Rules Kickoff
3) Legends' House: Striking Out
4) Extreme Rules 2014 Fallout
5) Legends' House: The Cart Before the Horse
6) Wrestlemania 30
7) Raw Pre-Show
8) WWE NXT
9) WWE Countdown: Greatest Tag Teams
10) WWE Main Event

- WWE Hall of Famer Bob Backland was at Raw on Monday. Wrestling News World reader Matt LaFalce noted that he took photos with fans at the show.

- The company will return to the Times Union Center in Albany, New York on Tuesday, November 4, 2014 for the WWE Main Event/Smackdown taping.

- The child that played Little Johnny at Extreme Rules on Sunday was the son of John "Jamison Winger" DiGiacomo.

- This week's episode of Total Divas tumbled to an average viewing audience of 965,000 viewers on E, however, the drop can be attributed to Extreme Rules on the WWE Network. TV by the Numbers has more ratings data for the night available at this link.

- An awesome tribute video of Connor Michalek has surfaced online. Michalek, a 7-year-old Daniel Bryan fan, recently lost his battle to brain cancer. You can watch it at this link.

- The Divas division in WWE is currently under evaluation. One of the goals in the absence of AJ Lee, who is away on approved time off, is to see what they have with talent that have been given limited opportunities. This is one of the reasons why Paige has had multiple opponents at TVs and at live events. This is also one of the reasons why Brie Bella has been singled out to participate in the main event storyline with Daniel Bryan and Kane. However, the results of the evaluation so far have been characterized as poor. As a result, AJ Lee's stock continues to rise. AJ Lee is seen as the top female worker in the company and is expected to resume the role when she gets back. When that will be, however, is currently unknown. As we reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, she's been told she can have as much time off as she wants and there is no heat on her for it. WWE is not pushing Lee to return and the two parties remain in constant contact. As for why the evaluation hasn't gone well, we're told concern is starting to build the audience is not accepting Paige as the company's top female. We're told those concerns also include a lack of reaction at live events, with one observer reporting she isn't engaging the crowd. Also, there is some concern with her in-ring work not being on par with what she did during her time in NXT. At this stage, Paige's performance is being chalked up to nerves and a lack of chemistry with her opponents and she remains in the company's long-term plans. Finally, the Divas down in NXT continue to impress. We're told there has been a lot of talk about upcoming call ups.

- WWE has made a significant change to Alexander Rusev as they have dropped his first name and are now simply calling him Rusev. The change has already been reflected on his profile on dot com. The company recently shortened the names of Cesaro and Big E. Looking at this, one can also think of when WWE changed Lord Tensai to Tensai.

- This week's episode of Monday Night Raw did an average viewing audience of 4,276,000 viewers on the USA Network. It's of note the show's audience grew throughout the night. Below are the numbers by hour:

Hour one - 3,963,000 viewers
Hour two - 4,414,000 viewers
Hour three 4,451,000 viewers

The NBA Playoffs on TNT won the night. TV By the Numbers has more data available at this link.

- Shawn Michaels finds his new tag team partner, a Can-Am Spyder motorcycle, in a new viral video released this week. You can watch now at this link.

- Shawn Michaels told Jim Ross on his latest "Ross Report" podcast the decision for Brock Lesnar to go over Undertaker and end the streak at Wrestlemania 30 was made four hours before the show began. He also confirmed to Ross that Undertaker was very banged up after the match (a fact we already knew, namely the severe concussion Undertaker suffered).

Listen to this week's episode of The Ross Report with Jim Ross and Shawn Michaels in the player embedded below:

Richard Reacts: This makes complete sense. There were absolutely no rumblings before Wrestlemania 30 about Brock Lesnar ending the streak, however, there was a last-minute shift in international betting odds before the match went on. Lesnar went from a heavy underdog to a slight favorite, giving indications the outcome began to leak.

- WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan vs. Kane is expected to take place again at WWE Payback on June 1. The rumored stipulation is a Buried Alive match, which makes sense given the fact their encounter at Extreme Rules was gimmick-heavy. There are also plans to do The Shield vs. Evolution at the pay-per-view next month with current plans being discussed. Initial indications were that AJ Lee would be back for Payback, however, that appears to be in flux. We have a complete update on AJ's future in the company here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com.

- Lady Liberty from the Wrestlemania 29 set has joined the Smackdown fist in the WWE Warehouse. You can watch it occur at this link.

- John Cena is scheduled to appear at the Wizard Wold San Antonio Comic Con on Sunday, August 3, 2014. He'll be taking photos at Noon and signing autographs at 2 PM. Click here for more information.

- Xavier Woods beat Damien Sandow and Alberto Del Rio beat R-Truth in dark matches at Tuesday night's WWE TV tapings in Buffalo, New York.

Backstage news from this week's Monday Night Raw in Albany…

- While Daniel Bryan is known for keeping his mouth shut in most situations, we're told even he questioned the logic of him "running scared" of Kane on this week's Raw. The booking was greeted with an overwhelming degree of pessimism with one observer commenting, "if this is Hunter's way of slowly killing Bryan's momentum, it's working."

- Paige isn't the only one that has underwhelmed so far during her time on the main roster. The word from backstage at Raw was that Emma has been considered a disappointment and her gimmick worked better in NXT then it has on the main roster.

- Creative is searching for the "next step" for Big E. He's someone that has peaked and we're told a turn could be coming.

- Triple H and Michael Cole resumed their sit down interview series with a new kayfabe feature posted on Wednesday. In it, Hunter talked about Dean Ambrose holding the WWE United States Championship for 351-days and having "long gaps" without having to defend it. He promoted Ambrose's rematch against Sheamus, Roman Reigns vs. Mark Henry and Seth Rollins vs. Batista for this week's Smackdown. You can watch the kayfabe interview at this link .

- Kofi Kingston talked about his time at Boston College, character development in WWE, his goal of becoming WWE World Heavyweight Champion and more in a new Q&A at this link.

- Wrestlemania 30 will be released on Blue-ray and DVD on Tuesday, May 13, 2014. You can watch a trailer at this link.

- Steve Austin's new reality competition show on CMT, "Broken Skull Ranch Challenge," will premiere on Sunday, July 6, 2014.

- There is a report being attributed to Dave Meltzer's Wrestling Observer publication that Sheamus and Sin Cara were involved in a physical altercation at this week's TV in New York. No other details are available as of press time. I asked one source about the report, they told me they hadn't heard about it. They assumed it was nothing major. I contacted WWE's public relations department about the report and have yet to hear back. If there's anything more to it, we'll post the details here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.

- Sheamus wrote the following on Twitter:

The comments are in response to a reported physical altercation between Sheamus and Sin Cara at this week's WWE TV tapings in New York. None of our sources were able to independently confirm the report and WWE's public relations department did not respond when reached for comment.

- Paul Heyman, Renee Young, Dolph Ziggler, Titus O'Neil, Emma, Xavier Woods, Cody Rhodes and Goldust discuss their reaction to Brock Lesnar ending the streak at Wrestlemania 30 in this week's episode of WWE Inbox. You can watch at this link.

- We're now able to confirm Matthew Singerman has departed WWE. Singerman was hired last year to oversee the WWE Network.

- In Thursday's installment of Ask WNW, I was asked about Ric Flair's endorsement of The Shield, so I thought I would provide a further update. We're told Vince McMahon flat out doesn't want Flair on television. According to a source that spoke to me under the condition of anonymity, Vince still doesn't trust Flair with a live mic or his ability to stay out of some sort of public scandal. Triple H on the other hand wants Flair back and on television regularly. While some may assume Vince will get his way, that's not the case. Vince is said to be leaving up to Hunter even though he is strongly against it. Our source reports that Vince is trying to give Hunter enough freedom to make his own mistakes and learn from them. He feels that Flair will ultimately prove him right and Triple H will realize the reason Vince was against it after all. Meanwhile in the midst of contention, the creative team has had no way of knowing how to fit Flair into the Evolution vs. Shield program, hence the odd moment where Flair endorsed The Shield much to everyone's surprise.

- Ready! Aim! Fire! Sheamus Tweeted the following:

For good measure, he Re-Tweeted this gem:

It's been quite the week for the new WWE United States Champion. Wrestling News World reader Al Figueroacaught him sleeping at the expert panel table during Extreme Rules on Sunday, a claim he later denied.

On Wednesday, a report attributed to Dave Meltzer's Wrestling Observer publication claimed Sheamus got into a physical altercation with Sin Cara backstage at TV in New York. This was a claim Sheamus also denied.

Richard Reacts: *slow clap* turn him, turn him!

- CM Punk's friend Natalie Slater wrote a new article about him on RedeyeChicago.com titled, "My friend is famous, and it sucks." The note everyone is making is that she referred to him as "the recently retired seven-time World Champion." This isn't exactly groundbreaking as everyone in WWE is under the assumption that Punk has retired from the business. He remains under contract until July and Vince McMahon has been tactfully looking re-sign him. Click here to read the piece in its entirety.

- WWE is hoping to get AJ Lee back in time for Monday in the Bank, however, as we've noted several times, there hasn't been any pressure put on her to return. Right now, she's indicating that she thinks she'll be back in time for the show next month. We're told there have been some ideas put together internally to try to push for CM Punk to appear at Payback (the pay-per-view before AJ is set to return) in Chicago as a surprise. The situations with CM Punk and AJ Lee are being treated as "totally separate," although some have suggested the only way AJ Lee gets as much leeway as she has been given is if she's romantically involved with CM Punk. Vince McMahon is the one being far more patient on the Punk issue than Triple H. Vince hopes to have Punk back and re-signed in time for SummerSlam, while Hunter wants something in place before his contract expires in July. Whatever Punk has planned, if anything, the only thing he's telling people close to him is that he's retired from wrestling and would be interested in looking into acting once his contract expires.

- Renee Young reveals her master plan to Cody Rhodes & Bad News Barrett in the latest episode of The JBL & Cole Show. You can watch now at this link

TNA News

- TNA Wrestling issued official details on their 2015 Maximum Impact 7 tour of the United Kingdom on their official website on Sunday. Below is the release in its entirety:

Bully Ray, Magnus, Samoa Joe, James Storm, Bobby Roode, Mr Anderson and Eric Young are among the international stars announced today for the TNA IMPACT WRESTLING UK Tour in January 2015.

TNA is set to bring huge live events to Glasgow, Manchester and London on this very special seventh anniversary Tour. Tickets are on sale now, with prices starting from just £20 (plus booking fee) and discounted family packages available.

Also announced today for the MAXIMUM IMPACT 7 events are Gail Kim, Gunner, Abyss, EC3, Tigre Uno and TNA Wrestling: British Boot Camp winner Rockstar Spud. Many more top TNA Superstars will be added to the shows over the coming months.

The Tour will start at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro on Thursday January 29, the same arena where TNA made wrestling history last year by taping live television in the UK for the first time. It then heads to Manchester’s famous Phones 4u Arena.

The Tour ends on Saturday January 31 with a double TV taping at London’s Wembley Arena, which will also include an Ultimate X match – TNA’s fan favourite speciality bout full of high-flying and death-defying action.

TNA IMPACT WRESTLING is broadcast on Challenge in the UK and Ireland every Sunday night at 9pm, as well as on Spike TV in the USA and more than 120 other countries.

TNA World Heavyweight Champion Eric Young said: “Every member of the TNA roster who secures a slot on the UK Tour is honoured by the opportunity. The support from the awesome TNA fans across the UK make the Tour some of our most memorable moments as professional athletes. Ask any adult or child who has attended a TNA live event, and they will tell you the energy and excitement is unmatched.”

Additional announcement about the MAXIMUM IMPACT 7 Tour will be made in the coming months. Seats are moving quickly, so fans who are looking to secure the best seats possible should buy today.

MAXIMUM IMPACT 7 Tour tickets will be available via the TNA UK Facebook page at www.facebook.com/tnawrestlinguk, www.gigsandtours.com/go/tna2015gen, www.ticketmaster.co.uk/TNA-Wrestling-tickets/artist/1008830 or direct from the tour venues. Full details of the UK events are:

Thursday 29 January 2015 | Glasgow The SSE Hydro | www.thehydro.com

Friday 30 January 2015 | Manchester Phones 4u Arena | www.phones4uarena.co.uk

Saturday 31 January 2015 | London Wembley Arena | www.wembleyarena.co.uk

Click here to view this material in its original format.

- Gunner is featured in a new Q&A with Huff Post United Kingdom. In it, he discusses being a religious man, his relationship with TNA Champion Eric Young, the UK being an important market for TNA and more. You can read it at this link.

- Alex Barie of TNANews.com was on a conference call with The Wolves on Tuesday to promote TNA's One Night Only: Joker's Wild 2 pay-per-view. You can read his highlights at this link. Speaking of Friday's One Night Only show, official details are available at this link.

- Vince Russo is not under contract with TNA or any other wrestling promotion. Is he consulting? He's not telling and he likes it that way. The former TNA creative writer spends his time working on his website that you can check out at this link.

- The next set of Impact Wrestling tapings begin on Wednesday from Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. The company will tape through Saturday (filming Impact all but Saturday, when they tape two One Night Only shows). We'll have a reporter on the ground and complete taping results online after each taping concludes.

- The first ever pick up contest takes place on the latest episode of TNA Spin Cycle. You can watch at this link.

- Kurt Angle contacted Alex Barie on Thursday to inform him that he'll be undergoing surgery on Friday to repair his anterior cruciate ligament. The surgery is expected to keep him out of the ring 4 1/2 months. Angle issued the following statement to me for use on WrestlingNewsWorld.com.

"I was limited in the ring and don't want to be anymore. I injured it 5 years ago. Held up until now. I love going 150%."

The timing is particularly interesting as Angle's current contract with TNA Wrestling is up in September. From what we understand, the company has already been working to re-sign him. Angle is leaving his options open and has yet to commit to TNA past September 2014. It's been no secret he's tinkered with the idea of returning to WWE and Global Force Wrestling is expected to be interested in his services. Kurt Angle has been a staple of the TNA main event scene since 2006. He's enjoyed his time there and gone on record, saying they treat him very well. He's dealt with issues outside of the ring lately, including a stint in a rehabilitation center for alcohol and undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery in February.
Given Kurt's upcoming surgery and subsequent recovery timetable, his bout against Ethan Carter III that aired on this week's Impact Wrestling could be his final bout in TNA.

- TNA Wrestling has rolled Kurt Angle's surgery to repair his ACL into storyline. As Alex Barie reported exclusively here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com after this week's episode of Impact Wrestling, Angle will undergo surgery on Friday to repair a torn ACL. He is expected out 4 1/2 months. The company posted a video of a doctor examining Angle's knee. You can watch it at this link.

- Eric Young will defend the TNA Championship against MVP at Slammiverasry next month. We broke the news on April 29, 2014 when this week's episode of Impact Wrestling was taped. TNA has official coverage available here on ImpactWrestling.com. TNA Slammiversary 2014 will take place Sunday, June 15, 2014 from College Park Center in Arlington, Texas. We’ll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.

- John Gaburick Tweeted that TNA Wrestling has signed Bram to a multi-year contract. Bram, whose real name is Thomas Raymond Latimer, is formerly known as Kenneth Cameron of the Ascension faction in WWE NXT.

He is also the husband of WWE developmental Diva Charlotte and the son-in-law of Ric Flair.

The following is from Twitter:

- Chris Sabin has been removed from the TNA roster page and moved to the alumni section on ImpactWrestling.com. Additional updates include the removal of Rob Terry and Knux and the addition of The Menagerie.

- We're comfortable enough now to confirm that Mickie James is indeed pregnant, as she's gone public with the news.

- Chavo Guerrero recently had an emergency appendectomy and is at home resting comfortably.

- TNA Wrestling will tape more Impact on Friday night and two One Night Only pay-per-views on Saturday. One of the shows is a Knockout show.

- For those that missed the debut of The Menagerie on this week's Impact Wrestling, you can watch at this link.

- Vince Russo penned a new column on his website where he went over his Top 10 Easiest Talent to Produce from 1995 through 2012. You can read part one at this link and part two at this link.

- All seems to be well between Hulk Hogan and Dixie Carter following his departure from TNA Wrestling last year. Dixie Tweeted the following:

- TNA posted an article on ImpactWrestling.com looking at Jessie Godderz and his new ESPN Series ‘CAWL To Arms’ at this link. The series will air this month on ESPNU and in July on ESPN2.

- This week's episode of Impact Wrestling did an average viewing audience of 1,055,000 viewers on Spike TV. The show was up against stiff competition with the 2014 NFL Draft and NBA Playoffs. Click here for more ratings data by TV by the Numbers.

Ask WNW

Is WWE too predictable in the fact that on Raw we will almost certainly see Adam Rose win his debut match, just like every other debutant in recent times?

It would be foolish to debut Adam Rose in any other way than to put him over. The company has ran vignettes for him since Wrestlemania to hype him, it would all be for nothing if he lost out of the gate. Sometimes the business is predictable but that doesn't mean it's not the right decision either. If you didn't put Rose over, how else would you create momentum for a relatively unknown talent?

Considering that his current run has mostly been a failure (besides the reformation of Evolution), do you feel Batista regrets coming back to WWE?

I pondered in Richard Reacts to Extreme Rules what Batista thinks about his WWE return so far and his feelings about it. Based on some of his comments, like saying he looked forward to the day without all the negativity, it sure looks like he could regret coming back. It hasn't gone according to plan and things haven't gotten any better since WWE corrected their mistake with Daniel Bryan. I personally feel Batista is being used as a scapegoat by fans frustrated by the departure of CM Punk (which I don't think Batista directly contributed to) among other things. There is still value in Batista but things haven't gone well since he came back.

I am having issues watching WWE Network on my PlayStation 3, the stream often freezes and buffers. Is WWE aware of the issue?

I was made aware of some issues with the WWE Network stream during Extreme Rules but they didn't seem to be widespread. Further, I didn't experience any issues with my stream but did notice that I could hurt the performance by typing in a separate browser window. I'm not sure why that caused an issue for me but as long as I didn't do that, my stream was fine. If you had an issue, you should report it to WWE Network customer support so they are made aware. Again, I heard of issues (more so than I did with Wrestlemania) but since I did not directly experience them, I can't say much more than that.

Do you think it's unfair to say that when a worker reaches their 40s it's too late to push them. The Rock is in his 40s and still capable of a top spot but it's not OK for someone like R-Truth who has worked hard in the mid card?

There is a big difference between The Rock and R-Truth. It's not that R-Truth hasn't worked hard or doesn't deserve more but he's too old to push as a main event talent. The Rock essentially "picks up where he left off" when he returns, a talent such as R-Truth hasn't even come close to such success. This is why someone like Sting is able to work on a part-time schedule into his 50s. It's not completely unheard of, however, as Bully Ray is 42 and received the biggest singles push of his career and WWE gave William Regal a major push when he was 40 (although it was later derailed due to his second Wellness test violation). Diamond Dallas Page is another example of a "late bloomer," however; most talent will not receive the biggest push of their career after they reach the age of 40.

From the Ask WNW vault…

October 2012: With the WWE brand extension essentially over, when do you think we will see just one world title and perhaps the elimination of the World Heavyweight Championship? - I am all for having both a WWE Champion and World Heavyweight Champion and feel WWE has done a good job by “gracefully” ending the brand extension by getting talent from both brands on the live show while still maintaining a separate identity on Smackdown. Two world titles give the company a chance to have two separate main event scenes that create more opportunities to build top talent. A lot of people are tired of John Cena dominating the main event with some even growing tired of CM Punk as champion but if the World Heavyweight Championship is eliminated, the main event scene is only going to shrink. Unification ideas have been pitched for as long as there have been two world titles but I hope WWE continues with both the World Heavyweight Championship and WWE Championship.

Do you think WWE might get some heat for mentioning Vladimir Putin in Lana's promos due to the situation in Ukraine?

WWE drew a reaction for mentioning Vladimir Putin at Extreme Rules but that's why they did it. Putin is controversial not only due to the tense situation in Ukraine but also with his anti-gay laws in Russia. Given the fact he's one of the most powerful men in the world, most people know who he is so it was a good way to generate cheap heat for Alexander Rusev. Eric Bischoff wrote controversy creates cash and all WWE was trying to do was to get people talking about Rusev.

Who are all those people in Adam Rose's party entourage?

WWE called in local talent to appear as part of Adam Rose's entourage. The company routinely books "call-ins" for such roles, checking the local independent scene as well as with talent and modeling agencies. Speaking of the debut of Adam Rose, I hope the person that asked the question about his debut in Monday's Ask WNW was pleasantly surprised.

Do you think Kurt Angle will return to the WWE?

I've gone on record numerous times in writing that I believe Kurt Angle would welcome an opportunity to return to WWE, I just don't know if the opportunity will be there. It seems to be a given that Angle is departing TNA when his contract expires in the fall but Global Force Wrestling is expected to make a play for his services. Angle is one of the greatest in-ring workers of all-time, however, I have to think his next contract, if it is a performer's agreement, will include limited appearances/matches.

Have there been many times where the wrestlers have to ignore the reaction of the crowd during a match and play to the TV audience?

There are situations all the time where wrestlers, announcers and other on-air personalities have to ignore the crowd and play to the television audience. While crowd reactions ultimately dictate booking, there is no way to control a crowd. The Albany crowd on Monday night was particularly bad for this week's Raw. While they would sometimes seem engaged and hot, there would be random moments where they'd burst into a "CM PUNK" chant. Now before anyone comments by writing they pay for their ticket, they can chant what they want. I'm not disputing that. I just want a clear response as to why one would feel the need to do it? Punk quit WWE over 3 months ago. Vince McMahon did everything he could to get him back for Wrestlemania and still isn't giving up hope. The chants, however, have become like nails on a chalk board. It's time to get over it and if you're that upset about it, no chant is as bold as no longer watching and no longer attending. However, to buy a ticket with the sole purpose of chanting for a performer that quit three months ago seems rather ridiculous to me.

From the Ask WNW vault…

May 2012: What type of backstage influence to guys like Kane and Christian have? - Veterans always have more backstage influence than the younger guys. Not only is the respect level higher amongst their co-workers but their opinions also carry more weight with company officials. How big a star a worker is gauges how much influence that particular worker has. As you can imagine someone like John Cena or CM Punk has considerable stroke over someone like Tyler Reks or Curt Hawkins.

How do you think things are going now that WWE have combined both the WWE and World title? I thought at first it was a cool idea to give the title prestige, but now I am starting to feel that superstars such as Big Show, Mark Henry, Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio are getting either less screen time or being put in a lower card. What are your thoughts?

Ironically enough this is the very argument I showcased in Monday's vault question. While I fully support unifying undercard titles (such as the US and IC belts), I enjoyed having both a WWE & World Heavyweight Championship. My argument was simple. Two world titles forced the company to have an expanded main event scene. When WWE unified them last December, some believed this would be the restoration of the Intercontinental Championship. That hasn't happened and we've witnessed the main event scene shrink just as I feared. The fact that Daniel Bryan is still carrying both belts (like Randy Orton carried both belts), gives hope to the notion they could split them again but I haven't heard anything about that lately.

Can we expect Brock Lesnar to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship?

The general belief within WWE is that Brock Lesnar will be WWE World Heavyweight Champion going into Wrestlemania 31 next year. I would actually go as far as to say WWE would be missing a major opportunity if they didn't put the strap on Lesnar for Wrestlemania. When Lesnar signed his contract extension with WWE in 2013 it was believed to include a title reign and I can't think of a better situation to follow-up on his defeat of the streak.

I personally think the Adam Rose character has potential to become extremely popular. Do you think WWE will screw this character up like they did with Ryback and Curtis Axel last year?

It's too early one way or the other to judge Adam Rose. People seem to either love the gimmick or hate it but I want to give it a couple of weeks to see what happens. His gimmick is what caused his stock to skyrocket down in NXT so the company obviously has high hopes for it. As for Ryback and Curtis Axel, neither were booked particularly well, however, both had more than enough opportunities to prove their worth. Ryback was given a singles match against Chris Jericho at WWE Money in the Bank last year where he was booked over. He wasn't put in the impossible task of working the main event nor was he faced with taking a loss. He didn't make much of that opportunity.

Do you see Global Force Wrestling getting a national television deal?

I certainly think it's a good possibility that Global Force Wrestling gets a TV deal. They have a significant financial backer in Toby Keith and a legitimate executive producer in David Broome. All they need now is a good talent roster and a place to tape and they should have more than enough to pitch a viable TV program. Jeff Jarrett did it for TNA a decade ago, why couldn't he do it again?

Is there any chance CM Punk comes back for WWE Payback in Chicago on June 1?

Believe it or not, I've received this question multiple times. Anything is possible and it'd be foolish to completely rule CM Punk out for WWE Payback. Like we've talked about on numerous occasions, Vince McMahon made a strong effort to bring Punk back for Raw in Chicago on March 3 and it obviously didn't work out. Punk is under WWE contract until July and Vince still hopes to re-sign him. If an agreement can be reached, there would be no better time to restart on him then June 1 in Chicago, however, there has been no communication with Punk at this time.

From the Ask WNW vault…

January 2013: How do WWE officials feel abut tattoos on wrestlers? - About 10 years ago WWE officials discouraged workers from getting ink, however, tattoos are so popular now, nothing is said. The company includes wrestler tattoos on their merchandise and have features like this on dot com.

I am a huge fan of The Shield but mostly Seth Rollins. Do you think WWE missed the boat in splitting the faction up or does it give them more time to build each as a singles star?

The biggest problem I have with the booking of The Shield is the fact WWE teased dissension for so long only to pivot and turn them. It was the difference of opinions between Vince McMahon and Triple H playing out on television that I didn't like. I was optimistic The Shield would have no problem getting over as babyfaces and they haven't disappointed. Ultimately I think the babyface run will only increase their stock as singles stars and tend to agree they weren't quite ready for singles when the idea of splitting them was first brought up. So to answer your question, I do not think WWE "missed the boat" and only increased their stock with the turn.

Did you notice the negative reaction the crowd gave when Evolution interfered in the Raw main event? It seemed to be more about the fact that Evolution essentially ruined a very good Wyatt vs Shield match the fans loved. This run-in reminded me of WCW's annoying habit of having the nWo do that over and over and generate the wrong kind of heat. Do you think WWE should me more cognizant of this?

Knowing that WWE wants to do The Shield vs. Evolution again at WWE Payback in June, I understood the purpose of the run-in. TV can't be treated like pay-per-view in that it's used to build and further programs and not feature pure wrestling matches. When this type of thing happens on pay-per-view, in a blowoff situation, I'm much more critical. TNA has always had a horrible habit of overbooking high profile matches and that reminds me of the WCW run-ins you mentioned. I had no problem with what happened on Raw but I understand your valid concern.

With the Undertaker being pretty banged up after Wrestlemania, was there any heat on Brock Lesnar for working stiff?

If Brock Lesnar had heat, I didn't hear about it. I heard Brock was very humble after the win and you could see him thanking Undertaker in the ring if you go back and watch closely. Brock Lesnar is what he is and that's part of what makes him such a big draw. Undertaker was concerned about what type of match he could get out of Brock and the fact of the matter is, his concerns were realized when he was concussed early on. The match left a lot to be desired but I warmed to the outcome (after initial rejection) after hearing all sides. The pressure is now off Undertaker on multiple levels. He's no longer faced with being forced to come back or in a situation where it's up to him to save the show. WWE could still do a very high profile match in Sting vs. Undertaker if Undertaker wanted it. If not, he's a first ballot Hall of Famer and will be commended for passing the torch.

For those that are not friends with me on Facebook, I posted a note about the streak on Thursday morning. I'll include it below:

What role do you see Ric Flair taking on with his apparent backing of The Shield. Is this a swerve or legitimate change of heart?

I looked at Ric Flair's endorsement of The Shield prior to Extreme Rules as "there's more to the story." We'll see what becomes of it but it's another element that adds intrigue.

From the Ask WNW vault…

February 2012: Despite only airing for two weeks the angle of Natalya is tedious already. Is there any purpose in it or is it just a way to keep kids entertained during the PG era? - The Natalya “farting” gimmick is disgusting. I have told people that I feel it is Vince McMahon’s immaturity at the forefront, highlighting his weird sense of humor. I don’t know the purpose but I can’t believe someone would find it entertaining.

What are the details on the return of WWE Tough Enough, is it really happening?

Yes, WWE Tough Enough is returning as original WWE Network programming. Little is known other than it'll be taped at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, FL this summer. Bill DeMott, head NXT trainer, has confirmed his involvement and Tweeted me that more information should be announced soon.

A few months ago Ryback was being criticized for his bad attitude and recklessness in the ring, has that changed?

The criticism of Ryback has died down considerably, most likely due to his change on the card. Like it or not, main event talent is scrutinized much more than members of the undercard. I'm not saying Ryback hasn't improved his ways because I know he has done some good media appearances following some of the debacles he had last year but the microscope isn't on him because of where he's booked.

What do you make of the Tweets made by Sheamus, where he called out "dirt sheet heroes" and seemingly referenced a comment posted on WrestlingNewsWorld.com?

I popped for Sheamus on Twitter on Thursday! I always have a lot of fun when wrestlers go after writers; it's entertaining. Sheamus is known for "keeping kayfabe" and it wouldn't surprise me at all if these Tweets were part of what seems like an inevitable heel turn. If Sheamus was legitimately bothered by a story of him falling asleep at Extreme Rules or a comment where one of our readers called him Triple H's "workout buddy," that's fine too. It's human nature to get annoyed over things in the media, especially the mentality in this business where "if you haven't wrestled, you haven't paid your dues." I completely understand why a worker would think that, I just disagree. While I haven't paid my dues in the ring, I've paid my dues in my field. To run a successful publication the size of Wrestling News World without the backing of a large corporation, it takes a lot more than turning on a computer in my mother's basement.

Is it the end of an era for Kurt Angle and TNA Wrestling?

For those that missed it, Kurt Angle's torn ACL is a legitimate injury and he's undergoing surgery on Friday to repair it. Alex Barie broke the news here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com. TNA rolled it into storyline, which will hopefully help Ethan Carter III moving forward. Angle's recovery timetable (4 1/2 months) would suggest Angle has worked his final match in TNA but it's premature to suggest anything is definite. I do not expect to see Angle in TNA past 2014, despite the company's efforts to re-sign him.

From the Ask WNW vault…

June 2013: A couple of years ago, WWE had five pay-per-views between Wrestlemania and Summerslam and this year there are only three. Given that, shouldn’t WWE expect buys to be higher now to make up for lost revenue? And if the buys are not substantially higher now does that mean that their PPV strategy is not working? - There were five pay-per-views between Wrestlemania 25 and SummerSlam in 2009, WWE scaled it back to four until this year, which has now been cut to three. Yes, WWE is hopeful that fewer pay-per-views will mean stronger buy rates for the shows but it’s no secret that the pay-per-view business has changed. This is why WWE is willing to give up the revenue to put the pay-per-views on the forthcoming WWE Network. They would rather use the pay-per-views as the centerpiece of the cable network rather than depend on them to be bought independently.

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