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Bad News For Ryback's WWE Title Chances, Austin Aries Fined For Sexual Harassment, Impact Changing Timeslots, Top WWE Star's Stock Plummeting; To Be Phased Out?, A Day In The Life Of Triple H, WWE Special On ESPN?, 7 WWE Releases, TNA Star Has Emergency S

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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 11, 2013 to Friday, May 17, 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

- WWE has a new article online featuring quotes from World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler discussing his concussion. The comments are troubling as Ziggler discusses significant memory loss from his concussion. Below are quotes from the champ:

“I didn’t even remember Monday until I watched Raw when I got home,”

“I don’t even remember traveling from Raw to SmackDown. I don’t remember Tuesday. I remember AJ and Big E taking me to the airport on Wednesday morning.”

"I was told I interfered in a match and tried to get my hands on a ladder," said Ziggler, piecing together the timeline. "When I bent over to grab it, Jack Swagger kicked me in the head.”

"I feel a lot better today," The Showoff told of his recovery process. "Yesterday I had a bad headache. Today, I have a slight headache.”

“I didn’t know what day it was; I didn’t know what month it was.” he said. “I’ve had a couple of concussions before and just had a headache. I’ve never not remembered entire days, like someone in a movie.”

"When I asked, over and over, what happened, AJ told me that Swagger kicked me in the head,"

"Apparently, all I said was ‘classic Swags.’ As for Del Rio, even a zombified me is more charismatic than Del Rio. I don’t get him. Maybe because he’s closer to my Dad’s age."

Click here for coverage by dot com.

Video of the spot on Smackdown is online at this link or embedded below.

- Sin Cara returned to the ring at Friday night's WWE Raw live event in Shreveport, Louisiana. He teamed with Adrian Neville & Bo Dallas to oppose (and defeat) Michael McGillicutty & The Prime Time Players. Cara noted earlier in the week he was medically cleared to compete. He's been out since suffering a concussion during a match with Jack Swagger on the March 11th episode of WWE Raw.

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

- Michael Cole noted in a new blog on that he will attempt to climb his first mountain this summer as he will join John Layfield in attempt to scale Mt. Whitney. You can read Cole's latest at this link.

- Dean Ambrose got a shiner in a his match against Daniel Bryan at this week's Smackdown taping. The match aired on this week's show and dot com has photos of him getting medical treatment backstage. Click here to view them.

- Attorneys for WWE have petitioned that the lawsuit brought against the company and Big Show by former employee Andrew Green be removed from Arizona State Court to a federal court. WWE argued since the lawsuit involves footage filmed for the Internet, it would fall under federal law. We first ran the story last month when Green filed the lawsuit. Green claims Big Show freaked out on him -- using “profanely indecent language" -- when he tried to get a post-match interview with him backstage at Royal Rumble 2013 in Phoenix. Green ended up getting the interview but later quit the company because he felt uncomfortable working around Show and the other wrestlers. You can read more details at this link. For even more coverage, obtained the lawsuit and gave more details at this link.

- WWE Divas Champion Kaitlyn's mother was in attendance at Saturday night's WWE Raw live event in Beaumont, Texas. The following is from Twitter:

Vince McMahon used Twitter to wish his mother a Happy Mother's Day:

Stephanie McMahon credited Triple H fot the best Mother's Day gift of all:

- Adam "Big Country" Scherr said in an interview with at the 2013 Arnold Strongman Classic in March that he was in contract negotiations with WWE. The word making rounds is a deal is likely, if not already signed. We'll update if we get confirmation as he was dealing with a biceps injury in March. - John Laurinaitis attended the retirement ceremony for Kenta Kobashi in Tokyo, Japan over the weekend. In his final match, Kobashi teamed with Jun Akiyama, Keiji Muto & Kensuke Sasaki to defeat KENTA, Go Shoizaki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Maybach Taniguchi. Kobashi spoke afterwards and his family was acknowledged. Photos of the show as well as past Kenta Kobashi matches are available at this link. - Mick Foley noted on Twitter that WWE will have a camera crew at his June 2nd comedy show in New York City. Foley Tweeted:

- Speaking of Foley, he will be appearing with The Bella Twins at the Milwaukee Brewers at St. Louis Cardinals game on Saturday. Chris Jericho will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the game on Sunday. The appearances are being done in conjunction with Extreme Rules emanating from St. Louis. - This weekend's episode of WWE Saturday Morning Slam was the season one finale. We spoke to WWE about the show and they confirmed in a statement issued to that the company is in discussions with the CW about a second season. If a deal is reached, season two will begin airing again in August. This is why no new content has been taped. - WWE developmental worker J Bronson (WWE NXT profile) has been out with a spinal injury. He wrote on his Twitter account that he's being treated by Dr. Joseph Maroon. The following is from Bronson's Twitter account:

- The latest WWE Studios release, "No One Lives," with Brodus Clay opened at #29 at the box office this weekend. The film grossed an estimated $45,900 in 53 theaters. has the chart at this link. - WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus answers more questions from fans on her official website at this link. - Chris Jericho will dance with Edyta Sliwinska in the dance-off segment against Fandango on this week's Monday Night Raw. Sliwinska has confirmed her appearance on Twitter. You can view a photo of her from Twitter below:

- Is Jim Ross mad at Josh Mathews for impersonating him on Smackdown last week? Here's what JR wrote on Twitter:

JR updated the blog section on his official website on Sunday at this link. - Santino Marella is opening a pro wrestling/mixed martial arts facility called the "Battle Arts Academy" in Toronto on July 1, 2013. He Tweeted an early photo:

- Wrestlemania 29 will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray on Tuesday. In addition to the pay-per-view, the release includes the complete 2013 WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony, pre-show match and post-show. You can order now here at - We're told there was a growing frustration among many of the WWE developmental wrestlers due to the uncertainty of when the new WWE Performance Center would be opening. Now a date is available as WWE has informed talent if they are not willing to make the daily commute from Tampa to Orlando, they need to relocate by July 1, 2013. WWE is confident construction will be finished and they will be able to officially open the doors to the new facility at the beginning of July. Many are looking forward to the new facility as not only will it provide better conditions for developmental workers but also main roster workers that are out rehabbing injuries. The date has caused overwhelming relief amongst talent as they are now locking in their living situations. - In celebration of Mother's Day on Sunday Zack Ryder admitted that his mother still picks him up and takes him to the airport every week and washes his ring gear. Make fun of him all you want but I think that's awesome. You can read Kofi Kingston, Darren Young, Kaitlyn and The Bella Twins honor their mothers at this link. - If you popped like we did for Damien Sandow's rendition of Randy Orton's theme song, you're going to love this video. - Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, says he's a "gigantic fan" of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and would love to work with him. Read the comments at this link. - The Bella Twins noted on Twitter last week they received the script for their first feature film. No other details are available as of this writing but you can follow them on Twitter @nicoleandbri. Make sure you follow us @wnwnews. - Jim Ross won't be at WWE Raw this week in Oklahoma because he's at Shawn Michaels' ranch where they are going hog hunting for his Outdoor Network TV show. JR Tweeted:

- WWE Champion John Cena is scheduled to defend his title against Ryback in a Last Man Standing match at Extreme Rules on Sunday. Did you know that Cena's only loss at Extreme Rules (formerly known as One Night Stand) came in his debut? Below is a look back: Rob Van Dam b. John Cena at One Night Stand on 6/11/06 John Cena b. The Great Khali at One Night Stand on 6/3/07 John Cena b. JBL at One Night Stand on 6/1/08 John Cena b. Big Show at Extreme Rules on 6/7/09 John Cena b. Batista at Extreme Rules on 4/25/10 John Cena b. The Miz & John Morrison at Extreme Rules on 5/1/11 John Cena b. Brock Lesnar at Extreme Rules on 4/29/12 WWE Extreme Rules 2013 will take place Sunday from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri. Join us here at for exclusive live play-by-play coverage. H/T to the latest issue of WWE Magazine for the statistics. - Michael Cole was an in-studio guest on the After Show with Sam Roberts following The Opie & Anthony Show. Cole discussed Jerry Lawler having a heart attack and turning him babyface, their match at Wrestlemania 27, heat and more. Cole said he recently watched the match at Wrestlemania against Lawler and couldn't believe it was a 35-minute match. He said people hated him for getting so much time. He said he bored himself walking out there, discussed Undertaker and John Cena seeing him for the first time in his singlet and really had some fun with it. The interview shifted to a more serious turn when he discussed Lawler having a heart attack live on the air last year. Cole said he and Chris Jericho had to "iron things out" after he bured the Highlight Reel segment on the 3/11 episode of WWE Raw. Side note: While Cole didn't say anything in the interview, we're told it was Vince McMahon that ordered him to bury the segment. You can watch the interview at this link - IGN is reporting that Take-Two has confirmed that WWE 2K14 will be released on Tuesday, October 29, 2013. According to an earnings release, the game will be published “across all major platforms and distribution channels.” Take-Two is WWE's new video game partner as they acquired the rights to the license following THQ's bankruptcy. The Rock is set to be featured on the game's cover and is expected back on television to help promote it this fall. - It doesn't look like World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler will not be on this week's episode of WWE Monday Night Raw. Ziggler Tweeted:

Ziggler is currently out indefinitely after suffering a concussion at last week's Smackdown taping. He was diagnosed with retrograde amnesia (See also -Dolph Ziggler Suffers Significant Memory Loss Due To Concussion). Obviously, Ziggler's health status has his World Heavyweight Championship defense against Jack Swagger and Alberto Del Rio at Extreme Rules on Sunday in question. - Rey Mysterio, who continues to deal with a knee injury following time off for a personal matter, wrote the following on Twitter:

- WWE sent out the following text prior to this week's Monday Night Raw:

Tonight at 7:30 PM ET, open the WWE App to experience THE NEW WAY TO WATCH TELEVISION!

The message then provides a link to download. I have the WWE App open and as of 7:40 PM ET, there's nothing new other the promise of the ultimate companion viewing experience for Raw at 7:30 PM ET. MAY 13, 2013 7:54 PM ET UPDATE: WWE just sent out another text, the same text, but changed the time from 7:30 PM ET to 8:00 PM ET. So stay tuned. I guess. - A steel cage is hung above the ring at the BOK Center in Tulsa, OK. - We heard there were some close to the locker room complaining about a mediocre turnout. - World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler will not be able to work WWE Extreme Rules on Sunday. Instead, Jack Swagger and Alberto Del Rio will face off in an "I Quit" match to determine the number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship. - Chris Jericho vs. Fandango was officially added to Extreme Rules on this week's WWE Monday Night Raw. - Kofi Kingston will defend the WWE United States Championship against Dean Ambrose at Extreme Rules on Sunday. Make sure to join us for live coverage here at - The WWE App now features a "Tap Here" button, taking the user directly to WWE Active during the airing of shows. Live videos are streamed and other components that have been a staple of the App since its launch are included. - Last week's episode of WWE Smackdown averaged 2,530,000 viewers on SyFy. The show ended up doing a 1.86 cable rating. - The Miz returned to WWE on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw, going over Heath Slater in a singles match. He's been off television over the past month filming the new WWE Studios/ABC Family film "Christmas Bounty." While the match was airing on the USA Network, Matt Striker interviewed WWE Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett about it on the WWE App. The tagline of the App is "the new way to watch television." - Two more matches have been added to the Extreme Rules lineup. Team Hell No will defend the WWE Tag Team Championship on the pay-per-view against Seth Rollins & Romain Reigns in a tag team tornado match. On the pre-show, The Miz will face Cody Rhodes. Below is the updated lineup: Last Man Standing Match for the WWE Championship - John Cena © vs. Ryback Steel Cage Match - Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar w/Paul Heyman No. 1 Contenders "I Quit" Match - Alberto Del Rio w/Ricardo Rodriguez vs. Jack Swagger w/Zeb Colter Extreme Rules Match - Randy Orton vs. Big Show Strap Match - Sheamus vs. Mark Henry WWE United States Championship Match - Kofi Kingston © vs. Dean Ambrose Tag Team Tornado Match for the WWE Tag Team Championship - Team Hell No © vs. Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins Singles Match - Fandango vs. Chris Jericho Pre-Show Match - Cody Rhodes vs. The Miz WWE Extreme Rules 2013 will take place Sunday from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri. We'll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at - Sin Cara, who worked this weekend's live events, returned to TV in a match taped for this week's WWE Superstars. We'll have complete taping results online shortly. - For those that missed this week's WWE Monday Night Raw, the show opened with a dance-off segment between Chris Jericho and Fandango. Filling a large chunk of time, I Tweeted the following from the Wrestling News World Twitter account:

You can watch the segment at this link. - After this week's WWE Monday Night Raw went off the air, WWE Champion John Cena, Alberto Del Rio & Randy Orton b. Big Show, Jack Swagger & Ryback in a dark match main event. Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment on Show to end the taping. - Highlights of the final segment of this week's WWE Raw are now online at this link. - Nick "Eugene" Dinsmore was at the WWE NXT facilities last week in Tampa, Florida. Here's what he wrote on Twitter:

- Cameras were filming at this week's WWE Raw for the new E! reality series called "Total Divas." The show is set to premiere in July. - Layla & Alicia Fox took part in the Susan G. Komen Global Race for the cure. WWE posted video highlights at this link. - Jim Ross was successful in his hog hunt with Shawn Michaels. Keith Mark Tweeted a photo that you can view below:

- MVP put out a new single called "Time of My Life." You can listen at this link. - This week's episode of "Backstage Fallout" Raw is now online at this link. - Jerry Lawler's return bout is set. The King will team with Dory Funk Jr. and Johnny Magnum to face Cory "Wild" Weston, Quinton "Drop-Back" Hitchcock and Romero Youngblood in an Australian Rules, 6 Man Tag Team Match. The match will take place at Funk's !BANG! TV Sound Stage in Ocala, Florida on Saturday, May 25, 2013. Doors open at 6:15pm and the show starts at 7pm. For tickets, call 352-895-4658 or click here. Lawler hasn't wrestled since the September 10th episode of WWE Raw, where he suffered a heart attack on live television. Backstage news from Monday Night Raw in Tulsa… - The "ladder match" was replaced by the "I Quit" stipulation between Alberto Del Rio and Jack Swagger at Extreme Rules because the feeling was it wasn't worth the risk. We're told there was some back and forth about replacing Dolph Ziggler with a third person in the bout but they decided to do a Wrestlemania 29 re-match with a stipulation instead. The idea was the program [of Del Rio vs. Swagger] already has had significant build and they didn't have to worry about a random being "thrown in." - Big E Langston was originally tapped to face Kofi Kingston for the United States Championship at Extreme Rules on Sunday, however, plans changed when Dolph Ziggler was ruled out. As we've noted on multiple occasions, there has been talk about Langston, AJ Lee and Ziggler all holding titles but WWE decided to hold off when Ziggler couldn't go. - We're told "eyes are as wide open as they have been" on The Shield following this week's Elimination tag team match. Everyone continues to rave about their in-ring work and the way the group has gotten over. - AJ Lee vs. Natalya was booked just to keep a little bit of the spotlight on the Divas ahead of the E! reality series premiering this summer. As we reported last week, this is something that is expected to continue. - As of this week's WWE Raw, there was no booked ending for John Cena vs. Ryback at Extreme Rules on Sunday. The writing team was going back and forth on a couple different outcomes. - We heard there were some rumblings close to the locker room about The Miz showing he has lost some weight and muscle definition in his return. Miz is back full-time after filming "Christmas Bounty" over the last month. - Make of this what you will but we're told Mattel has plans to release a Dean Ambrose action figure with the United States Championship and a two pack of Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. The action figures are expected to hit stores this summer. - This week's episode of WWE Monday Night Raw did an average viewing audience of 4,046,000 viewers on the USA Network. Below is the breakdown hour by hour: Hour one - 3,790,000 viewers Hour two - 4,100,000 viewers Hour three - 4,250,000 viewers This data, from TV By the Numbers, shows a positive sign for WWE. The show's audience actually grew throughout the night. This hasn't been the trend since the switch to three-hours last summer, with the third hour usually drawing the lowest viewership. This week's audience was also up from last week's dreadful numbers. - Big Japan Pro-Wrestling announced on their website that Sami Callihan has been pulled from their May 24th Strong Style tournament RISING due to signing a WWE contract. Callihan is still advertised for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla's show on June 15, 2013. We don't have confirmation that Callihan has signed but he was believed to be going through the pre-screening process. - Rob Van Dam is scheduled to return to the ring on June 21st against Tommy Dreamer with Family Wrestling Entertainment's show in Corona, New York. Click here for ticket information. - WWEannounced on Monday that Big Show and Randy Orton would be on The Highlight Reel on Smackdown. At this week's taping, they were on Miz TV with The Miz. - Brandon Carter, who worked as TAC, spoke to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal about his WWE release earlier this year.

“I went down there and got a few concussions and ended up getting pneumonia,” Carter said of his time with WWE. “I ended up in the hospital in December. I woke up and nobody was there. Then I realized I didn’t have any friends or family there, so I came back here to Lubbock to be with family.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety. - WWE Inbox goes extreme in honor of Sunday's Extreme Rules pay-per-view. You can watch this week's episode at this link. - The first trailer for the movie "Riddick," starring Vin Diesel and featuring Dave Batista is online at this link. - The Pitch out of Kansas City, Missouri has a new article online featuring quotes from Cody Rhodes. Below is an excerpt: Idea for the mustache:

Well, my fiancée is sitting right next to me, and she hates the mustache. So I don't know if it's as fantastic as you say, but thank you very much. It was mine, but it wasn't really this huge overreaching grand design. The only time that I've ever been injured in my career - I had x amount of days that I didn't have to be on television, and in that time I grew, originally, a very poor mustache. It's grown into being rather full-bodied now. It was something that when I came back, everyone appreciated the fact my partner at the time, Damien Sandow, had the massive 19th-century beard, and I had the mustache with the intent of taking it away from the modern hipster and putting a little civility back into it.

Why he wrestles:

Anyone who knows me well enough knows that I don't do this for the money. I'd like to headline multiple WrestleManias, and I'd like to be WWE champion, and I'd like to be world heavyweight champion. Anything that describes the top of my field at the time is where I'd like to be. It's kind of ambiguous because what we do is entertainment, but certainly those top-tier titles are not something that are given. They're earned. That's where I'd like to be.

Is he ready?:

I think so. The WWE Universe, they've seen me grow up on their television. I didn't show up a fully polished superstar. I showed up rather undersized and underwhelming and had to grow. People who thought that they might move ahead of me, I moved ahead of them. It's been quite a ladder to climb already, but I think in their eyes that I'm ready, and that's all that matters because they truly dictate what's happening on television, and that's a good thing.

Click here to read the article in its entirety. - Jim Ross has a new blog entry available on his official website where he discusses hog hunting with Shawn Michaels, Extreme Rules and other things. In it, JR makes it clear which match he feels should close Sunday's pay-per-view:

If the Brock Lesnar vs. HHH Steel Cage match doesn't close the PPV, it's going to make whatever follows this Slobber Knocker have to really hunker down to top what I expect to be the most anticipated bout at Sunday's PPV. The physicality in this contest will be prominent and I expect a no frills, in your face, main event.

Click here to read JR's latest in its entirety. - We're told Jack Swagger's stock has been plummeting "big time" lately. As if things couldn't get any worse after his arrest in February, he's accumulated a lot of backstage heat for being unsafe in the ring. There's been some talk about phasing out his push over the next few months, however, the company remains high up on Zeb Colter. Colter has received very high marks for his work and is held in high regard as an important mouthpiece that can help up and coming workers get over. We're told rather than simply replace Swagger with someone else, there's been talk about having Colter manage multiple workers where he would operate as the mouthpiece. Nothing remains certain as Swagger has evaded burial so far, able to continue to get a main event spot after getting arrested just days after wining the WWE Elimination Chamber. Many believe if there were plans for him to go over Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania 29, they were dropped when he was arrested. - "Mean" Gene Okerlund resurfaced with quotes to about his very limited schedule with WWE. He also said Brock Lesnar is one of the top three stars in the company right now. Click here to read the article in its entirety. - The Rock posted the following injury update on Twitter:

- Michelle McCool is launching a new vlog this summer. You can watch a trailer at this link. - USA Todayreported on Thursday that WWE will donate $1.2 million over three years to Chris Nowinski's Sports Legacy Institute to further research aimed at developing a treatment for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.

"Obviously, I think it's such a huge concern for everybody right now in sports and in the military. As we learn more and more about concussions and what can become of it, I think it's a problem for everybody," Paul Levesque, WWE executive vice president of Talent and Live Events, told USA TODAY Sports on Thursday. "We still hit people with metal chairs, just not in the head anymore," said Levesque, who as a ring star and occasional wrestler is known as Triple H. "We took out the things that ... caused the most concussions and the most head impacts."

Click here for coverage by USA Today. - Layla was featured in the latest episode of WWE Hangout on Thursday. You can watch it at this link. - Sami Callihan didn't pull out of Big Japan Pro-Wrestling's Strong Style tournament RISING on May 24, 2013 due to a WWE contract as the promotion claimed. Callihan had to pull out due to family issues and has not yet signed with WWE. - We're told Triple H is looking to "cozy up" to ESPN in hopes that over time, WWE will be treated with more respect by some of the mainstream media. We're not talking highlights on SportsCenter but Hunter does feel like a good relationship with ESPN would mean more exposure. He gave ESPN the exclusive in breaking the news that Bruno Sammartino had accepted WWE's offer to be inducted into their Hall of Fame as the beginning of what he is hoping will be a friendly relationship with them. ESPN cameras have actually been filming Hunter recently in hopes of doing a "day in the life" type piece on him. The idea would be to provide a "behind-the-scenes" documentary-type feature to show viewers what it's like running a major franchise like WWE, especially for a guy that is new on the job. This is all part of WWE's plan to position Hunter as a more respectable leader in the eyes of the mainstream media, as Vince McMahon's aggressive demeanor over the course of decades has resulted in quite a few enemies. - Derrick Bateman & Briley Pierce have been released from WWE. Bateman, who competed on NXT and more recently starred in a number of vignettes as The USA Guy, responded on his Twitter account:

Pierce, the younger brother of World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler, spent time in WWE's developmental territories, more recently working as an interviewer on NXT. Pierce had the following to say on Twitter:

Ziggler weighed in on the release as well:

-In addition to Derrick Bateman & Briley Pierce, it appears as if Sakamoto has been released from WWE as well. Sakamoto posted the following on his Twitter account:

- According to TMZ, Jake "The Snake" Roberts has begun training to become an actor and has already been offered a role in an independent film. Click here for more. - Spring roster cuts are underway in WWE. We can now confirm the releases of Brandon Traven and Percy Watson: Brandon Traven (developmental profile) To show you just how unexpected this was, Traven posted the following about Friday's NXT live event in Leesburg:

The following was after he got the call about his release:

Percy Watson

Watson, formerly paired with Titus O'Neil, was showcased on season five of WWE NXT.

- In addition to the names we've already reported, we can now confirm the releases of WWE developmental Divas Audrey Marie and Anya. Marie wrote the following on Twitter:

Anya, whose real name is Anna Bogomazova, is a former Russian kick boxer and martial artist. She wrote the following on Twitter:

She also posted a message in Russian that translates as:

For my Russian fans! I was told the reason for dismissal! But do not worry I do not lose heart! Let them know Russian)

If you can offer a better translation, go for it in the comments are below. - Amit Swami, who manages The Great Khali's events in India, was arrested on Friday for allegedly attacking a shopkeeper. The story is available at this link. - confirmed on Friday that this was John Gaburick's final week with WWE. Gaburick worked as Vice President of TV production and was involved with the original seasons of WWE Tough Enough on MTV. - Trish Stratus talked to The Globe And Mail in Canada about junk food. Click here to read it. - WWE notified seven workers in their NXT developmental system on Friday of their releases. The list is as follows: Anya (story link) Audrey Marie (story link) Brandon Traven (story link) Briley Pierce (story link) Derrick Bateman (story link) Percy Watson (story link) Sakamoto (story link) The only worker that I heard there was considerable shock over was Briley Pierce. Pierce, whose real name is Ryan Nemeth, is the brother of World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler even expressed his shock/disappointment on Twitter:

- Episode 25 of The JBL & Cole Show is online at this link. - As mentioned in the latest conference call with investors, WWE is returning to the UAE later this year. The company will run three shows from the Zayed Sports City International Tennis Complex in Abu Dhabi. The shows are scheduled for 10/10, 10/11 and 10/12. Tickets go on sale on May 20, 2013. - The following is from the verified Twitter account of Vince McMahon:

- The Hill is reporting that Kane is weighing a primary challenge against Senator Lamar Alexander, a Republican out of Tennessee. Click here to read their report, citing the libertarian magazine Reason. - A Texas judge ruled on Wednesday that music composer Papa Berg's lawsuit against WWE over copyrighted music can continue. Berg alleges that he wrote the "hit" song, "Badstreet USA," used by the Fabulous Freebirds, as well as "Man Called Sting," "Simply Ravishing," "The Natural" and "Steineeized." Berg says THQ contacted him to use "Badstreet USA" for the "Legends of Wrestlemania" video game before they noticed the song was owned by WWE. According to the lawsuit, Berg discovered the song "had been improperly and erroneously registered" by the WWE, "resulting in the royalties being redirected to" the professional wrestling company. The Hollywood Reporter has the full story online at this link.

TNA News

- James Storm suffered a lower body injury while refereeing Austin Aries & Bobby Roode vs. Bad Influence on this week's episode of Impact Wrestling. Storm was unable to work Friday night in Birmingham, Alabama but did appear as advertised. After the show, he drove himself to the ER.

- James Storm, who was injured on this week's episode of Impact Wrestling and had a late night trip to the ER, updated his condition on Twitter:

- Below is the updated spoiler lineup for TNA Slammiversary: No Holds Barred Match for the TNA ChampionshipIf Sting loses, he can never challenge for the TNA title again. - Bully Ray © vs. Sting TNA Championship Match - Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez vs. Bad Influence vs. Austin Aries & Bobby Roode vs. James Storm & A partner of his choosing Slammiversary XI will take place Sunday, June 2, 2013 from the Agganis Arena in Boston, Massachusetts. We'll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at - Austin Aries got a little too close to Christy Hemme on this week's episode of Impact Wrestling. Hemme Tweeted the following:

Impact Wrestling Results (5/9/13) – The Return Of The Monster - Remember Dixie Carter publicly acknowledging meeting Stephanie McMahon over Wrestlemania 29 weekend? They actually met at Reid Flair's funeral. Stephanie was with Triple H and Carter was with Sting. Stephanie also publicly acknowledged the meeting. - While I'm inclined to believe this is more of a work, Austin Aries has pseudo responded to Christy Hemme Tweeting that his actions on Impact Wrestling were "unacceptable." Aries Tweeted:

- TNA Wrestling has announced a live event from the Bridge View Center in Ottumwa, Iowa on June 27. Tickets go on sale Friday. - The latest installment of the "Bracing for Impact" column is now available on The writer, obviously in kayfabe, reminds TNA Champion Bully Ray to be careful what he wishes for. Click here to read it. - We've been following the back and forth between Christy Hemme and Austin Aries on Twitter over an incident at last week's Impact Wrestling taping in Tupelo, Mississippi. When Hemme inadvertently introduced Bad Influence rather than Aries and Bobby Roode, Aries got in the ring and backed Hemme into the corner and told her to re-introduce them. Aries climbed to the middle rope with her in the corner, essentially forcing his privates directly into her face. The incident aired on live television on Spike TV. Hemme was asked by a follower on Twitter if Aries "put his nuts" in her face in which show responded, "Yes. Unacceptable." Aries later Tweeted, "Pretty nuts, some of the junk people get the balls to say over the net, knowing they couldn't to your face...Eh, anyway, time to sack out." We ran a poll, asking readers to vote whether the back and forth on Twitter was a work or shoot. Let's take another look at the spot at this link. - On Thursday, May 30, 2013 Impact Wrestling will move back an hour to their old 9/8c timeslot on Spike TV. They put out this video to promote the change. - TNA Wrestling will hold a "Basebrawl" live event from MCU Field in Brooklyn, New York on Friday, July 5, 2013. Tickets go on sale on Saturday. - Pittsburgh radio personality Mark Madden is reporting that Austin Aries will be disciplined for the incident involving Christy Hemme at last week's Impact Wrestling taping in Tupelo, Mississippi. Madden cites comments made to him by Spike TV's senior VP of communications David Schwarz.

“We have a zero tolerance policy for sexual harassment,” Schwarz said. “We discussed [the incident] with our partner. [Aries is] being disciplined. I’m trying to get more information on what action is being taken. Dixie Carter took this very personally. He will be disciplined. Again, we have a zero tolerance policy for sexual harassment. “I’m not sure specifically how [the discipline] will be handled. To what extent, I don’t know. This is certainly something we don’t condone and don’t tolerate. Such behavior is not welcome.

Click here for coverage by Mark Madden. The incident occurred after Christy Hemme inadvertently introduced Bad Influence rather than Aries and Bobby Roode on last week's episode of Impact Wrestling. Aries got in the ring and backed Hemme into the corner and told her to re-introduce them. He then climbed to the middle rope with her in the corner, essentially forcing his privates directly into her face. The incident aired live on Spike TV. You can watch footage at this link. Hemme later Tweeted that Aries' actions were unacceptable. Below is her Tweet:

Her response didn't sit well with the former TNA Champion, who pseudo-responded by Tweeting:

Messages left for Aries were not immediately returned. Christy Hemme was in Hawaii over the weekend.

- The fallout on Twitter continues after Mark Madden, citing comments from a Spike TV executive, reported that Austin Aries will face disciplinary action following the incident involving Christy Hemme at last week's Impact Wrestling taping (See also - Austin Aries Will Be Disciplined For Christy Hemme Incident).

Hemme Tweeted:

Chavo Guerrero shifted his blame towards Madden and said if Hemme were legitimately bothered by it he would have done something. He says she wasn't upset at all. The following is from his verified Twitter account:

I'm not blaming Madden, as a reporter, I would have done the same thing. He was getting comments from an executive. I emailed Aries to give him an opportunity to be quoted but didn't hear back. - MVP isn't saying he wants to go to TNA Wrestling but he is saying that Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, Ken Anderson and Bobby Roode are on his "wish list" to work with. The following is from MVP's Twitter:

- Preview this week's episode of Impact Wrestling in a new video at this link. - A press conference was held in Peoria, Illinois on Tuesday to announce Impact Wrestling coming to the city on Thursday, June 20, 2013 for a typical double Impact Wrestling taping. Joseph Park represented the TNA roster. You can watch it at this link. - Dixie Carter has finally commented on the Austin Aries/Christy Hemme incident (See also -Austin Aries Will Be Disciplined For Christy Hemme Incident) from last week's Impact Wrestling. She Tweeted the following from her verified account:

- TNA is promoting an Impact Wrestling press conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday with Hulk Hogan. Coverage will air on Click here for more information. - SoCal Val interviewed ODB for the new Knockouts website. You can watch it at this link. - James Storm is undergoing an MRI on Wednesday to determine the extent of the injury he suffered at last week's Impact Wrestling taping. Storm was unable to work last Friday night but made the show and a late night ER trip. The following is from Storm's verified Twitter:

- TNA Wrestling has uploaded part one of Before The Bell: Slammiversary. You can watch it at this link. - Hulk Hogan took part in a TNA press conference on Wednesday to announce the double Impact Wrestling taping on Saturday, June 29, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The shows will air on July 4th and July 11th. Hogan claimed his favorite match in Vegas was at Starrcade 1997 against Sting. This bout actually took place at what was then known as the MCI Center in Washington, D.C. He said he'd like to forget his bout against The Ultimate Warrior at Halloween Havoc in 1998. Hogan said it was Dixie Carter's idea to bring in Brooke. Former Vegas Mayor Oscar B. Goodman was introduced as a special guest with two Vegas showgirls. He joked about having some T&A in reference to TNA and the women. - TMZ is reporting that Austin Aries was hit with a "severe" fine for the Christy Hemme incident last week on Impact Wrestling. According to their report, Aries reached out to Hemme and privately apologized. - TNA Wrestling posted footage from Wednesday's press conference in Las Vegas with Jeremy Borash, TNA X Division Champion Kenny King and Hulk Hogan. You can watch it at this link. - Will AJ Styles join Aces and Eights? Check out a new video preview posted by TNA at this link. - Kurt Angle was at "The Rumble On The Rails" - USA vs. IRAN vs. RUSSIA - at Grand Central Terminal in New York City on Wednesday. The appearance garnered national media attention as the event was televised in the United States on the NBC Sports Network. You can view photos at this link. - Remember when Matt Morgan unexplainably freaked out on us for covering his kayfabe press conference? If you missed the weird exchange on Twitter, it's still indexed at this link. Recently, I was sent a link to a video of Morgan explaining his disdain for the IWC in a feature filmed for Bloodstained Memoirs. The video really explains a lot more as to Morgan's mentality and how he views the people that support him. Please be advised the video is not work appropriate due to language and I will warn you, there are some real doozy's in it. You can watch it at this link. - Part two of TNA's "Before The Bell: Slammiversary" is now online at this link. The show will take place June 2, 2013 from the Agganis Arena in Boston, Massachusetts and will be headlined by Bully Ray vs. Sting for the TNA Championship. We have the updated spoiler lineup available at this link. - James Storm posted the following update on the injury he suffered at last week's Impact Wrestling taping in Tupelo, Mississippi:

On Thursday, Storm updated on physical therapy:

- The UK Sun has new quotes online from Dixie Carter where she puts over Magnus in a big way. Below is an excerpt:

“He was only 21 when I signed him and I don’t think people realize that because he looked so much more mature than that… He’s really grown. He’s a fabulous talker and his in-ring work has come so far. He’s gorgeous and carries himself like a superstar…. Magnus is the real deal.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- Below is the updated TNA Slammiversary line-up:

No Holds Barred Match For the TNA World Title - If Sting loses, he will no longer be able to compete for the TNA World Title again
Bully Ray (c) vs. Sting

Singles Match
Kurt Angle vs. AJ Styles

Four Team Elimination Match For the TNA Tag Team Championships
Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez (c) vs. Christopher Daniels & Kazarian vs. Ausitn Aries & Bobby Roode vs. James Storm & ??? (Hand picked partner)

Singles Match for the Television Championship
Devon (c) vs. Joseph Parks

Ultimate X Match for the X-Division Championship
Kenny King (c) vs. Chris Sabin vs. ??? (Mystery opponent)

Singles Match
Gail Kim vs. Taryn Terrell

Do not miss TNA Slammiversary as it will be live from The Agganis Arena in Boston, Massachusetts on June 2, 2013. We will have exclusive coverage of the pay-per-view right here on

- Zema Ion underwent emergency surgery on Wednesday after being diagnosed with appendicitis. During the procedure, it was discovered that he has a tumor on his colon that will eventually need to be surgically removed. The hope is it is not cancerous.

Ion posted the following update on Facebook and made it available on Twitter:

- This week's episode of Impact Wrestling did an average viewing audience of 1,050,000 viewers on Spike TV. This is a new yearly low for TNA.

- Digital Spy has a new piece featuring quotes from Dixie Carter. Not only did Carter put over the importance of having WWE as a competitor but she said she would be open to co-promoting a show together. Below are the highlights:

"I don't think [the WWE] shares my belief in this, but I believe that competition is 100% positively essential," she told Digital Spy.

"I think it's important for fans and for us. To have one company dominate, a) it's boring, and b) you are not being challenged enough. It's always better to have other options out there and I truly believe it makes both companies better."

When asked about a crossover show involving WWE and TNA talent:

"I absolutely would do that. I'm not sure if they would do that, but I absolutely would."

Click here to read the article in its entirety.


Has Jeff Hardy's popularity gone downhill since leaving WWE?

Given the fact that TNA Wrestling is watched by far less by than those that watch WWE, I think that's a fair assessment. However, that doesn't mean people aren't still interested in Jeff Hardy. TNA has held Hardy off television to sell Aces and Eights "attack" on him and we get questions every day about his return. When his contract with TNA was up, WWE teased fans by adding him to their Alumni section with photos and videos. He's still a top guy in this business and should be throughout the duration of his new TNA contract.

Was there any reason why Brock Lesnar, Goldberg and Steve Austin left WWE after Wrestlemania XX?

All three had different circumstances. Brock Lesnar hated the WWE travel schedule and wanted to pursue a career in the NFL. He requested his release to do this. WWE granted his release on the condition he would sign a non-compete agreement that would prevent him from working for a competing organization before June 2010. Lesnar signed it and was granted his release after his match at Wrestlemania XX against Goldberg. When the NFL didn't pan out, Lesnar went to Japan to wrestle for New Japan Pro Wrestling. This resulted in a legal battle with WWE due to the non-compete but it was later dismissed after a settlement.

Goldberg wasn't happy in WWE either and wanted out. He fulfilled his contractual obligations and was "fed up" with backstage politics and the way the company operated. Goldberg didn't get along with Vince McMahon and stated publicly both he and Lesnar were in a hurry to get out of dodge.

Steve Austin's contract with WWE was coming up and they were negotiating behind-the-scenes. I don't have specifics as to what went wrong but they broke down a month after Wrestlemania XX and he let the company.

Goldberg accused WWE of not putting the focus on the Wrestlemania XX bout (with Austin as the special referee) given their impending departures. The New York City crowd was "smartened up" to the fact that Goldberg and Lesnar were leaving and crapped on the match.

What are your opinions on Gorilla Monsoon?

Gorilla Monsoon was a big tough man and a legend in this business. He cleared the way for Jim Ross and is forever remembered by the naming of the Gorilla Position backstage. He was known for being an honest man with Vince McMahon describing him as one of the greatest men he's ever known. Monsoon is another name that we lost too soon as he died at the age of 62 due to complications from diabetes.

Who benefits more from a win in Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar at Extreme Rules?

As I stated on my Facebook account, Brock Lesnar has to go over at Extreme Rules. How could WWE book Lesnar going forward with three out of four of his matches being losses? I know wins and losses aren't everything and they seem to mean even less nowadays, however, WWE is absolutely killing a major opportunity with Lesnar. Rather than booking him as the dominant monster from UFC, he's racked up the losses. A loss here doesn't hurt Triple H but it greatly damages Lesnar going forward.

I remember you reporting in February that Roddy Piper and Ric Flair taped appearances on ABC's "Celebrity Wife Swap." When is it scheduled to air?

The episode of "Celebrity Wife Swap" featuring Ric Flair and Roddy Piper is currently scheduled to air on June 23, 2013 at 8/7c on ABC. Click here for more on the show.

What was the word on Evan Bourne after he worked a NXT house show, is there any idea on when he'll be back on TV and does he still have any backstage heat from his suspensions shortly before his injury?

Evan Bourne wasn't ready to return after testing his foot out at an NXT live event in March (video here). The last I heard he is closer to returning today but he's not by any means in a "safe" position in WWE. In fact, he was one name specifically mentioned to us as someone that remains on the "endangered species" list due to his consecutive Wellness violations prior to suffering his career-threatening injury. It would be very disappointing to see Bourne get released after all his hard work and I'm rooting for his comeback, however, failing consecutive Wellness tests for the same thing (synthetic marijuana) is mind-boggling.

What are your thoughts on abandoning the Ladder Match at Extreme Rules for an "I Quit" match?

Jack Swagger, who Dolph Ziggler coined "Classic Swags," nearly took out Alberto Del Rio with a ladder on Raw last week and put the World Heavyweight Champion on the shelf when going for one the next night. I'm not sure taking the ladder out of the equation is a bad move at this point. In all seriousness, Ziggler not being able to work hurts the Extreme Rules lineup. Swagger vs. Del Rio in an "I Quit" number one contenders bout isn't of the same quality but at least they aren't killing Ziggler's push and are leaving the title on him.

Where is WWE going with Fandango and Chris Jericho?

Let me start by giving Chris Jericho props. In a day where people sign on to work limited dates to put themselves over, no one has worked harder in trying to help Fandango than Chris Jericho. He's agreed to go under at live events, worked him at Wrestlemania and is doing all he can to help the young guy get heat. This business needs more guys like Chris Jericho. While one of the best and a true legend, he's willing to put the business first and help pass the torch. With that being said, they're trying to get Fandango over as a credible heel. This is why they did what they did on this week's Raw although aside from a good promo by Chris Jericho, I'm not sure it was effective unless the goal was to get people to change the channel.

Why does Jack Swagger still have a job when Ken Anderson was released from WWE for being "reckless"?

Ken Anderson was released from his WWE contract because both John Cena and Randy Orton went to WWE officials about him. Orton was so upset after this blown suplex on the 5/25/09 episode of Raw, he said he wouldn't work with Anderson again. This was Anderson's final WWE match. Jack Swagger is a different situation but I think many were surprised that he wasn't released after his arrest only days after winning the 2013 Elimination Chamber. I don't wish for anyone to lose their job and understand mistakes in the ring happen. I do find it mind boggling with guys get big opportunities and go out and get arrested.

So far I've seen 3-4 classic matches with chair shots to the head. Every time I watch, the frame freezes and skips to the second after the chair was used (example here). Why is WWE doing this?

In January 2010, in accordance with their Wellness Program, WWE enacted an outright ban on chair shots to the head. Past footage is edited to reflect the company's position so it is not interpreted that they condone them. I'm usually pretty liberal when it comes to what is off-limits but I absolutely agree with banning chair shots to the head. Given what we now know about concussions and long-term effects on the brain, there's no reason for someone to take a steel chair over the head.

When will AJ Lee get her shot at the WWE Divas Championship?

I felt like AJ Lee would challenge for the Divas Championship at Extreme Rules on Sunday, however, I'm under the impression the match was pulled when Dolph Ziggler was ruled out. I'll still be surprised if they do nothing with the Divas [at the pay-per-view] but there's nothing on the card heading into the show.

Do you find it annoying how much WWE promoted their App on Raw this week?

A lot of readers get annoyed with constant Twitter mentions or App plugs on Monday Night Raw but I'm not as bothered by them. They're promoting things they feel engage their viewers and will ultimately help retain and grow audience. I have the WWE App and while I'm bias, I think the Wrestling News World iPhone App and Dirt Sheet win hands down. See what I did there?

I'm a big fan of Randy Orton but what's the reason for his regression over the years and is there any way his career can be saved?

Randy Orton was sent back to the mid-card following another Wellness violation last year, however, Orton fans have reason to be very optimistic about his future a year later. Not only is WWE light on top talent but they're clearly building Orton back up. No, they haven't turned him heel but he's in a better position now than he's been since he was suspended.

When John Laurinaitis was written off TV almost a year ago you reported that "we hadn't seen the last of him" and that he'd return to TV. Was his brief segment with The Rock on Smackdown right before Wrestlemania considered his return or can we still expect to see him back on TV in the future?

John Laurinaitis still works backstage for WWE and there is always a possibility about his on-screen character returning down the line. His appearance on Smackdown with The Rock showed he could be used when called upon. It's kind of like Vince McMahon's on-air character. While his primary job is behind-the-scenes, he can appear on television when needed. Both have responsibilities other than their on-screen roles. These are different from the storyline authority figures such as Teddy Long or Vickie Guerrero, who hold no backstage roles or responsibilities but are on-screen talent only.

With The New Age Outlaws competing at live events do you think if given an actual program on pay-per-view they could draw some good buys?

Billy Gunn and Road Dogg, known collectively as The New Age Outlaws, worked the entire WWE European tour and proved they still have it. I'm thrilled they are back with WWE, albeit in a different capacity, and they can be used if called upon. Do I think they could still draw? Absolutely but it's the same situation I talked about above. It comes down to the opportunity and desire to use them.

Where are Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara?

Rey Mysterio had more knee problems after taking a personal leave of absence. He stated recently that he should be back in the ring soon. Sin Cara is back after suffering a concussion and was on weekend live events and worked two matches taped for TV this week. One of them aired on this week's episode of WWE Main Event, a victory over WWE Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett in a non-title match.

What are your thoughts on John Cena vs. Undertaker at Wrestlemania XXX?

I would like to get through SummerSlam before I even start thinking about Wrestlemania XXX. I can tell you Undertaker is a hot commodity, with many guys wanting to work with him. People close to The Rock feel he would be more inclined to work the show if it was against Undertaker at the shear fact that it would draw huge. With that being said, let's focus on the other shows for now.

Why is Undertaker not working Extreme Rules?

Undertaker is still a semi-retired pro wrestler that is basically Wrestlemania only. He stayed on a little longer this year to work Raw and Smackdown in London but it was just to help the company draw overseas with the lack of top talent. He was never in the plans for Extreme Rules although there was talk he could be contacted but to the best of my knowledge, he was not. Undertaker showed at Wrestlemania 29 [against CM Punk] he still has more left in the tank although I'm not sure we'll see him before Wrestlemania XXX next year. SummerSlam is a possibility but we'll have to wait and see.

Why did Nigel McGuinness retire from the ring?

Nigel McGuinness (a/k/a Desmond Wolfe) said he couldn’t make enough money outside of WWE to justify the physical toll that pro wrestling takes on his body so he made the decision to retire. He recently confirmed he's positive for hepatitis B but said he failed the WWE pre-screening process in 2009 because of damage to his biceps. Wolfe is 37-years-old and had a career that he can be proud of.

Everyone knows Ryback could use a manager or mouthpiece and often Paul Heyman is suggested but he has Lesnar and Punk already. Why not pair Ryback with John Laurinaitis or even Kevin Nash?

I agree that Ryback would benefit from a mouthpiece. He has a great look and getting help on the stick could greatly benefit him. WWE recently teased that Paul Heyman was actively pursuing a "third client," however, I'm not sure that wasn't just to draw page views and unique visitors to dot com. With that being said, Heyman is one of the best there is. Laurinaitis would certainly draw Ryback heat although another name you didn't mention that I think would be interesting would be Zeb Colter. I actually think Zeb is one of the best things going in WWE right now and he could certainly help Ryback. Kevin Nash is someone I haven't really thought about but I guess that could work as well. My question is how are they going to book Ryback at Extreme Rules on Sunday? Does he do another job? What exactly has he won that makes him a viable WWE Championship contender? I don't think people are interested in Ryback vs. Cena because Ryback hasn't been booked as a legitimate title contender.

Is there any chance Jack Swagger tried to intentionally harm other superstars in order to further himself or is he just not safe such as Lesnar and Ryback sometimes are?

There's no way Jack Swagger (or any worker for that matter) would intentionally go out and try and injure someone. Not only would that result in termination from WWE but that's a good way to get beat up behind-the-scenes. Injuries happen and are part of the business. Swagger had a rough week last week and is certainly fighting the "reckless" and "unsafe" labels, however, he didn't intentionally try to put a top guy on the shelf.

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