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Two Top ROH Names To WWE, What Got A Title Contender Backstage Heat At Raw, Cesaro's Push Restored?, Wellness Testing, Impact Moving Timeslots, Dolph Ziggler Suffers Serious Concussion, Ryback A Flop?, When WWE Wants CM Punk Back & When He Wants To Come B

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WNW Premium Newsletter

Welcome to the 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 4, 2013 to Friday, May 10, 2013 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

- Peter Chao and The Miz go head-to-head over a cookie. Check out the comedy segment on the set of the new ABC Family film "Christmas Bounty" at this link.

- Highlights from Ryback vs. Daniel Bryan on this week's Smackdown are now online at this link.

- This week's episode of "Backstage Fallout" Smackdown is now online at this link.

- You can check out highlights from Kane vs. Dean Ambrose from this week's Smackdown now online at this link. WWE is clearly moving forward with plans for The Shield to pursue the WWE Tag Team Championship. This is a plan that's been in the works for over two months as we first reported it here on Premium on March 1st. We can confirm there was talk at one point about having The Shield capture the titles on this week's Raw. At this point a future WWE Tag Team Championship reign for The Shield, with two out of three defending the straps, seems imminent. However, I'll caution, plans are always subject to change as this has been in the works for months.

- Dusty Rhodes announced at this week's WWE NXT tapings from Winter Park, Florida at the next set of tapings, on May 23rd, they'll hold a tournament to crown a new NXT Divas Champion. The new NXT Divas title was actually on display at Wrestlemania Fan Axxess.

- Triple H and Stephanie McMahon are supporting Floyd "Money" Mayweather Saturday night in Las Vegas.

- CM Punk has been removed from the list of advertised talent on all upcoming WWE shows. We noted here on last Monday that he was advertised for the 5/27 episode of Monday Night Raw in Calgary and the 6/3 show in Hartford. Further, he was listed as an "advertised talent" for upcoming Raw tours of Japan and Australia. As of this writing, he's been yanked from all of these dates. As of this writing, I don't know if Punk being listed was an oversight or if there has been a change in his return to the company. On Saturday, WWE posted a kayfabe article here on dot com, wondering if CM Punk would ever been seen in a WWE ring again.

- TMZ has a pretty ridiculous story online on UFC fighter Chael Sonnen wanting to buy WWE when he retires from the octagon. A WWE representative is quoted in the piece, saying Chael is more than welcome to purchase shares of WWE stock and become one of their valued shareholders.

- Several WWE NXT workers are on the road with the main WWE roster this weekend. Adrian Neville, Emma, Paige and Bray Wyatt worked Friday night's WWE Raw live event in Youngstown, Ohio. Corey Graves worked the Smackdown live event on Saturday night in Reading, PA.

- John Cena hasn't taken any time away from the ring since suffering a right Achilles injury on WWE's post-Wrestlemania European tour. The WWE Champion has worked live events this weekend in Youngstown, Ohio and Wheeling, West Virginia and says he feels great.

In fact, he's worked both of them without his injured ankle tapped. The following is from Cena's verified Twitter account:

Cena will test things again on Sunday evening at a Raw live event in Charleston, West Virginia before heading south for this week's Monday Night Raw in Roanoke, Virginia. Join us Monday night at 7:30 PM EDT for our "Open Thread" Watch Party for streaming discussion and results here at

- WWE is running an angle on dot com Monday afternoon to continue Brock Lesnar's program with Triple H with involvement from Paul Heyman.

The gist of the "story" is Brock and Heyman "went to WWE headquarters" to meet with Hunter in his office and Brock "demolished a wall" with a sledgehammer.

May 6, 2013 2:24 PM EDT Update: Heyman just Tweeted this:

End update Lesnar and Triple H will face each other in a steel cage match at WWE Extreme Rules on Sunday, May 19, 2013. We'll have full coverage here at - Sean "Diddy" Combs and WWE put out a new PSA for the Be-A-Star anti-bullying program. You can watch it at this link. - Jim Ross posted a new blog on Monday on his official website. In it, he examines his idea of NFL free agent Tim Tebow going to WWE. Below is an excerpt:

My idea that Tim Tebow might find success in WWE apparently struck a chord with some media types. It's not the worst idea I've ever spewed. Tebow is young, 25, big and athletic, enjoys working with charitable organizations ala Make a Wish Foundation, etc and is coachable. Tim could be a positive role model in the ring and touch lives around the world via the WWE's global footprint. (Of course, being a positive role model in the ring in today's world often times means getting booed out of the building.) Is Tebow to WWE a long shot? Absolutely. I doubt, but don't know, that it's ever been seriously discussed within the WWE. But it's certainly an intriguing idea if for nothing else for a well constructed, long term storyline that could culminate at WrestleMania 30 in New Orleans. The headlines an offer would garner, if formally made to the former Heisman Trophy winner, would be widespread. ESPN's Skip Bayless would likely be appalled. Oh, the humanity....

Click here to read JR's latest in its entirety. - We reported here on that Davey Richards specifically told me that he was signed with Ring of Honor until September 2013, despite teases he was heading to WWE. In a further update, we're told he has already signed a "pre-deal" with WWE to begin the heath screening process. Basically the document locks a worker in, pending the outcome of the tests. WWE does this so the talent is bound but if they don't pass, they are entitled to nothing. The screening process can take time so WWE likes to get the ball rolling early. We're also told Adam Cole has also begun the pre-screening process and is WWE bound. - WWE developmental worker Bray Wyatt(formerly known as Husky Harris) worked Raw live events this weekend in a face mask. This caused some to believe he was getting a gimmick makeover before being brought to TV, which isn't accurate. Wyatt wore the mask because of a broken nose. He Tweeted the following photo:

Below is his response to a fan that told him to remove the mask:

- To follow-up on CM Punk being removed from upcoming WWE dates, there doesn't seem to be anything to it. Apparently Punk being listed on the events in the first place was an oversight, something I mentioned in my original report, and nothing regarding his status has changed. Punk is taking time away from the ring to heal from injuries, as he was actually pulled from live events prior to Wrestlemania 29 due to concerns regarding his health. His match against Undertaker only made his problems worse and by many accounts, Punk is lucky he didn't require surgery. The former WWE Champion remains out indefinitely.

- Last week's episode of WWE Smackdown did an average viewing audience of 2,471,000 viewers on SyFy. The show did a 1.82 cable rating.

- It was announced on this week's WWE Raw that John Cena will defend the WWE Championship against Ryback in a Last Man Standing Match at Extreme Rules later this month. Video of the segment, where the stipulation was set, is now online at this link.

- The Brock Lesnar/Paul Heyman segment that aired on this week's WWE Raw but was promoted throughout the day was taped at Titan Towers in Stamford, CT last week. Video of the segment is now online at this link.

- Sheamus vs. Mark Henry in a strap match was added to the Extreme Rules.

- The new reality series featuring WWE Divas called "Total Divas" premieres on Sunday nights in July on E! An exact date has yet to be announced. A video teaser is available at this link.

- The Miz didn't appear as advertised on this week's WWE Raw because he wasn't there. Miz was finishing up filming the new ABC Family movie "Christmas Bounty."

The former WWE Champion Tweeted the following with a photo:

- WWE Champion John Cena & WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No b. The Shield via disqualification in a dark match main event following this week's WWE Raw taping. The Shield was disqualified when Seth Rollins hit Cena with a chair. The babyfaces hit their finishers on The Shield after the match to send the crowd home happy.

- The latest WWE Studios film "No One Lives" featuring Brodus Clay opens in theaters this Friday. You can watch a trailer at this link.

- Chris Jericho is scheduled to appear in a "dance off" segment with Fandango on next week's episode of WWE Monday Night Raw. Next week's Raw will take place from the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

- Jerry Lawler is scheduled to retune to the ring on May 25th with Dory Funk Jr.'s !Bang! promotion. Lawler will team with Funk in Ocala, Florida. This will be Lawler's first match since suffering a heart attack on September 10, 2012.

- WWE released a new PSA with Triple H for their "Make Mom Proud" campaign with Susan G. Komen. You can watch it at this link.

- Mark Henry left his mark on Sheamus following the belt attack on this week's WWE Raw. Sheamus Tweeted the following photo:

- This week's episode of "Backstage Fallout" Raw is now online at this link.

- interviewed Brodus Clay to promote the release of "No One Lives" in theaters Friday. The full audio of the interview is online at this link. Below is an excerpt from their transcript: Now you touched on this a little bit. The film is rated R and it’s about a gang of killers that kidnap a couple on the verge of a trip across the country. Now the character you play is sort of at odds with the kid-friendly role you portray on WWE TV. You sort of mentioned that you grabbed it just because it was available but was there any trepidation on your part to accept this role?

BC: At the time, when I took the role, I was Alberto Del Rio’s bodyguard and the character I was playing was a villain. So this was filmed almost two years ago so the ‘Funkasaurus’ hadn’t been born yet. But I do believe that in life that you can’t do everything with your parents and I think the same thing with role models and people you look up to or entertain. This is definitely an after ten o’clock movie, where most kids should be in bed. You know, it is rated R and they would d need their parents to watch something like that. But I would say a horror movie is probably not a good thing for a child to watch. But it’s okay I think to be able to be different things and play different things because this isn’t the ‘Funkasaurus’ chopping people up and doing things like that. This is a character that I’m playing called Ethan so it’s different and I think that if you have open dialogue where it’s okay to say ‘hey kids, I appreciate the support. But this is a scary movie and it’s not something that I would have you watch.’ And I think it’s okay to say that. I think if you ignore it, then there’s a problem but I think it’s okay to say that. There’s some things that you can’t do with mom and dad and there’s some things you can’t do with the ‘Funkasaurus,’ and that’s watch Ethan in a scary movie unless, you know, your parents are okay with that. Switching gears real quick let’s talk WWE for a minute if we can, initially you were coming into the company as this menacing character and after a few short weeks, we get this smiling, dancing ‘Funkasaurus’- talk about the switch to this fan-friendly character as you made your debut more than a year ago.

BC: What had happened was, backstage I joke a lot. I’m always teasing and clowning around and laughing and in the locker room I tend to always have something to say. We’re always laughing and stuff and people would see that. And while we were working on the character, it was brought to my attention like ‘Why aren’t you doing that out there?’ And I was like ‘Well obviously, you wouldn’t let me.’ And looking at the lay of the land- Mark Henry was getting ready to come back and he was gonna be a monster. Kane was making his comeback and he was gonna be a monster. Big Show has a lot of monster tendencies. So I wanted to be different. I wanted to take a risk. I wanted to try something they hadn’t seen since Junkyard Dog, just bringing the kids back and dancing in the ring and just trying to do something a little bit different. Of course, the character evolves- the idea was to pull it back at some point, be more serious in the ring at times. But just bring the entertainment value back, bring the character back. So it was a risk and it could have been horrible but I think fans wanted something like that and families wanted something like that in terms of a character that’s fun and entertaining and makes everybody want to dance and get up. That’s part of what wrestling is all about, you know? The pageantry, the cool entrances, and pyro, and people being a part of it and wanting to be a part of it and so I was very excited to give them the opportunity. And looking at it and how things have turned out, I think it was a great decision. So Wrestlemania 29 just came and went- it was right in our area the New Jersey/New York City area and despite being booked on the show, your match got scrapped at the last minute and moved to Monday Night Raw the following night. How were you told that you guys were being pulled from the show and although I’m sure you were disappointed- are you making it a primary focus for you to make sure you’re on the card next year?

BC: Actually the way we were told was with the utmost class- as best you could in that situation. We were told in Gorilla [Ed. Note- called the ‘Gorilla Position’ after Gorilla Monsoon, typically situated backstage close to the entrance to the ring, where much of the backstage goings-on/production decisions are made] five minutes before we were supposed to go out. And for me personally, it was devastating. You know, we worked so hard- it was going to be a big night. But I took a different route in terms of expressing- I wanted to be positive. I thought about my fans and the kids and stuff. I can teach from this, we can learn from this. This is a great lesson in terms of life and it wasn’t an easy decision but I had put a Tweet out about like, ‘In life, sometimes you gotta get your heart broke to know what you love.’ And it got a huge response from the fans and then I said- I put another one out saying ‘365 to redemption. We will get back. We will get our opportunity. We will work harder. We’ll put ourselves in a position where they can’t possibly cut us, due to time constraints.’ And it’s just kind of grown. And now I’m actually in day- I chronologize each day until Wrestlemania. We’re at day 24 today. I start out with positive words about how we’re gonna approach the day and focus on our goals. And it’s gotten a really big response from the fans. They’re taking a part of it. I’m getting personal testimonies from people- a lot of people talking about losing weight focusing on school, and getting their job right, and being a better person. I Re-tweet each one and I save it and I take pictures of it and when I’m all done, we’re gonna print it all off and I’m gonna put it in a coffee table book and we’re gonna maybe find a charity and raise money for a charity and get it out there. No mistake about it, I was crushed but I felt when you’re in a position where people look at you for a reaction and stuff, to feel sorry for yourself or to place blame or to cry unfair, you can take something- it happens to us all the time. People get let down all the time. They’ve done everything right. It just doesn’t work out. You have to take it and use and that’s what I’m doing and some of the stories that are being shared with me, I take it away and it’s just something I’m very proud of. It’s basically every day, talking about what you’re going to do to reach your goals. Some people put really lofty goals out there. Some people put some simple ones. One of them was like ‘My goal of redemption is to get a Tweet from Brodus Clay.’ I’m like ‘You did it. Congratulations. Maybe raise the bar a little higher.’ Some of the other ones was dealing with weight loss and stuff. When I first came back to WWE I was about 489 pounds. Now I’m down to 362 and working and training hard, watching what I eat, and staying in the weight room. You know, it’s been a lot of ups and downs and stuff but focusing on that and being on the positive and giving people something to talk about makes you relatable. So it’s really taken on, and it’s not scripted- it’s not something me and the writers came about. I’m doing this regardless of whatever the outcome is. Some people are like ‘it’s too early’ but I don’t think it’s ever early to build on something. And some of the people I’m getting to know through this has really been an eye opening experience for me. So definitely taking a negative and turning it into a positive.

Click here to read the transcript in its entirety as well as the full audio of the interview.

Backstage news from WWE Raw in Roanoke, Virginia…

- We're told Jack Swagger got heat as soon as he got backstage for being careless with the ladder following Alberto Del Rio's match against Dolph Ziggler. Not only from Del Rio but from WWE officials as well. The feeling was he was reckless and could have hurt someone.

- Look for the Divas to continue to be featured with more television time with the "Total Divas" reality series coming to E! in July.

- It looks as though the push may be back on for Antonio Cesaro as they scrapped the yodeling gimmick and are resetting his character. Officials were high up on the promo he cut after squashing Zack Ryder. He isn't expected to go over Randy Orton on this week's WWE Main Event but officials want to see if he can work yet another good match.

- Brock Lesnar staring at the Royal Rumble promotional poster (featuring The Rock) was the company's way of subtly teasing a possible match between the two. Much has been written about WWE wanting to do a Brock/Rock confrontation on Raw the night after Wrestlemania but it was scrapped due to Rock's injury.

- We heard the locker room was abuzz about Wellness Testing next week which begs the question why it would be talked about before the tests were administered.

- WWE Monday Night Raw lost its audience this week, setting a new yearly low with an alarmingly small viewing audience. The show averaged 3,917,000 viewers on the USA Network. Below is the breakdown by hour:

Hour one - 3,970,000 viewers
Hour two - 3,870,000 viewers
Hour three - 3,910,000 viewers

Raw ended up with a 2.9 cable rating.

- WWE has signed Smith "Big Game" James to a developmental contract. Primarily known for his work on the Northeast independent scene, James was trained by TNA announcer Taz.

James wrote the following on Twitter:

You can check out some of his matches here on

- We've received some email from readers that are looking to see "No One Lives," the latest WWE Studios film with Brodus Clay, this weekend. You can find theaters it will be in at this link.

- Jim Ross has a new blog entry available on his official website. Below is an excerpt:

Scheduled to go hog hunting with @ShawnMichaels next week on his Texas ranch. This will be taped for a future episode of HBK's Outdoor Network TV show. I might end up being a cross between Si on @DuckDynastyAE and the patriarch of the family on American Hoggers. I'm going to use a cross bow to 'harvest' some feral hogs. Yep, a BBQ is being planned as well.

Read online that @JerryLawler is returning to the ring for Dory Funk, Jr promotion in Ocala, Florida on May 25. I haven't talked to Jerry in a good while but wish him well if this is what he wants to do. Obviously, King's cardiologist has been consulted one would assume on this matter. Jerry had much rather wrestle than announce any day and he's getting back in the ring north of 60 years of age because he loves it and not because he needs the cash. I wish him the best as always.

JR also gives his full thoughts on this week's WWE Raw at this link.

- Sin Cara provided the following injury update on his Twitter account:

- Following this week's Smackdown taping in Raleigh, North Carolina, Sheamus & Randy Orton b. Big Show & Mark Henry. The finish saw the babyfaces hitting their finishers, sending the crowd him happy.

- Shane "Hurricane" Helms was backstage at this week's Smackdown taping in Raleigh, visiting with friends. John Layfield Tweeted a photo that you can view below:

- Adrian Neville (formerly known as PAC) beat Curt Hawkins in a dark match prior to this week's Smackdown taping.

- Attendance for this week's Smackdown was sparse from the PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. Below is a photo of the arena that shows a large portion of empty seats:

You can view another shot of the low crowd, where Adrian Neville is performing, at this link.

- More of your questions are answered by WWE Superstars and Divas in this week's episode of WWE Inbox. You can watch it now at this link.

- Kane, under his real name Glenn Jacobs, has a new editorial online on The Daily Caller regarding the wealth gap in the United States. You can read it at this link.

- Dot com has a new Q&A online with John Morrison to promote his new "Out of Your Mind Fitness." In the piece, Morrison comments on a possible WWE return. Below is an excerpt:

WWE.COM: What is John Morrison doing now, almost 18 months after leaving WWE?

MORRISON: Life is a pretty awesome ride. Since stepping off [the WWE] train, I’ve been writing some [film] shorts and a feature that I’m hoping to produce and star in. I just wrapped a movie called, “The Factory.” I’ve also been training for stunt work, acting for some independent classics, and working out.

WWE.COM: Any thoughts on your former tag team partner?

MORRISON: The Miz went and became a good guy, which defies logic to me. Although I’d love to kick his a** for that last night I was on Raw, now I guess that means we’d be on the same side. I can’t believe he’s doing the Figure-Four. I mean, it’s a great hold. Ric Flair made it what it is. If you’re going to steal from somebody, why not steal from the best? It’s not a bad decision.

WWE.COM: For a multi-talented athlete who shifts from screenwriting to stunt free-falling and now fully developed an “Out of Your Mind” exercise revolution, is a WWE return out of the question?

MORRISON: By the time you hear the thunder, it will be too late because the lightning would have already struck.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- Variety is reporting that WWE will not be among the dozens of subscription-video channels launching on YouTube on Thursday. According to their report, citing anonymous sources, the Google-owned service tried to get WWE as one of their "anchor" tenants for the new pay-channel initiative but WWE opted to stick with ad-supported properties instead. Click here for coverage by Variety.

- The UK Sun is reporting that WWE has confirmed that Paul Bearer will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame next year. We reported here on on May 1, 2013 that Bearer was considered a lock but it appears as though The UK Sun got the full confirmation.

- The Rock has had to miss some promotional commitments in the United Kingdom for Fast & Furious 6 as he's been unable to travel overseas following hernia surgery.

- WWE announced a new deal with toy manufacturer The Bridge Direct on Wednesday to develop a market construction toys based on WWE events and characters. The toys are expected in stores next spring.

- The official WWE website is reporting that Dolph Ziggler suffered a concussion at this week's Smackdown taping in Raleigh, North Carolina. The injury occurred when Ziggler took a blow to the face after interfering in a Big E Langston match. An excerpt from the article elaborates on the injury:

“He [was] having some memory difficulties and a bit of a headache … he definitely has a concussion,” said Sampson. “We’re checking him out, and going to be doing neuropsychological testing and just keep it monitored.”

We will update you on the nature of Ziggler's injury as more information becomes available. Click here to view full spoilers for this week's Smackdown.

- Dolph Ziggler's concussion is legitimate and occurred during a segment involving a ladder with Alberto Del Rio and Jack Swagger following a bout taped for this week's Smackdown. We don't have the specific details on which spot the concussion occurred but Swagger got heat Monday night for being reckless with a ladder on Raw. Both WWE officials and Del Rio were vocal in that Swagger could have hurt someone. There has not been a decision made on what to do at Extreme Rules but Ziggler will not be medically cleared until he passes ImPACT-Testing. We actually heard early Wednesday morning that Ziggler was examined backstage at the Smackdown taping in Raleigh, North Carolina although our source was unaware if what they were doing was part of a storyline. Once WWE posted the story on dot com, we were able to verify the legitimacy of the injury.

- As you may noticed, no new matches have been taped for WWE Saturday Morning Slam in the past two weeks. This Saturday's show was taped on April 23 in London (taping results) but there is no content in the can moving forward. I haven't heard if WWE just wanted to "catchup" or if the show is ending. They could always tape new material for next week's show next Tuesday but I haven't heard one way or the other.

- This week's bottomless WWE Raw rating isn't good news for Ryback (See also -This Week’s WWE Raw Draws Lowest Audience Of The Year). Featured in the main event against Kane, the overrun segment only drew a 2.99 overrun rating.

- Former WWE creative head Eric Pankowski has been hired by CBS TV Distribution to develop first-run syndicated programming and oversee current shows. Deadline Hollywood has the story at this link.

- WWE is "hard at work" figuring out not only when CM Punk will return but also who he'll be returning to work with. We're told the former 434-day WWE Champion is in "no rush" to come back and hasn't given much thought about a return program.

While WWE is urging the Straight Edge superstar to come back in time for WWE Payback in Chicago next month, we're told Punk prefers a return closer to SummerSlam. Our source says they feel he'll be back in time for Payback and that sitting out until August would be pushing his luck.

Regardless of when Punk comes back, his main focus right now is on Wrestlemania XXX next year. According to a source close to him, he feels like he stole the show with Undertaker at Wrestlemania 29 and his goal is to get into at least the second highest profile match at the show next year -- as opposed to being in the third highest profile match like he was this year.

Whether it's as a heel or a babyface, Punk wants to try to get the highest spot on the card he can and he's had several discussions with Paul Heyman during his time off, looking at the landscape and strategizing for how to get himself into the biggest match possible at WrestleMania XXX.

It's still too early to know whether or not The Rock will change his mind about returning to the ring, if he doesn't, one match that intrigues Punk is a bout against Brock Lesnar. Our source says Punk would be willing to go babyface and split with Heyman to make the match happen.

- WWE issued the following statement to Wrestling News World, explaining why no new content has been taped for WWE Saturday Morning Slam in the last two weeks:

It has always been the plan to air the first season of Saturday Morning Slam on The CW from August 2012 through May 2013, as this is a typical television season. WWE is currently in discussions about a second season, and if we reach an agreement, the show will begin airing again in August.

- Chris Jericho recently spoke on the Fandango character and Vince McMahon's affection for it. Below is an excerpt from his comments given to Hooked on Wrestling:

"I think probably when I did Dancing with the Stars Vince probably watched it and thought all the dancers looked gay and thought they'd make a great heel. This is his new pet project. He loves it. He's rolled with it from the start and now it's getting over to a degree - I don't know if he's more over or the song is over, but at least there's a reaction.

"To be honest I did a lot of that to make it happen. It's why Vince put me with him for Wrestlemania. I wasn't really super excited about it at the start as you can probably imagine but but then after a bit I realised what the task was and that it was a challenge!

"I told Vince probably about a week before Wrestlemania, he's going to be a babyface soon. "Why?" he says. Because it's such a ridiculous character and he plays it so well so far that most of the crowd will be cheering for him too.

"It's hilarious. Here we are two weeks later and he's the most over guy on the show. Well, at least his music is."

Click here for more Hooked on Wrestling.

- Jim Ross has a new blog entry on his official website where he writes about the concussion suffered by World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler at this week's Smackdown taping. Below is an excerpt:

WWE World Champion Dolph Ziggler has a serious concussion which may be a redundant statement because what concussion isn't serious? There's no timeline as to Ziggler's return as WWE will be particularly cautious in dealing with any injury but especially a head injury.

Scary thought is that years ago, in the territory days specifically, wrestlers worked through a litany of injuries including concussions because if they didn't wrestle they didn't get paid. For those that constantly love to embrace the "good, old days" as the be all, end all, keep that in mind. I miss many aspects of yesteryear as much as any lifelong fan but how talents were medically treated back in the day is unsettling.

Certainly the same can be said of the NFL as the horror stories as told by former players and coaches of the "good, old days" sound similar to pro wrestling in previous generations.

The medical advances in WWE are extremely understated. A team doctor is at every WWE event including a licensed, certified athletic trainer. Medical evaluations done on an annual basis and to all who enter the developmental program are extensive and through.

Jerry Lawler would be dead today if it had not been for the medical procedures that WWE has in place.

It worries me to think of the issues that many independent wrestlers face as it relates to injuries in today's world because many of them do not have affordable access to needed medical care and many of the promotions and promoters can't afford it either.

The new, WWE Performance Center will always have a full time trainer on hand, ready access to medical personnel and a full time Strength and Conditioning coach who will help the athletes get stronger and more fit as that will help prevent some injuries.

New talents coming to WWE go through a through, extensive process including through medical evaluation before they are allowed to report to work.

Click here to read JR's latest in its entirety.

- WWE has a new article titled "Was Goldberg's WWE run successful?" Below is the conclusion of the article:

There was a lot more to Goldberg than the three pronged attack of spear, Jackhammer, pin, but there always seemed to be an unwillingness to accept that. Did crowds love Goldberg? Hell yeah. The man adapted to and excelled in sports-entertainment with preternatural abilities. His aggressiveness was addictive. Plus he was a flat-out beast, right there alongside the likes of Brock Lesnar, Batista and Ryback as a true freak specimen of the ring. But most folks loved Goldberg for what he once was — not what he became.

Goldberg beat The Rock and Kane during his time in WWE and defeated Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship, but by the time he showed up in Madison Square Garden to face Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania XX, WWE fans were booing him. The New York City crowd was disappointed that this would be his last night in the company as much as they were disappointed that Goldberg was not the Superstar they’d imagined him to be.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- Steve Austin hosted Kevin Nash on his podcast at this link.

- The Tampa Tribune ran a piece on "No One Lives" with Brodus Clay that featured quotes from the wrestler-turned-actor. You can read it at this link.

- has a new article online featuring quotes from David Otunga. You can read it at this link.

- Triple H recently indicated on Twitter the new WWE Performance Center is slated to open in July 2013. The timeline WWE has officially announced is "Summer 2013." Hunter was also asked about the WWE Network in which he replied, "it's coming." You can follow Triple H on Twitter @TripleH. Make sure you follow us @WNWNews.

- Brodus Clay participated in the latest WWE Hangout and the footage has been archived on YouTube. Click here to watch it.

- Dolph Ziggler isn't expected to work this weekend's Smackdown live events in Texas due to the concussion he suffered at Tuesday's Smackdown taping. The World Heavyweight Champion is out indefinitely.

- Daniel Bryan won the first ever SUPERStar Search on The JBL & Cole Show. This week's episode is online at this link.

- WWE announced on Friday (here on dot com) that the May 27th episode of Monday Night Raw will be Bret Hart Appreciation Night. The only detail announced was that Hart will be attendance for the show from the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary.

- If copious amounts of blood do it for you, you won't want to miss "No One Lives" this weekend with Brodus Clay. The wrestler-turned-actor told the amount of blood used in the film is "unreal." Below is an excerpt:

The amount of blood that is used in the movie is unreal. The makeup guys are phenomenal because they make their own blood. That was one thing about this movie that I was really honored to be a part of, it was done “in film” like a traditional movie and no CGI. It’s all done by the makeup department which, when it comes to a horror movie, is key. That’s what I think makes it real. When you can actually see it. The amount of energy and effort that went into that is just amazing.

Click here to read a complete Q&A that Clay did with Click here for details on where you can catch the flick this weekend.

- The WWE office is "very happy" with the progress of Fandango. Not only that, we're told his success has scored a lot of points internally for Terry Taylor. Taylor, who works as a trainer at WWE NXT, worked closely with Fandango for months in developmental and made him a bit of a "personal project." Terry is a guy that came over from TNA Wrestling and is considered part of the new "Triple H regime." We're told the success of Fandango has shut up some of his critics that questioned his ability to help develop new talent. The gimmick is considered a "feather in his cap" as it was Taylor that went to bat for Fandango while he was languishing in developmental after his failed run on Smackdown as Johnny Curtis.

- WWE has officially announced Randy Orton vs. Big Show for Extreme Rules later this month. The bout will be an Extreme Rules Match.

TNA News

- In an interview with Running the Ropes to promote her upcoming album (Somebody's Gonna Pay in stores May 7th),Mickie James expressed frustration with her current role in TNA Wrestling.

Mickie on being frustrated: (h/t TNASylum)

"I know I’ve seemed a little bit frustrated as of late in some of my promos and stuff, but I honestly feel that for the past year I’ve probably been on less than 10 shows. I’ve barely done anything. It’s awesome to be able to come back and win the number one contendership and go for the title, but I’m sick and tired of feeling like I'm sitting at home and watching all these other people. I did get injured and I was sick, but I was already off TV when I got hurt.

"It’s so frustrating when you know that you’re one of the best in the world, and you’re sitting at home. I love going out there and making magic and telling a story, but I don’t love pretending that I’m okay sitting at home when I’m not. I’m just being real and being honest about it. It’s not me trying to be this awful person. I’m the one who has to look at myself in the mirror and if I’m not happy with what I’m doing or not doing, then I’m the one who has to face that. So that’s kind of where I’m at. I know people question that like ‘Oh are you turning heel?’ And I’m like ‘No, not really. I’m just being honest."

Mickie went on to talk about the forgotten state of the TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championship and her popularity compared to Velvet Sky.

Click here to read a complete recap.

- has an interesting article online, highlighting comments made by Dixie Cater to BANG Showbiz. Below is an excerpt, featuring the quotes attributed to Dixie:

"He (Hulk) is bigger than any brand, company, name - he is synonymous with wrestling and is probably one of the most recognizable faces or figures on the entire planet. Name me someone who is alive today who'd be more recognizable in any corner of the world? In places like Africa and Asia, or if you were walking in Thailand? Princess Diana or Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley maybe? But they aren't even with us anymore. The Rock?"

"Well, if you are walking in a village in Africa would people know who The Rock was? I think his film work has been outstanding. I'm a huge fan of The Rock, I think he is phenomenal, but would that happen?"

Click here for more.

- TNA Wrestling has released a new EP called "Delirium" on Tracks included that can be purchased separately include the themes of Bad Influence, Kenny King, Motorcity Machine Guns, Jesse Godderz, Christian York, Garett Bischoff and Jack Evans. Click here for more.

- The latest "Bracing for Impact" column is now available on the official TNA Wrestling website where the author looks as the "turning point" of the war between TNA and Aces and Eights. Click here to read it.

- The second country music album of Mickie James, titled "Everybody's Gonna Pay," was released on Tuesday on iTunes. Below is the track listing for the album:

1. "Somebody's Gonna Pay"
2. "Best Damn Night"
3. "Whatever Turns You On"
4. "A Good Time"
5. "Long Way Down"
6. "If I Can't Be Me"
7. "Goin' Fast"
8. "I'm Gone Song"
9. "80 Proof"
10. "Hurts Don't It"
11. "I Just Wanna Do My Thing"
12. "Hardcore Country" (Bonus Track)

Click here for more including details on purchasing.

- TNA Wrestling posted the following on their verified Twitter account:

Magnus Speaks on Mickie James Video

Christy Hemme interviewed Magnus about appearing in Mickie James' music video "Somebody's Gonna Pay." You can watch it at this link.

- Dixie Carter announced Wednesday on Twitter that Impact Wrestling is moving back to its 9-11 PM ET timeslot on Spike TV. The following is from her verified Twitter account:

The news comes after the show drew its lowest audience of the year (with an average viewing audience 1,104,000 viewers) last week. Oddly enough, it was the first Impact of the month of May in 2010 (when Impact was airing on Monday nights) when the company reverted back to Thursday nights after drawing an average viewing audience of 1,100,000 viewers on May 3, 2010.

I really crunched some numbers in the latest WNW Premium Mailbag.

- Wrestle Talk TV posted the full version of their shoot interview conducted with Sting earlier this year. You can watch it at this link.

- Eric Bischoff was asked on Twitter when he will be returning to an on-air role in wrestling. Eric responded by saying it is not going to happen and he is officially retired. Below are the tweets:

Eric was interviewed over a month ago where he said he won't be in TNA Wrestling much longer. Eric's role in the business right now is to help and grow the writers and bookers.

There is a fantastic article on where it highlights the positives and negatives of Eric, and Hulk Hogan, since they been in the company.

- TNA Wrestling has partnered with YouTube to launch a new Subscription Channel. The press release is below:

On Thursday afternoon, YouTube announced the debut of a new Subscription Channel Service, featuring content from a select number of YouTube partners, including TNA Wrestling!

Other partners include the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Comedy TV, Jim Henson TV, National Georgraphic, Pets.TV and more! The full list of partner subscription channels can be found at:

Fans can visit our new subscription channel at:

The new channel includes the majority of our Pay-Per-View and DVD archives. Additional titles from 2012 and more premium content will be added on a weekly basis! Fans can still visit our main YouTube channel for regular weekly content.

Fans can also visit our video service for even more footage you won't find on YouTube!

You can read the official YouTube Subscription Channel announcement at:

- For those that missed this week's episode of Impact Wrestling or didn't read our results report by Alex Barie, Abyss made his return. The character hasn't been used since early 2012 in favor of the Joseph Park gimmick, also played by Chris Parks, as the "brother" of Abyss. You can watch the return at this link.

- TNA is bringing back the Suicide character, a gimmick created in 2008 and not used since 2011. You can watch the hype vignette for the return at this link.

- TMZ is reporting that Hulk Hogan is attempting to eradicate all copies of his sex tape with Heather Clem from the Internet. In addition to getting a temporary restraining order against Gawker Media, Hogan has his legal team targeting any website that features footage from the tape including photos. TMZ obtained a letter Hogan's attorney sent to, requesting they remove all screen shots of the sex footage or face drastic legal action.

- TNA Wrestling's new paid subscription YouTube channel is now online at this link. The channel features several of the company's pay-per-views from 2004 through 2012 archived for viewing. The cost to subscribe is $4.99/month with a 14-day free trial. You can check it out at this link.

- This week's episode of Impact Wrestling did an average viewing audience of 1,270,000 viewers on Spike TV. This was up from the 1,104,000 viewers they did last week, which was their new yearly low. The show ended up with a 0.99 cable rating.


With The Shield doing the same thing every week, would a reign as WWE Tag Team Champions get them over more?

While I have been very high up on The Shield, I've also cautioned they can't do the same thing forever. We've seen them booked with confidence, "bringing top talent to justice," but now it's time for further gimmick progression. I like Dean Ambrose in consecutive singles matches on Smackdown and would be in favor of the idea that's been talked about for months in putting them over for the WWE Tag Team Championship. Yes, a title reign would help in the efforts to get The Shield over, furthering establishing them as one of the greatest wrestling trios. We have more at this link.

WWE had a great thing going with their tag division but they've let it die again. Why?

Tag teams are something Vince McMahon went back and forth on in the weeks leading up to Wrestlemania. Literally, one week he was pushing for more teams and a bigger push, then the next week he was wanting to breakup teams and push them as singles. This mentality couldn't have been made clearer in the booking of Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow. They were a team, broken up, back a team, etc. I can't really offer you an explanation other than Vince gets hot and cold on tag teams.

How about a "where are they now?" update on Lance Storm?

Lance Storm runs a pro wrestling school in Calgary and is one of the best trainers in this business. In fact, he occasionally makes trips to WWE developmental to help out there. The Storm Wrestling Academy started a new training session on Monday that lasts until July 26, 2013. If you're looking to get into the wrestling business, you need to get trained by someone like Storm. More details are available at this link.

Team Hell No looked great last week as singles on Smackdown. Do you see either Kane or Daniel Bryan receiving pushes as singles any time soon?

It's my hope that Daniel Bryan and Kane are broken up this summer and pushed as singles workers. Team Hell No has been fun and more than served its purpose, however, I'm ready to see something else with them. The talk has been they'll drop the belts and end up working with one another, but at the rate things change, who knows. I wholeheartedly believe Daniel Bryan is capable of stepping up and filling one of WWE's voids at the top of the card.

What is next for CM Punk and who is he most likely going to have a program with next?

CM Punk is out indefinitely and there are currently no plans regarding his return to WWE. We noted over the weekend he was removed from all upcoming WWE shows and linked to a kayfabe article posted on dot com, where they wondered if Punk would ever step foot in the WWE ring again. I followed-up on Monday that there was nothing to Punk's removal and he wasn't supposed to be listed in the first place. Punk enjoyed baseball at Wrigley Monday night and continues to recharge his batteries.

Does WWE offer free tickets to the families of wrestlers?

WWE talent can obtain "comp" tickets for their family members and friends so they can attend for free, however, only if the event is not sold out. If the show is sold out, comps aren't available and the family members/friends are unable to attend unless they purchase their own tickets. So to answer your question, yes, WWE provides comps but only when the shows are not completely sold out.

What are your thoughts on Matt Morgan insulting IWC?

I haven't heard any of Matt Morgan's recent comments but perhaps I can shed a little more light on the mentality some workers have when it comes to IWC. These workers, and I believe Morgan to be one of them, feel as though writers such as myself haven't earned the right to critique the wrestling business. So anything we write, should be ridiculed, if not downright dismissed. I can see both sides to this. There's a lot of crap out there. I pay attention to what gets posted online and the majority of websites are piggy-backing off someone else. For example, I saw Morgan got annoyed with an online report (outside of WNW) that stated one of TNA's tapings were heavily papered. One writer reported the show was filled with papered "free tickets," and then that same report ended up widespread. The people that ripped the report didn't call the box office or check with a source in TNA, they just grabbed it and ran it as fact. Do you know how annoying that is, especially if the original information is unfounded? On the other hand, there are people, such as myself, that dedicate their careers to creating quality content. I'm not perfect and I'm only human, but I do try to provide readers with the best content possible. No matter what I do, guys like Matt Morgan are going to dislike me, because I haven't paid my dues in the wrestling business. The problem with this mentality is it's outdated. It's 2013, not 1993 or even 2003. The Internet is here to stay and information flows as quickly as ever. You can hate it, ridicule and dismiss it but that doesn't mean it's going to go away. TNA in particular does a bad job in teaching their personalities how to deal with the media. Have you ever visited Hulk Hogan's Twitter account? I'm never going to pursue a career as a pro wrestler. I'm a writer. I chose to pursue the business from a different angle and just because I haven't "paid my dues" in the ring doesn't mean I haven't "paid my dues" mastering my craft.

I'm your opinion, out of the three members of The Shield, who do you think will win a singles championship first?

I've shied away from this question directly although I stated here in Ask WNW on 4/26 I had no problem with the classification of Dean Ambrose as #1, Seth Rollins as #2 and Roman Reigns as #3 but all were equally impressive and held in high regard. If there is one thing that does set Dean Ambrose slightly ahead of the other two are his facial expressions. The guy just knows how to sell by using the appropriate expression, as he's one of the best I've ever seen at that.

I'm having a hard time accepting the fact that Sting of all people is getting a title shot at Slammiversary. I understand his role in the storyline but other than the fact he "won" the #1 Contender's Match, I feel as if he is just being handed the shot because he is Sting. What are your thoughts?

We talked about this on Monday here on my Facebook account and a spirited discussion ensued. This is the fourth straight Slammiversary that Sting has been in the TNA title picture and there is no way I can explain it other than it's what TNA thinks will sell. I could go into Sting being in the latter part of his career, his big time name value or anything else. However, at the end of the day, it comes down to who TNA thinks will cause people to attend and buy the pay-per-view and that person is Sting.

With Brock Lesnar "staring down" the Royal Rumble promotional poster featuring The Rock in the WWE HQ segment on Raw, is that a sign that Brock vs. Rock is still on the table?

I can confirm WWE still wants to do Brock Lesnar vs. The Rock at Wrestlemania XXX next year and this was the reason for Lesnar's subtle stare down in the segment taped at WWE HP. WWE wanted to plant the seed for the match the night after Wrestlemania 29 this year but it was scrapped when Rock couldn't go. Rock hasn't committed to work Wrestlemania next year but as of this writing, company officials are hopeful that when he gets healthy he'll be more inclined to work again.

Who is to blame when Raw has lackluster shows like this past Monday?

There is no way to accurately and fairly say one person in particular is to blame for a weak show. This week's WWE Raw wasn't terrible but what I've seen in the Raw's since Wrestlemania is just a feeling of desperation in trying to fill all three hours. The gap between Wrestlemania and Extreme Rules (6 weeks) is done so WWE is able to give consumers a break before spending more money on pay-per-views. With WWE not building to or following up on a pay-per-view, the shows are difficult to write let alone cause people to care enough to tune in.

Which NXT wrestlers do you think will get a push up to the main roster this year?

The workers on the short list to get called up were on the road with the main roster this past weekend. They include Adrian Neville, Emma, Paige, Corey Graves and Bray Wyatt. Kassius Ohno is another guy that is close to main roster ready.

What kept guys like Shawn Michaels and Undertaker from going to WCW during the Monday Night Wars?

I can confirm Shawn Michaels had offers to go to WCW but he was not interested in leaving WWE. Only Shawn can answer why but something obviously made him very loyal to Vince McMahon and company. I can't speak for Undertaker but remember he had already had a run in WCW as Mean Mark Callous.

What are your thoughts on WWE possibly charging a subscription fee for its YouTube content? Would the WWE Network even be needed if they do this?

As we reported here on, WWE is listed among the partners for YouTube's new subscription service. I'll have to see what the channel offers before I can make an assessment but I can't imagine someone wanting to pay for their current slate of shows. There's nothing wrong with the current shows but nothing happens on them that would make someone want to pay. The company could always offer their current TV shows on-demand but they already do that with Hulu Plus. We'll see what the content is before we make an assessment but the WWE Network is still in the works.

MAY 8 2:12 PM EDT UPDATE:Report: WWE Not Among Paid Subscription YouTube Channels

Why does it seem that the WWE Intercontinental Championship doesn't hold the same importance as it used too?

Some will argue the Intercontinental Championship isn't as prestigious because there are two World title belts and why I think the number of titles certainly plays a factor, it comes down to the company's vision for the belt. A title has prestige when it means something. The problem is when the titleholder is put under clean in a non-title match; no one takes the belt seriously. The counter point to this is, "well this shows anything can happen." My response is why not just change the belt? My steps in restoring prestige to the Intercontinental title are eliminating the US strap and no longer booking the IC champ to go under in a non-title match. The strap could then be used to help elevate an up and coming worker.

Why is TNA switching time slots again? Do they actually think the ratings will increase with the 'new' time slot?

TNA announced the time slot change as a result of last week's low viewership. When the audience gets that low, it precipitates immediate action. As I noted in my original report, when TNA drew 1.1 million viewers with their final Monday Impact, they immediately reverted back to Thursday nights. The bottom-line is low numbers like we saw last week prove that something just isn't working.

How can WWE ignore the "boring" chants during John Cena promos here lately?

John Cena just didn't start drawing "boring" chants. He's drawn this kind of reaction from IWCers for years now and WWE bills him as the star that garners the biggest reaction of any worker in the company. The only way we are going to see a change to the Cena character/gimmick is if it stops drawing.

Should Ryback join The Shield?

The Shield features three guys with ridiculously good in-ring skills and mic work. Ryback hasn't proven himself on either. Admittedly, he's got a better look but that's becoming less and less relevant in the business today. I don't see how adding Ryback to The Shield benefits anyone and think it would damage one of the best things WWE has going for them.

What route do you feel WWE should take if Dolph Ziggler can't defend the World Heavyweight Championship at Extreme Rules due to a concussion?

A lot of people are going to lobby for Dolph Ziggler to vacate the World Heavyweight Championship if he can't go at Extreme Rules, however, I feel there's something else that could work. In UFC, if a champion is out for a prolonged period of time they crown an interim champion. When the champion gets healthy, they hold a unification bout. If Ziggler is forced out for an extended period of time due to his concussion, why not crown an interim champion? This would only help WWE going forward by giving them a unification championship match at a later date. This also preserves the time and effort they've already put into Ziggler after holding the MITB briefcase for so many months. I will caution we are getting ahead of ourselves and Ziggler hasn't been ruled out for Extreme Rules yet.

With many people "fatigued" over Raw being three hours each week, would it make more sense to precede a two-hour Raw with a different show. Maybe NXT?

This is an excellent idea and actually the original plan. Vince McMahon stated in a conference call with investors back in 2011 there were plans for a new one-hour live show to air before Monday Night Raw. This was after the resurrected version of WWE Tough Enough had success-preceding Raw on the USA Network from April-June 2011. Ultimately the decision was made to extend Raw to three hours, making the show "more interactive" and incorporating new elements such as WWE Active. I didn't like it from the day it was announced and don't like it nearly a year in. Three hours of live WWE Raw is too much every week. It's too much for the writers and it's too much for the viewers. WWE doesn't seem to be getting the message as they've been happy with the way the three-hour shows have performed and are adding 30-minute online pre-shows this summer.

What are your thoughts on the new TNA Wrestling PLUS YouTube Channel?

I'm perplexed over TNA Wrestling's new YouTube channel and have already asked my Facebook friends what they think. The channel is mostly old pay-per-views from 2004 through 2012. The problem I have with this is didn't TNA recently change the PPV side of their business because there wasn't enough interest in shows every month? I find it interesting they would market a channel consisting of pay-per-views they no longer produce because they didn't draw considerable interest. I'd like to see more Impact on the channel. Impact is by far more in demand than the pay-per-views that sometimes drew under 10,000 buys on their first run.

When will Rey Mysterio retire?

I'm not going to be the one to put a time stamp on Rey Mysterio. Rey is one of the best in-ring workers of all-time and has had horrible luck in recent years with knee problems. I hope he can get back for one more run but it'd be irresponsible to predict a retirement date. I'm rooting for Mysterio to get healthy.

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