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WWE Diva In A Car Accident, Ric Flair Looking To Get Out Of His TNA Contract To Return To WWE (Details On His New Role), Update On A Top WWE Star Leaving Soon, Details On Two TNA Stars Heading To WWE, Chris Jericho Suspended Over Brazilian Flag Incident,

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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 19, 2012 to Friday, May 25, 2012 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

WWE News

- The official WWE website has announced that Rosa Mendes was involved in car accident late Friday night in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mendes' car was stopped at a traffic light before she was struck by a vehicle traveling almost 50 miles per hour. WWE reports that up to 6 cars were involved in the resulting accident. Rosa was taken to a nearby hospital for evaluation. Click here to read the full announcement.

- Dot com has posted an update on Rosa Mendes after she was involved in a car accident in Las Vegas, Nevada on Friday night. The official WWE website reports Rosa suffered "serious whiplash" but no other major injuries. She was released from the hospital late Friday night.

At approximately 6:45 PM a Mercedes in a turning lane switched lanes and caused a truck to jackknife in which led to a series of successive collisions. Dot com quoted Rosa in their update:

"We were talking when all of a sudden, I saw in my rear view mirror a truck coming really fast. It jackknifed," Rosa told early Saturday morning.

"We were the last car hit, so we had the most impact," she said. "We slid two car lengths. I didn’t know when it was going to stop. If we weren’t in the Hummer, we would’ve been seriously injured."

"My neck and back were really hurting," Rosa said. "My body is my job. I was so scared that I was not going to be able to wrestle. I was in a lot of pain."

"Nothing’s broken," she said. "I feel like I can wrestle but the whole right side of my neck and back have a burning sensation."

Though still very shaken from the incident, the WWE Diva offered an optimistic message to concerned WWE fans.

"I want [the WWE Universe] to know that I'm OK and I'm alive," Rosa said. "I'm grateful to be here because it was really, really scary."

Click here for coverage by

- Sin Cara made his return to the WWE ring yesterday, defeating Hunico at a Supershow live event in Florence, South Carolina. As previously reported on Wrestling News World, he was expected to return this month. He is officially advertised for Smackdown's tour of Mexico from May 24-26. Click here for more results from the live event.

- Brodus Clay was recently interviewed by Chad Dukes and discussed a number of topics, including the origins of the Funkasaurus, having his debut repeatedly delayed, and more.

In the following excerpt, Brodus discusses how his dance segment before The Rock vs. John Cena at WrestleMania XXVIII was almost cut from the show at the last minute:

"We were in what we call the gorilla -- it's right before you get ready to go out. I think it was the band or prep -- something went way wrong. So, they were going to cut the dance. It was cut and we got told in gorilla. And now I'm committed to it and excited and ready to go. I look at the Funkadactyls and I'm like, 'Guys, I think we just got cut.'

"Cena, he was getting his mind ready and he's in the corner getting ready to come out because he comes out shortly after. He's stretching and he said -- it was one of the coolest things ever -- he said, 'If Brodus doesn't go out, I'm not going out.' And just walked away. They were just like, 'Well, send him out.' It was a really cool moment. Everyone talks about Cena, but they don't know that that's the type of person that he is. So, it was real cool. So, honestly, the reason that I actually went down was because of Cena. He had a lot to do with it."

Click here to listen to the full interview

- Christian returned to pay-per-view tonight at WWE Over the Limit, winning a Number One Contender Battle Royal to open the show which he used to face Cody Rhodes for the WWE Intercontinental Championship. He went over, winning the WWE Intercontinental Championship for the fourth time in his career. Christian, who suffered a high ankle sprain in November 2011, returned briefly in March but was sidelined again after aggravating the same injury. He returned to the ring during WWE's post-Wrestlemania tour in the United Kingdom last month but had not been seen on television.

- The official WWE website is reporting that John Laurinaitis suffered a number of "injuries" during his match with John Cena at WWE Over The Limit. The following excerpt details the reported injury:

" has gotten word that Mr. Laurinaitis was rushed to the emergency room from Raleigh, N.C.’s PNC Arena, showing signs of a possible concussion, possible ACL damage to his knee and a possible spinal injury. To add to this litany of serious injuries, the executive also suffered contusions over his entire body and was said to have difficulty raising his left arm and left leg, which can indicate possible nerve damage. The General Manager may have also suffered a broken clavicle."

Click here to read the full announcement. Note from Richard: In case for some reason you were wondering, this is all a work to try and help better legitimize the beating he took from John Cena. I will have more on what I consider to be a failure in my Richard Reacts piece later today.

- IGN has a new piece online with quotes from Stephanie McMahon where she discusses the WWE Raw Supershow expansion to three hours. Below is an excerpt:

“It’s going to be the first-ever regularly scheduled three-hour program on television and I think we’ve got a pretty good handle on it thus far! You know, we do a three hour show called a Pay-Per-View almost every month and Monday Night RAW, we’ve done three hours before, so we feel great about it. “

“This is going to be the most interactive show in television history. Our audience is going to have the chance to effect something in the show every week.” As far as what the audience would be determining, she said it would be, “Matches, stipulations, anything and everything. Different things every week.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- WWE has a blunder over on dot com where they list John Cena as the winner in his match against John Laurinaitis at last night's Over the Limit pay-per-view. You can view the error at this link.

- The UK Sun has a new article online today featuring quotes from Chris Jericho. Below are the highlights:

Feud with CM Punk: “It was a blast. It was the reason I came back. I went to meet with Vince in August to discuss working Wrestlemania with Punk. I knew we could do something with the ‘best in the world’ thing, and it amped up really well with the alcohol thing. It’s all about the storyline to get you to the match and I thought both matches were great. All that I care about is that I walked out of both of them feeling very vindicated and very happy with both. They were both excellent matches to add to my résumé."

Match at Wrestlemania XXVIII: “There were people that thought our match at Wrestlemania was the best. We didn’t have the attraction vibe that the other two matches had. The Rock is an attraction at this point. The Undertaker’s streak is an attraction. Punk and Jericho was just your good old-fashioned wrestling match for a title. The other matches were amazing too. That some people said we had the best match on the show, I was very proud of that.”

The over analyzation of the cryptic videos to bring him back: "They were looking too deep into it — WAY too deep. It was just supposed to be a creepy thing. My idea was that it was the Mayan calendar in 2012 saying it’s the end of the world and I was going back and it’s the ‘end of the world as you know it’. That means that if one day you are walking down the street and you find a dog, and then the dog lives in your house, then it's the ‘end of the world as you know it’. It’s the end of the way that you used to live and it’s a new world. The girl we just put in because she was creepy looking. There was never supposed to be a girl coming in with me — there wasn’t a change of plan. It was exactly what it was intended to be — a cryptic little cool thing that led to me coming back and doing what I did.”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- There's been a lot of talk regarding Ric Flair's status in TNA given a pair of recent no-shows with not much being heard from him. I'm told Flair has actually been trying to negotiate a release from his TNA contract to return to WWE. According to a source that spoke with me under the condition of anonymity, Triple H hopes for Flair to have a significant role in WWE's new plans for their developmental system (which are still very much under wraps). There are not believed to be plans for Flair to return to the ring in WWE. One of the issues believed to have heavily influenced the decision-making of Flair is the fact that his daughter Ashley is close to signing a developmental contract with the company. The feeling is Ric wants to be in the same company as his daughter and look after her career himself by getting a position of power. While it may initially make TNA look bad, I'm told the company is at least considering letting Flair go due to the amount of money it would save them at a time when they've really been trying to keep talent costs down.

- WWE has applied for trademarks for the terms Raw Active and Rip Em.

- The Miz is scheduled to appear the 2012 Cable Show Convention in Boston, Massachusetts at 4 PM EDT this afternoon.

- Dot com is anticipating the 1000th episode of Raw with a new subsection that includes a countdown, videos and photos. You can check it out at this link.

- Justin Roberts denied he had words with Lilian Garcia at last night's WWE Over the Limit pay-per-view. The following is from the official Twitter account of Roberts:

Regardless if they had an all-out argument, disagreement or what was seen by fans was overblown, one thing is clear and that is the company wasn't pleased with the multiple mistakes made by Garcia last night. You can read more about those at this link.

- Yoshi Tatsu was asked about his ankle by Twitter followers after the awkward landing he took when he was eliminated from the "People Power" Battle Royal at last night's WWE Over the Limit pay-per-view. While Yoshi didn't deny getting hurt, he told three different followers he will be "fine."

- There was some chatter coming out of last night's WWE Over the Limit pay-per-view about the number of errors Lilian Garcia made during the show. Lilian announced Sheamus as only weighing 225 pounds (he's billed at 267) and announced Hunico as a participant when Camacho was scheduled to face Ryback. Apparently there were others but those are the ones I'm aware of. I don't know what was said to Lilian backstage (if anything) but there was some talk that management was unhappy with the errors. There were rumors of an argument with Justin Roberts but he has since denied them.

- It appears that Matt Bloom is not Lord anymore as WWE is now referring to him simply as Tensai. You can view his profile on dot com at this link.

- Cody Rhodes posted the following today on Twitter:

- In a follow-up to an earlier item, Lilian Garcia followed-up on Justin Roberts' denial that the two had an argument at WWE Over the Limit:

- It was announced on tonight's Raw Supershow that John Cena will face Big Show next month at WWE No Way Out. - There was a glaring error during the opening segment of tonight's WWE Raw Supershow as John Laurinaitis announced that he re-hired Big Show on Saturday and gave him a bonus. Given the stipulation WWE had announced for the bout between John Cena and Laurinaitis at WWE Over the Limit, not only would have Show's interference caused Laurinaitis to be "fired" but it would have caused him to be "fired" as well. In storyline, the WWE Board of Directors stipulated that if any Superstar or Diva interfered Laurinaitis would be terminated as well as the contracted worker that interfered. When Show "returned" during the match at the pay-per-view, Cole proclaimed he was there because he "bought a ticket" as he interfered to help Laurinaitis win the match. Someone in the back recognized the mistake as it was clarified on commentary that Show agreed in principle on Saturday but didn't actually sign until this morning. - The Public Relations firm that represents Ted DiBiase sent out the following:

WWE Superstar Ted DiBiase Jr. has started a non-profit organization entitled the Ted DiBiase Foundation. It is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and all donations are tax exempt. Their first program is called the "DiBiase Posse Project." It is a VIP Experience with Ted at a WWE Live Event for individuals with life threatening illnesses, disabilities or those going through very difficult times. Also, the Ted DiBiase Foundation is developing additional programs for Youth Leadership as well as Community Causes. For more information on the Ted DiBiase Foundation, please go to Ted will be writing a monthly blog entry on the TDF website. He has just posted his first entry at this link.

- Wrestling News World reader Eric sent word that WWE Champion CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan is being advertised for the August 13th Raw Supershow taping in Dallas, Texas with Triple H scheduled to appear live. Look for the match to be a possible dark match main event if plans do not change by then. - Wrestling News World reader Fernando sent this link that goes to an article of Daniel Bryan promoting tomorrow's Smackdown live event in Poughkeepsie, New York. Bryan admits he almost prefers wrestling in intimate venues. - Wrestling News World reader Jason Watzlawick sent word that John Cena vs. John Laurinaitis with a guest partner and World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio for the July 24th Smackdown taping in Kansas City, Missouri. - Swagbucks announced today that WWE will be ending their affiliations with them for effective June 15, 2012. The following statement was issued today:

"We regret to inform you that will be closing on June 15th. What does this mean for your current WWE Swag Bucks? Until June 15, 2012 the WWE Swag Store will remain active and we will be lowering the prices of all items in the store. After June 15th, all your WWE Swag Bucks will be redeemable at Swag Store where you can also continue to build your Swagbucks account. We are sorry for this sudden change, but will make sure that you still have the ability to earn and spend your Swag Bucks for the rewards you deserve."

- Shawn Michaels was at the Frank and Son Collectible Show in California last weekend. At the appearance, he ran into his former tag team partner Marty Jannetty and uploaded a photo at this link. (Thanks to Wrestling News World reader Patrick Peralta for sending this in.) - The Miz wasn't at last night's WWE Raw Supershow because he was in Boston for the National Cable & Telecommunications Association’s 61st annual convention and international exposition. - In speaking with a source early this morning it appears WWE's position on Alex Shelley changed overnight. While it's unknown if the amount of internet buzz surrounding his TNA departure generated the interest, I'm told WWE is interested in Shelley once his TNA contract expires. For those that missed it, I reported here on Premium that Shelley was letting his TNA contract expire and also revealed another name that is believed to be departing soon. - The latest on the "A Revolution is Coming" viral video campaign from WWE that will be revealed on next week's Raw Supershow is that it will be used to unveil the company's newest video game. There was speculation earlier today the campaign had to do with TNA star Matt Morgan but that no longer appears to be the case. - While Cody Rhodes made headlines for his Tweet yesterday that simply read "time off," he's backstage at tonight's Smackdown taping from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. - It was announced on this week’s Smackdown tapings (click here for this week's results) that Sheamus will defend the World Heavyweight Championship against Alberto Del Rio next month at WWE No Way Out. - Vignettes aired during this week's Smackdown tapings (results available here) announcing that Sin Cara is set to return to WWE TV on next week's Smackdown, airing June 1. Sin Cara has already worked a WWE live event and is expected to work the tour of Mexico from May 24-26. - The following is from the official Twitter account of Randy Orton:

- The Raw crew was scheduled to head to Sao Paulo, Brazil last night for tonight's show in the country but the flight was canceled. WWE Champion CM Punk wrote the following on Twitter:

Chris Jericho added the following in a Tweet last night:

- has a new exclusive video interview with John Laurinaitis where they try and cover for the big mistake that was made on this week's Raw Supershow. You can watch it at this link. (Thanks to WNW reader Robert Rice for sending this in.)

- Joshua Fisher of the Darien Times wrote an editorial last week discussing Linda McMahon's bid for United States Senate where he said WWE was a product that is "barely above pornography." WWE responded with a letter on here on dot com where they tout the company's PG initiative.

- There will be a Smackdown live event tonight from the Mid Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, New York. Mick Foley is officially advertised for the show. If you attend, please submit a live report.

- Despite the fact the revamp plans of WWE NXT are underway after four new episodes were taped last week, the company continued to tape the series at last night's Smackdown taping from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. The plan is to continue on with the current season (taping prior to Smackdown), airing the episodes on until a new television deal is in place. Once the new deal is in place, WWE will begin airing the episodes taped from the campus of Full Sail University.

- To follow-up on a story we ran last week about Alberto Del Rio talking retirement, I'm told by a source close to Del Rio that he'd actually like to have another run in Mexico after his career in WWE before he retires. Apparently all the talk of "retiring when his contract is up" is being done as a way to make the WWE office believe he's finished when his contract is up as opposed to returning to Mexico to prevent him from being buried on his way out the door. Del Rio has saved his money well and is hoping to leave WWE on top when his contract is up, return to Mexico as a hero and work another year or two before calling it a career. My source doesn't feel this story is going to go away and the "cat and house" game between WWE and Del Rio is going to be an interesting thing to follow as time progresses. The company is currently "desperate" for Latin stars and can't afford to completely bury Del Rio but do not have faith he's going to be around for the long haul either.

- WWE ended up with a day off tomorrow in Brazil which proved useful as the company was originally scheduled to run in Rio de Janeiro tomorrow but canceled the show back in April. With the travel issues preventing much of the Raw roster from arriving in the country today, the show in São Paulo has been postponed until tomorrow. The company will have no time to waste as they'll run a show in Guayaquil, Ecuador on Friday.

- WWE has announced a live event on Saturday, July 7, 2012 from the United Spirit Arena from the campus of Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.

- Today is the 13th anniversary of the untimely death of Owen Hart. Bret Hart posted the following on Twitter:

- WWE has updated their key performance indicators, revealing new pay-per-view buy information:

  • WWE Extreme Rules, featuring the return of Brock Lesnar, did a preliminary buyrate of 251,000 buys with 147,000 being domestic.
  • Wrestlemania XXVIII had their buyrate revised to 1,210,000 buys, which was expected based on Vince McMahon's comments in a conference call earlier this month.

- Seth Rollins wrote the following on Twitter:

Remember the plan a couple months ago was to end Florida Championship Wrestling's contract with the Bright House Network to carry the company's television. It's also worth noting Jim Ross said last week there were plans to continue the FCW TV tapings.

- John "Bradshaw" Layfield shared memories of Owen Hart yesterday on his Facebook page. Rather than trying to recap them all here, you can read them now at this link.

- Former WWE star Gene Snitsky was backstage at Tuesday's Smackdown taping in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

- WWE is running a new interview with Chris Jericho over on dot com where he addresses rumors of his departure from the company and his future. You watch it at this link.

- Mark Henry posted the following on Twitter:

- A video leaked today confirming that WWE's "A Revolution is Coming" viral campaign scheduled to be revealed on Monday's edition of Raw Supershow is to announce the launch date of WWE '13 on Thursday, November 1, 2012. Wrestling News World reader Josh Nylund sent us a copy of the video but THQ is policing the internet, getting leaked versions pulled as quickly as they are uploaded.

- Wrestling News World readers Fernando and Robert Rice sent word that WWE has added Lex Luger to the Alumni section of dot com. You can view his profile at this link.

- For those wondering the internal reaction from WWE regarding TNA's recent litigation against them, I'm told WWE is laughing it off. The feeling is WWE can outspend TNA several times over and they could tie the suit up in court for years if they wanted too. One observer commented how WWE really did get caught with their hand in the cookie jar by hiring a former TNA employee, getting confidential contract information on hired talent then firing the person. WWE is playing the "good-guy" card here that they were trying to do a "good deed" by telling TNA about the leaks but TNA isn't buying it. My source pointed out how not only has WWE been interested in Ric Flair (as named in the lawsuit and broke by here by but also Matt Morgan and more recently Alex Shelley.

- The official WWE website has announced that Chris Jericho has been suspended indefinitely, following a stunt involving the Brazilian flag at yesterday's WWE live event in Sao Paolo, Brazil. TMZ reported the following on the incident:

"It all went down during a match between Jericho and C.M. Punk -- who was proudly waving the flag in the ring. Jericho took the flag away, crumpled it up and kicked the flag out of the ring ... and that's when police stepped in and put a stop to the event.

"We're told Jericho was informed that desecrating the national flag is a crime in Brazil ... punishable by incarceration.

"Cops gave Jericho an option -- apologize to the arena ... or go to jail. Chris chose the former ... grabbing the mic and telling the crowd he immediately regretted his actions. Cops allowed the event to continue.

"Sources connected to the WWE tell TMZ ... the flag stunt was NOT planned or approved by WWE officials."

Click here to read the full article.

- The official WWE website has posted the following comments from Chris Jericho, coming after his indefinite suspension for desecrating a Brazilian flag at a WWE live event:

“I made a bad judgment call in the course of entertaining WWE fans in Brazil. I apologized to the people in the crowd for showing disrespect.”

“It was a bad move. I did it with [our] fans’ entertainment in mind and I’ll accept the consequences for that.”

Click here to read the full article.

Jericho also had the following to say on his Twitter account:

- The advertised talent list for the WWE SuperSmackdown on Tuesday, July 3, 2012 from the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas includes John Cena. You can view the list at this link. Click here for ticket information.

John "Bradshaw" Layfield, who knows exactly what it's like drawing criticism at shows overseas, weighed in this morning on the Brazilian flag incident involving Chris Jericho today on his Facebook page. Below is his statement in its entirety:

After seeing reports of Chris Jericho in Brazil-it was what I suspected--Chris trying to entertain and be a heel. Apparently a Brazilian Flag comes into ring and Chris grabs it and kicks it (or something to that effect). Compare that to Sgt Slaughter burning the flag or all the crazy stuff that has gone on. This is nothing. EXCEPT we are in a new era and now that isn't acceptable.

Chris did what most old heels would have done, he reacted and a decade ago it would have been loved for the heat. However, times change and we have to as well-Chris acknowledged this and apologized. Chris is a wonderful person and one of all time great entertainers-there was no malice here from what I see and know about Chris. A mistake was made and is being dealt with.

As far as being illegal, please, if done in an entertaining arena it is considered as such. Like saying you can prosecute Anthony Hopkins for cannibalism because of his role in 'Silence of the Lambs'. I understand the arguements, I went through same thing in Germany and it was never considered a problem in Germany-only over the Internet and the Internet reporters. Chris' intent was to entertain not insult anyone in Brazil or the great Brazilian fans.

Times change and for the better. Chris did what a ton of older heels would have done and he reacted. He is being punished and he apologized. He is one of all time greats and a great friend, old habits are hard to change but we must.

Times change and we have to change with it, and we all will.

- Shawn Michaels has weighed in on the Brazilian flag incident with Chris Jericho on his official Twitter account. Below are his comments:

- WWE has updated the suspension details on Chris Jericho, reporting that he has been suspended 30 days due to "an irresponsible act of denigrating the Brazilian flag." Below is the company's official statement:

Chris Jericho has been suspended for 30 days due to an irresponsible act of denigrating the Brazilian flag at a WWE live event in São Paulo on May 24. WWE has apologized to the citizens and the government of Brazil for this incident.

TNA News

- Austin Aries posted today on Twitter that he has re-signed with TNA. The following is from his official Twitter account:

I find this interesting as we reported here on Premium in March that Aries' TNA contract was coming up and WWE was interested in him for their prospective WWE Network show for cruiser weights.

- TMZ is reporting that King Mo has reached out to Hulk Hogan and Sting for advice following his deal to compete with both TNA and Bellator. Mo is expected to join TNA this summer where he will be first start to make crossover appearances between TNA and the MMA organization.

- I am now able to confirm reports of Alex Shelley's imminent departure from TNA Wrestling. After working last weekend's house show loop, Shelley is waiting for the days to run off his current deal which is believed to be up soon. Shelley's partner, Chris Sabin, is believed to be signed through September but is also expected to leave at that point. According to a source close to The Motorcity Machineguns, both would love to be picked up by WWE, however, no immediate interest is known. One observer feels they will be more likely to work the independent circuit domestically as well as possible dates in Japan.

- Brooke Hogan will be doing her first media blitz for TNA Wrestling today in New York City. Scheduled appearances include appearances on "Fox & Friends" on Fox News, "Inside Edition" on CBS and "Showbiz Tonight" on Headline News.

TNA hired Brooke last week as the new Executive in Charge of the Knockouts.

- Preliminary estimates indicate that this month's TNA Sacrifice pay-per-view failed to cross the 10,000 buys threshold. The number is expected to be between 8,000 and 9,000 buys.

- TNA Wrestling filed an injunction request Wednesday in Davidson County Chancery Court alleging that former office employee Brian Wittenstein provided WWE with confidential information and trade secrets. TNA alleges WWE is now using the insider information provided by Wittenstein to poach talent. According to the suit, a WWE official notified TNA on May 7, 2012 that Wittenstein, who was hired earlier this year as a creative assistant, had provided them with confidential information. While the lawsuit notes Wittenstein was fired from WWE when it was learned what he did, TNA claims WWE waited three weeks before notifying them of the breach. TNA now believes WWE is using the insider information regarding TNA contracts provided by Wittenstein to poach talent. One of the names at the center of the lawsuit is none other than Ric Flair. As we reported here on Premium on Monday, Flair has been trying to get out of his TNA contract in order to return to WWE. According to the suit, Flair approached TNA about getting out of his deal on May 9th and has no-showed every scheduled appearance since. Today, a judge signed a temporary restraining order requiring WWE and Wittenstein to return and not destroy the confidential information. A hearing has been set for June 11, 2012. You can read much more on the suit, including comments from WWE attorney Jerry McDevitt, at this link.

- The following is from the official Twitter account of Dixie Carter:

TNA has moved two of their "BaseBrawl" live events:

  • The show scheduled to take place from the Power Park in Charleston, West Virginia has been moved from August 17th to September 8th
  • The show scheduled to take place from Whitaker Bank Ballpark in Lexington, Kentucky has been moved from August 18th to September 13th


Given Vince McMahon's paranoia, were you surprised that Big Show actually turned heel as expected and helped John Laurinaitis beat John Cena?

The scenario of Big Show "helping" John Laurinaitis after getting "fired" on last Monday's Raw Supershow was so obvious I looked for a swerve to take place to avoid it. The fact of the matter is WWE booked themselves into a corner and if they wanted Show to be any sort of surprise, they shouldn't have announced the stipulation they announced for the match. While the stip read, If Laurinaitis loses, he will be "fired." No WWE Superstar or Diva allowed at ringside, if a Superstar or Diva interferes, he/she will be "fired." When it should have read, Big Show is going to make sure Johnny goes over. I would have had a big problem with last night's show had it not been for a very good undercard. Be sure and check out Richard Reacts to WWE Over the Limit which will be available on Richard's Backstage Blog later today.

Who was the bigger draw - Steve Austin or Hulk Hogan?

These types of questions are nearly impossible to answer because strong cases can be made for both Steve Austin and Hulk Hogan. Given the fact Hogan played a key role in the pro wrestling boom in the 80s as well as the boom of the 90s, I label Hogan as the most influential person in the history of the wrestling business. While we can all question Hogan's sanity today (and probably then too), he legitimized pro wrestling more than anyone before. Steve Austin flourished at a different time when programming was very edgy, however, had it not been for Hogan who knows if there would have been a platform for Austin. Both were tremendous draws and made a ton of money not only for themselves but for everyone around them.

Do you have any news on the current status of John Morrison ? Is there any chance he'll be coming back to WWE soon?

There seems to be plenty of interest in John Morrison as TNA reportedly still wants him and Melina and it's not entirely out of the question that he returns to WWE some time down the road. I heard Morrison recently said he could see himself returning to WWE in another year although there are a lot of things that would need to happen for that to become a reality.

Does John Laurinaitis have any authority as the General Manager?

The General Manager role is a storyline position that possesses no backstage authority. Laurinaitis is the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations in real life so he does have considerable influence and stroke in the company. I guarantee a lot of the boys were enjoying his beatdown from John Cena last night as he's never been very popular.

What's the latest update on Ric Flair?

Yesterday morning I reported exclusively here on Premium that Ric Flair has been trying to negotiate his release from his TNA contract in order to return to WWE. The word is that Triple H would like to hire him in a role within their developmental system. Flair is looking for a way to get back to WWE so he can keep a closer eye on his daughter Ashley that is nearing a developmental contract with the company. I know there are other reports out there that suggest Flair is basically getting fired from TNA because of behavioral issues but these reports are unfounded. TNA knew what they were getting with Flair and were willing to put up with his antics in order to use him for his name recognition. I wouldn't be surprised if TNA put the story out there in order to try and save face from losing Flair to WWE.

If WWE re-signed Big Show on Saturday then shouldn't both he and John Laurinaitis both be "fired" given the stipulation to John Cena vs. Laurinaitis at Over the Limit?

WWE made a big mistake on last night's Raw Supershow when Laurinaitis announced that he re-signed Big Show on Saturday and gave him a huge bonus. WWE tried to correct by clarifying on commentary that Show had agreed in principle on Saturday, however, that made no sense given the fact Show was attacking Laurinaitis at the pay-per-view until Laurinaitis whispered something in his ear. I haven't heard if Johnny miss-spoke or if he was scripted to say that but it was clearly a monumental error that was made on live television.

It seems the finish to CM Punk and Daniel Bryan at WWE Over the Limit didn't go off as it should. I would assume the plan was to have Punk tap as soon as the hand was going down for the 3 not after. Do you think this was a botch spot? Seems like it would make sense to tap before the three in order for Bryan getting a rematch to make sense

The finish to CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan was a planned spot. WWE wanted to make it look like Bryan actually won the match to keep the feud going. We could be in for a treat as the match is on the booking sheets for live events throughout the summer so Sunday's stellar match at Over the Limit could be the start of a very memorable program.

Why does WWE try to act like Abraham Washington, Skip Sheffield, and A-Train never existed before now? They say Ryback and Tensai were in WWE before but why not actually talk about what they've done? Makes WWE seem very unrealistic.

Your question actually contradicts itself as it claims WWE acts like these workers don't exist then mentions the company has acknowledged their past. At any rate WWE doesn't want to harp on how these workers used to be used because they have undergone gimmick makeovers (extreme ones when looking at Ryback and Tensai) where there are bigger plans for them. Ryback was basically an extra in the Nexus, playing second-fiddle to people like Wade Barrett and Daniel Bryan. WWE is trying to push him as the next Goldberg. The company has been focused on a main event run for Tensai although it hasn't been going very well, they didn't want to highlight him as the guy that needed to shave his back.

Have you ever written for WWE or have you ever considered doing it?

While many feel WWE would never hire an internet writer to their creative team, it's been done before as the company recently hired former Baltimore Sun writer Kevin Eck. While Eck wasn't a reporter that broke news, he did blog frequently on the company and was honest in his assessments. I also had some friends that wrote with me back in the early-2000s that went on to work in the WWE creative department so while WWE may frown upon me in my current position I guess it's not out of the realm of possibilities that they'd be interested in me. With that being said I haven't worked for WWE and it would not be something I would be interested in. My position here at allows me to cover the business on my own terms without having to abide by anyone else's guidelines. I would also have a problem with the company's travel schedule as I wouldn't want to be on the road all the time away from my family.

Christian returned to WWE on Sunday at Over The Limit to win the Intercontinental Championship, a mid-card title. Is this seen as somewhat of a demotion or is Christian still considered a main-event talent?

Christian has had to scratch and claw for his position in WWE but he's currently viewed as an upper mid-card talent. While he's working as a face after his return at the pay-per-view on Sunday, I feel his best work is as a heel. Christian's spot as Intercontinental Champion is certainly a demotion from competing for the World Heavyweight Championship, however, I'm sure guys like The Miz would love to have his spot.

I love the idea of Raw expanding to three hours but based on the opinions I've seen around the internet, I'm in the minority. Why do you think this is and what are your thoughts?

The recent quality of programming certainly plays a factor in the lack of enthusiasm from the fan base regarding Raw Supershow's expansion to three hours. While there have been some shades of brilliance, many of the shows have been like "pulling teeth" at times. In order for WWE to be successful with their expansion, they are going to have to present something that is going to make fans want to tune in a full three hours. From an internal standpoint, the writers are dreading it because of how chaotic the tapings already are with two hours of live television. While I discussed my thoughts in detail in yesterday's WNW Premium Mailbag, I'm not looking forward to the expansion more than anyone else. WWE is better off leaving the fans "wanting more" and that's going to be very hard to accomplish.

What is your personal opinion on TNA hiring Brooke Hogan?

The hiring of Brooke Hogan as an executive in TNA Wrestling is clearly the result of Hulk Hogan flexing his muscle to give Brooke something to do. I disagree with it and think it's absolutely ridiculous. Brooke is not a wrestler and is in no position to be in charge of anyone. Moves like this do nothing but hurt locker room morale and cause resentment for upper management. One reader tried to compare the hiring of Brooke Hogan to Shane and Stephanie McMahon working in WWE and while there are similarities, the McMahon kids had to work their way up before they were ever in charge of anything. If Hulk absolutely had to employee his daughter, he could have eased her along in a role where she wasn't labeled an "executive" out of the gate. What's next, letting Nick run talent relations?

When will Rey Mysterio return?

Given his 60-day suspension from WWE due to his second Wellness Policy violation, Rey Mysterio isn't eligible to return to the company until the latter part of next month. I heard the company is working to extend his contract based on dates he's missed from his recent knee injury but we're still a month away from a possible return due to the suspension.

What are your thoughts on WWE possibly signing Alex Shelley?

Interest in Alex Shelley literally materialized over the weekend. If he does sign with WWE, he'll have a lot of work to do. Shelley is a great in-ring performer but will have to fight in order to prevent from getting buried on WWE television as we all know it's an uphill climb for TNA stars with Vince McMahon. I posted a new update earlier this morning that gives more details surrounding his TNA departure, interest from WWE and another name that looks to be following him. You can read it at this link.

Out of curiosity, since WWE is gonna wait until a TV deal is made on the new season of NXT, how close are they to getting a deal through? Will it be sooner rather than later? And any possibility of it being on Syfy, USA Network, G4, or any other NBC/Comcast owned network?

Vince McMahon has said for several months there are already deals out there to air both WWE NXT and WWE Superstars domestically and while nothing has been announced, it seems like it's a situation where the company is working out formalities. Given McMahon's rhetoric, it certainly seems it will be sooner than later when we see the revamped WWE NXT.

Do you feel Randy Orton is under utilized in WWE?

Randy Orton is viewed as number two behind John Cena as the "faces of WWE" but I haven't been a fan of the way he's been book lately. More specifically, I didn't like WWE putting him under to Kane at Wrestlemania.

What are your thoughts on the Chris Jericho/flag incident? I myself can't help but think that there is at least a slight work involved considering he does start touring with Fozzy again in a matter of days?

I'm just learning the details about the flag incident in Brazil involving Chris Jericho but from the information I have obtained so far, it appears fairly legitimate. Obviously in this business you can never rule out the possibility of it being a work, especially given the lengths WWE has went in trying to prove that Chris isn't leaving (check out this video on dot com). What makes me think the incident is a shoot is the fact that Jericho's match was stopped midway through, not in the beginning or end. I find it hard to believe WWE would want to kill the momentum of the show's main event (which was inevitable) had it not been a serious issue. I will post more details when/if they become available.

Do you see CM Punk/Daniel Bryan as potentially as big of a rivalry as Shawn Michaels/Bret Hart? I think if handled correctly, this could go on for years.

When WWE began to feud CM Punk and Daniel Bryan, I know we were in for a treat. On Sunday, we witnessed one of the best matches we have seen in a WWE ring in years, as they clearly didn't disappoint. While the work between Punk and Bryan has the potential to go on for an extended period of time, a new name has emerged in the program. Based on information I have obtained, that I will be detailing later today, it appears any hope of an extended singles-only feud has been derailed for the time being. Punk and Bryan are top guys in WWE and after building Ring of Honor they are now on to carrying the main event in WWE.

What has happened to stables in WWE?

We get a lot of questions from readers that are curious about stables in WWE. While stables have the potential to greatly help the product, they can also become overdone and get stale very quickly. The right opportunity needs to arise before a stable can be created and then it has a limited timeframe to get over with the audience. One of the things I hate about what happened with the nWo, DeGeneration X or even the Nexus is they were pushed beyond that timeframe. As a result, some of the luster wore off and they became a shadow of what they once were.

What are your thoughts on TNA suing WWE over contract tampering?

TNA is trying to protect their business but fighting WWE in court is a losing battle. WWE has more money and resources and they can outspend TNA just for the sake of outspending them. The money and resources that will be used to fight this battle could probably be better used trying to better their product. While TNA may have a case, WWE’s lawyers can tie this thing up in court for years before any type of settlement is awarded.

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