Welcome to the WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium Newsletter. This is where you will find all of the big news and Ask WNW segments from the week neatly archived for your viewing pleasure. This week's edition covers news from Saturday, April 26, 2014 to Friday, May 2, 2014 as well as all five Ask WNW segments from the week. Use this newsletter as your own personal tool to catch up on any of the news that you may have missed during the week. Below is a table of contents:
Note From Richard: For those that have asked, the Newsletter is organized with the news posted on Saturday at the top with the most recent stories at the bottom. We have it organized this way so you can read the news in the order in which it happened. Thanks for your support!
- WWE.com has been running a series called "Fantasy Warfare". It puts together dream matches of current and past superstars. Dean Ambrose vs Jake "The Snake" Roberts and Bad News Barrett vs Bad News Brown were some of them. Today, as prominently featured on their home page, is Sting vs The Undertaker. It's hard to imagine this isn't Vince's sick way of getting the internet excited for this matchup. Maybe it's to gauge a reaction? Regardless the intentions, implied or coincidental, we can at least enjoy the thought and the very cool production video put together for it. You can watch the video right here.
- Tamina's response to her victory over Natalya is featured in this week's episode of Smackdown Fallout. You can watch at this link.
- Jerry Lawler attended some of the Memphis Grizzlies NBA Playoff games in Memphis last week.
- Speaking of WWE names at professional sporting events, CM Punk and AJ Lee were together at Friday night's Chicago Blackhawks at St. Louis Blues NHL Playoff game.
- Dusty Rhodes Tweeted the following:
Rhodes was ranked #5, while Ric Flair was named the best talker in wrestling history. You can read the article here on dot com.
- WWE could lose a significant tax break for running in the state of North Carolina, The Charlotte Observer is reporting. The current break is part of a program that rewards television and movie projects filmed in the state.
In 2010 and 2011, WWE received $570,000 in North Carolina tax credits, based on more than $2.3 million in-state spending as part of the program.
Local politicians will meet on May 14th to determine the program's future.
Their decision will not have any effect on whether or not WWE runs in the state. WWE spokeswoman Tara Carraro issued the following statement:
“WWE applies for applicable film and tax credits offered by any state where we do business just like many other production companies do,”
Click here for coverage by The Charlotte Observer.
- As we noted in our live results, Adam Rose worked Saturday night's WWE live event in Rockford, Illinois. Wrestling News World reader Stephen Johnson, who attended the show, noted that his entrance consisted of people dressed up (like in the vignettes), behind a red velvet rope. A "bouncer" then opened the rope and Rose and everyone else came running down to the ring, throwing out noisemakers and party supplies. It's unknown if this will make it to TV, however, we're told it was an "interesting intro to say the least."
- Lee Marshall has passed away. Marshall was one of the announcers at Wrestlemania 2 and various WCW events throughout the 90s. He sometimes went by the stage name of "Stagger Lee". Outside of wrestling, he is recognized as being the voice of Tony The Tiger for Frosted Flakes cereal.
- Both Bo Dallas and Adam Rose were on the road with WWE over the weekend. Rose worked the loop going over Heath Slater, while Dallas went over Justin Gabriel. What was so notable was Rose's entrance, as it was the gimmick that caused his stock to skyrocket and result in a promotion. However, we're told there are already detractors in the WWE locker room. Fans in attendance noted that Rose got a good pop.
- This week's episode of After Total Divas is online at this link.
- The #YesMovement is alive and well, check out the CONSOL Energy Center during Game 5 of the Columbus Blue Jackets/Pittsburgh Penguins at this link.
- Ultimate Warrior's wife Dana Tweeted the following message from his verified Twitter account on Monday:
"You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have." - Bob Marley
Another Monday Warriors.... I thought that each passing day things would get easier. Not so. Losing Warrior isn't a hole in my life, it is the Grand Canyon! Grief is like the tide I think. It rolls in and out without asking permission. The thing about being a Warrior is the wave can hit us but we are not allowed to fall down. We can stumble, be knocked off balance, but we are required to remain standing no matter the size of the blow. This week I'll stay standing if you'll stand with me. I believe, Always.
Dana A. Warrior
- WWE announced on Monday they raised more than $400,000 benefiting Boys & Girls Clubs and New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees’s non-profit organization, The Brees Dream Foundation. Below is the official press release:
STAMFORD, Conn., April 28, 2014 – WWE today announced that its global online charity auction, Superstars for Kids, has raised more than $400,000 benefiting Boys & Girls Clubs and New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees’s non-profit organization, The Brees Dream Foundation.
As a part of WWE’s pro-social initiatives celebrating WrestleMania® 30 in New Orleans, the auction ran from March 31 through April 8 on charitybuzz.com, and featured unique, once-in-a-lifetime experiences with WWE Superstars and other sports and entertainment celebrities. In addition to the online auction, a red carpet party featuring a live auction emceed by comedian, producer and star of the hit comedy A Haunted Mansion 2, Marlon Wayans was held at the New Orleans Museum of Art during WrestleMania Week.
"The support from WWE and its fans has been overwhelming,” said Drew Brees, Quarterback, New Orleans Saints. “The proceeds from Superstars for Kids is going to go a long way to improving the quality of life for so many children and their families."
“We are thrilled and humbled by the generosity that WWE has shown and we are grateful for the opportunities that WrestleMania 30 has provided,” said Frank Sanchez, Vice President, Sports, Entertainment & Alumni Development for Boys & Girls Clubs. “The support from WWE will increase our capacity to create great futures for the youth of New Orleans.”
“WWE is committed to improving the lives of children around the world and I’m proud that our fans stepped up to support two very deserving organizations,” said Stephanie McMahon, Chief Brand Officer, WWE. “The funds raised through Superstars for Kids will help to create a brighter future for so many children.”
- Dot com featured an article on the death of former WCW announcer Lee Marshall at this link. Marshall worked for WWE for one night only as a ring announcer for the Los Angeles portion of Wrestlemania 2.
- Jimmy Hart talks about his perfect hair at this link.
- Dean Ambrose is the longest reigning WWE United States Champion.
- Last week's episode of WWE Smackdown garnered an average viewing audience of 2,670,000 viewers on SyFy. This was down slightly from the week prior. TV By the Numbers has more data at this link.
- WWE posted an exclusive interview that Renee Young did with WWE Intercontinental Champion Big E at this link.
- Below are a couple of bonus clips from this week's episode of Total Divas:
- WWE posted a video with the Legends talking about what they missed the most during their time in the Legends' House. You can watch at this link.
- On this week's Raw, WWE announced that this Sunday's Extreme Rules PPV will NOT be available on DirecTV or Dish Network. The company has been struggling to keep the PPVs alive on the satellite companies. WWE brushed it off and said to get the WWE Network. If we have any more updates on this situation, including details, we will provide them immediately. Extreme Rules will air Sunday, May 4th.
- This week's Main Event will feature Bray Wyatt vs Sheamus. Main Event airs Tuesday night at 8pm EST exclusively on the WWE Network. Join WrestlingNewsWorld.com for Live Results & Discussion.
- On this week's Smackdown, United States Champion Dean Ambrose will defend his title in a 3-1 Handicap match against: Alberto Del Rio, Ryback and Curtis Axel.
- After winning the Intercontinental Championship Tournament on this week's Raw, Bad News Barret will go on to face current Intercontinental Champion Big E at this Sunday's Extreme Rules.
- Also announced for Extreme Rules is a triple threat match between: RVD, Cesaro and Jack Swagger.
- Following the airing of this week's episode of Monday Night Raw, below is the updated lineup for WWE Extreme Rules:
Extreme Rules Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
- Daniel Bryan © vs. Kane
6-man Tag Team Match
- The Shield vs. Evolution
Steel Cage Match
- John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match
- Big E © vs. Bad News Barrett
Triple Threat Match
- Cesaro vs. Jack Swagger vs. Rob Van Dam
WWE Divas Championship Match
- Paige © vs. Tamina Snuka
2-on-1 Handicap Match
- Alexander Rusev vs. R-Truth & Xavier Woods
Pre-Show Wee-L-C Match
- Hornswoggle vs. El Torito
WWE Extreme Rules 2014 will take place Sunday at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. We'll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- This week's Raw Fallout videos are embedded below. If you're unable to get them to play below you can click the link above and they'll open in YouTube:
- The choir that sang for Bray Wyatt during the segment with John Cena on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw was the Ladue Schools High School choir. They actually Tweeted me an announcement of the singing that you can view below:
We first broke the news over the weekend.
The segment is online at this link.
- WWE Survivor Series 2014 will take place on Sunday, November 23, 2014 from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri. There's a pre-sale ongoing at this link using the password SURVIVOR.
Monday Night Raw TV notes…
- After the show went off the air, John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt was the dark match main event. The bout ended in disqualification after interference from The Wyatt Family. Cena ended up hitting the Attitude Adjustment on all of them to send the crowd home happy.
- WWE announced they'll have an Extreme Rules post-show immediately following the event on the WWE Network on Sunday.
- Harley Race was in attendance at this week's show in St. Louis.
- Adam Rose will debut on next week's episode of Monday Night Raw from Albany, New York. You can watch the final hype vignette from this week at this link.
- WWE displayed the following graphic for the Most Watched Shows on WWE Network last week during the airing of this week's Monday Night Raw:
- The latest Bo Dallas vignette is online at this link.
- Below are video highlights from other notable segments of this week's show:
- Wrestling News World reader Jorge Romero was informed by AT&T U-verse they will not be carrying WWE Extreme Rules on Sunday. Romero linked us to the schedule that you can view at this link. Neither DirectTV nor Dish Network plan to carry the show either, this in response to WWE including the show at a cheaper price on WWE Network.
- This week's episode of Total Divas did an average viewing audience of 1,141,000 viewers on E, which was the second-lowest audience of Season 2. TV by the Numbers has more data on cable shows that aired Sunday at this link.
- Rey Mysterio's contract is up in May and we're told WWE is trying really hard to re-sign him after months of "not caring whether he stayed or not." Apparently the change in position has to do with the realization that he could actually be leaving.
While it's certainly true Mysterio has issues regarding his health, there continues to be a lot of frustration amongst workers from the fact that still, nobody has been told how pay-per-view bonuses will be handled with the evolution of the WWE Network.
We're told WWE hopes the switch from pay-per-view to the Network will "drastically reduce" what they have to pay out in pay-per-view bonuses and as far as they are concerned, the Network is a separate revenue stream and the boys will continue to get their cuts from PPV, not the Network. However, this is most certainly going to be an issue with traditional providers dropping pay-per-views and buys for Wrestlemania 30 being down from years past because of the WWE Network.
The worry right now in WWE is there is going to be a lot of upset/disappointed/furious talent when Wrestlemania bonus checks begin to arrive. However, as one observer put it, what leverage do most of the guys have?
- Mick Foley posted the following blog on Facebook about John Cena/Bray Wyatt segment on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw:
Richard Reacts: I will add the segment was a bright spot to an otherwise dull episode of Raw. Someone on Facebook called it the "segment of the year" and while I still think that belongs to #OccupyRaw, it was very well done.
- This week's episode of Monday Night Raw did an average viewing audience of 4,610,333 viewers on the USA Network. Below is how the viewership broke down by hour:
Hour one - 4,512,000 viewers
Hour two - 4,667,000 viewers
Hour three - 4,652,000 viewers
The show was up a strong 471,000 viewers from the week prior. This week's show was the go-home to Extreme Rules broadcast. TV by the Numbers has more data at this link.
- Ring Rust Radio interviewed Bad News Barrett ahead of his WWE Intercontinental Championship match at Extreme Rules on Sunday. Below is an excerpt:
You know it’s always good to be on a pay-per view in WWE, that’s never a given. So first of all, you have to work your way on to a pay-per view, then to be put into a title match is pretty cool, especially after how long I’ve been out of the ring, I think it was back in November I disappeared off TV for a while then came back and just started talking. Hopefully, fingers crossed, I’ll beat RVD tonight at Raw then go on to take on Big E at Extreme Rules, so that’s what I’m hoping for.
You can listen to the interview at this link.
- The 3-on-1 handicap match for the WWE United States Championship on this week's episode of Smackdown was changed to a Fatal 4-Way match with Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins banned from ringside. The match featured Dean Ambrose defending against Curtis Axel, Alberto Del Rio and Ryback. The bout was taped on Tuesday night as we have taping results at this link.
- Below are video highlights from this week's episode of WWE Main Event:
- KENTA is leaving Pro Wrestling NOAH in Japan with his final appearance scheduled for May 17, 2014.
The announcement, which was made Wednesday in Japan, will lead to immediate speculation he could be WWE bound. For those that do not remember, KENTA spent time at the WWE Performance Center in January. We reported at the time that Triple H paid extra attention to him and was impressed with his skills. However, he wasn't 100% on board with KENTA after getting burned by Mistico (the original Sin Cara). We also heard it was Daniel Bryan that put in a good word for him.
KENTA documented his experience in a blog we carried at this link.
- WWE officially announced on Wednesday that WWE Network is now available on the Xbox One video game and entertainment system.
- Ric Flair and Rob Van Dam have been announced for next month's WWE NXT Takeover show. The next NXT live special will take place on Thursday, May 29, 2014 from the campus of Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida.
- After this week's episode of Smackdown was finished taping, The Shield beat The Wyatt Family in a dark match main event when Roman Reigns pinned Luke Harper.
Backstage news from Monday Night Raw in St. Louis…
- Triple H stayed very close to Ric Flair backstage and in the ring on Monday night. As one observer put it, you just never know when Flair is going to flip the Flair switch.
- There was talk of adding The Usos vs. Ryback & Curtis Axel in a rematch for the WWE Tag Team Championship to the Extreme Rules lineup, time permitting.
- Vince McMahon wasn't thrilled with the go-home to Extreme Rules but he wasn't overly concerned with it either. The feeling I got in speaking with people is there isn't the "sense of urgency" there used to be with go-home episodes because the fact of the matter is, a large portion of people that were former pay-per-view buyers are already WWE Network subscribers.
- There isn't too much to report regarding a new domestic television deal. Many believe an update could come as soon as Thursday morning with Vince McMahon hosting an investor conference call.
- WWE is being investigated by a group of investors over potential violations of securities laws. The announcement was made by the Shareholders Foundation, a company that specializes in securities class action and other legal actions that affect investor holdings.
According to their announcement, the investigation by a law firm acting on behalf of investors is looking at whether or not WWE made false and misleading statements at the time they were made. While vague, it's noted that certain WWE "directors and officers in connection with certain financial statements" are being investigated.
Click here for more.
- While doing media to promote this week's episode of Monday Night Raw in St. Louis, Sheamus opened up about backstage resentment towards him when he first won the WWE Championship in 2009.
When asked about his critics after beating John Cena for the title, Sheamus stated explicitly that he "didn't give a damn" and wasn't there to make friends but be successful.
Sheamus said traveling with Daniel Bryan and William Regal when Bryan was "doing the vegan thing" was the worst ever. He said Vince McMahon is quiet, focused and always been cool with him.
You can watch the interview at this link.
- Renee Young interviews Triple H in this week's kayfabe sit down interview at this link.
- Brandi Rhodes, Eden from NXT, explains how she began dating Cody Rhodes in her latest video blog. You can watch it at this link.
- WWE has released the following workers from their developmental contracts:
The releases became public knowledge when their profiles were removed from the NXT section here on dot com.
- Add 8-time World Arm Wrestling Champion Sarah Bäckman to the list of WWE NXT workers that have departed. The story making rounds is that she requested and was granted her release. Bäckman was signed back in November of last year.
- WWE dismissed the claim made by the Shareholders Foundation, issuing a statement that it has "no substance or merit." Below is the company's statement:
"The claim that Shareholders Foundation is allegedly investigating has absolutely no substance or merit."
Shareholders Foundation wrote WWE and certain "directors and officers" were being investigated for making false and misleading statements, thus potentially violating securities laws.
- Below are the official buy rates for Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber:
Royal Rumble - 467,000 buys (compared to 512,000 in 2013)
Elimination Chamber - 183,000 buys (compared to 213,000 in 2013)
WWE's complete 2014 first quarter results are available at this link.
- WWE Chief Financial Officer George Barrios issued the following statement in Thursday's 2014 first quarter earnings release regarding the company's TV licensing agreements in the United States and India:
“Regarding our TV licensing agreements, we are continuing to negotiate with potential distribution partners in the U.S. and India. Over the past several years, we have invested in people, content and technology, and we continue to believe the successful execution of our key initiatives could potentially result in doubling or tripling our 2012 OIBDA results to a range of $125 million to $190 million by 2015. We will provide more information and further guidance for 2014 and 2015 as appropriate.”
Click here to review WWE's 2014 first quarter results in their entirety.
- Vince McMahon issued the following statement in Thursday's 2014 first quarter earnings release:
“For the quarter, our earnings reflected the launch of our WWE Network, which delivers unparalleled depth of programming, ease of use and value to our fans. With almost 670,000 WWE Network subscribers in the U.S. and nearly 400,000 domestic pay-per-view buying homes for WrestleMania 30, we are confident that we will reach our goal of 1 million subscribers by the end of 2014,” stated Vince McMahon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “To drive WWE Network subscriber growth, we are highly focused on further developing our programming, expanding distribution platforms and executing customer acquisition campaigns. The expansion of WWE Network in the U.S. and international markets will provide a platform for long-term growth over the coming years.”
Click here to review WWE's 2014 first quarter results in their entirety.
- Following up on Wednesday's report of KENTA'sPro Wrestling Noah departure, Wrestling News World reader Hiroaki Kawafuji sent word that it's being reported in the Japanese press that KENTA will be joining WWE this summer.
At this point we cannot confirm KENTA is WWE bound, however, this only adds to the obvious speculation following his visit to the WWE Performance Center earlier this year.
KENTA's final appearance for Pro Wrestling Noah will take place on May 17, 2014.
- Oliver Grey and Danny Burch Tweeted the following about their WWE releases:
On Wednesday, WrestlingNewsWorld.com was able to confirm the releases of Grey, Burch, Sarah Bäckman, Mason Ryan and Shaul Guerrero.
- In the latest episode of WWE Inbox, Emma, Paige, Dolph Ziggler, Cody Rhodes, Goldust and more share their favorite moments from the Raw after Wrestlemania 30. You can watch at this link.
- The expert panel for the WWE Extreme Rules show on Sunday will be comprised of Josh Mathews hosting Alex Riley, Booker T and Sheamus. The Kickoff begins at 7:30 PM EDT on WWE Network.
- The following new original programming is coming to WWE Network:
WWE Countdown Season 2
Monday Night War
WWE Tough Enough
You can read more in the recap of Thursday's WWE investor conference call.
- AJ Lee, who is currently away on approved time off, has been keeping in contact with the WWE office. She's been told she can have as much time off as she wants. There is no heat on her and had she not asked for time off, the plan was to keep pushing her.
As for AJ's fiancé, CM Punk, no one within WWE has spoken to him. The company considers it a priority to keep AJ as happy as possible as they are still planning to attempt to re-sign Punk as the expiration of his Performer's contract nears.
We're told they're being careful not to pressure AJ for updates on Punk and simply give her what she wants. Internally, Punk is still expected back, but mainly because WWE always assumes nobody would want to leave. Guys usually change their mind. Although when it starts to get really close, WWE does panic sometimes and finally start to accept that someone could actually leave.
That's usually when talent has their best shot at a great deal, something Mark Henry has pulled off in the past.
- Seth Rollins told IGN there's a lot left in The Shield. Read a new interview with him at this link.
- Speaking of Rollins and The Shield, they did media in Kansas City. Watch at this link.
- It appears that head NXT trainer Bill DeMott will be involved with the return of WWE Tough Enough. He Tweeted the following:
WWEannounced on Thursday the show was returning as an original WWE Network program.
- Natalya Tweeted a photo with current UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey. You can view it below:
- WWE has booked midget wrestler Short Sleeve Sampson for Sunday's Extreme Rules. He wrote the following on Facebook:
Sampson worked in Micro Championship Wrestling and one can only assume that he'll be involved in the WeeLC match between El Torito and Hornswoggle.
- With WWE losing their pay-per-view clearance across the board, we're told DirecTV, Dish Network and inDEMAND are looking for more wrestling-related content to help fill the void. This is how Ring of Honor ended up on pay-per-view and there have been talks with TNA Wrestling to increase their live pay-per-views as well. Another company that could benefit from this is Jeff Jarrett'sGlobal Force Wrestling promotion. We're told they've been talking with the providers and could land clearance at the simple fact the providers want more wrestling to offset the WWE loss.
- Scott Fishman of The Miami Herald has a new article online to promote Extreme Rules on Sunday featuring quotes from Jey Uso and Ryback. Below are the highlights;
Jey Uso on wining the WWE Tag Team Championship:
“It meant a whole lot,” Jey said. “They finally put us on a pedestal with my whole family. There is this Samoan lineage and being champion. It was March 3 we won. If you watch the footage back, it was a moment for us. We know how much it meant to the family. We knew they were watching.”
Ryback on regressing to the midcard:
“I came in 2012 and burst on the scene,” Ryback said. “I believe I was the most popular thing. Before the ‘Yes Movement’, there was the ‘Feed Me More’ movement. I took the WWE by storm. I was undefeated for some time, sometimes taking on two guys at one time. I jumped in the main event scene very quickly and stayed very popular with the WWE Universe for a long time. We made the switch and went an opposite way and took it all away. Not that I necessarily agreed with it at the time, but I feel it was a good move.”
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
- Chris Jericho did an interview with Digital Spy where he spoke about a number of topics. Among them, he confirmed talks with WWE in November about returning but said they ultimately couldn't come together on a plan to bring him back. He said he wouldn't have been interested in working the 30-man Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at Wrestlemania XXX.
Jericho still has a good relationship with WWE and he could return if it worked for both parties.
Below are some other highlights:
His reaction to the streak ending:
"I loved it, I thought it was great. It was a legitimate shock, it got everybody talking. I think the right guy got it, if you're going from a credibility standpoint, and if you're going from a believability standpoint. As much as people and fans and journalists want to believe that it's the case, I'm not sure if Undertaker had too many matches left in him. Maybe he doesn't want to wrestle again. Maybe he knew that he couldn't take any more.
The CM Punk question:
"I don't know, man, who knows, right? That's something that only he can answer for sure. To me, if he hasn't come back already, then... I left the WWE for two-and-a-half years in 2005. The only difference was I left when my contract was up, but I disappeared too, because I just was over it. I couldn't take it anymore, I wasn't interested in being there, I was getting miserable, so I know how he feels.
Click here to read the interview in its entirety.
- Cody Rhodes and Bad News Barrett look for help from Wolverine in their battle against JBL and Michael Cole. The JBL & Cole Show is now online at this link.
- TNA Champion Eric Young will return to Animal Planet in a new show called No Limits. The series will be a continuation of Off The Hook: Extreme Catches, where he'll "crisscross" the country to try his hand at various extreme activities.
Young Tweeted the following:
- In the opening match of TNA Sacrifice, The Wolves beat The BroMans to win the TNA Tag Team Championships. Prior to the match, it was announced that MVP was making the match a No Disqualification Match.
- Angelina Love beat Madison Rayne at TNA Sacrifice to win the Knockouts Championship. Velvet Sky sprayed hairspray in Rayne's face before Love rolled Rayne up to win.
- TNA posted the following #Impact365 videos following Sunday's Sacrifice pay-per-view:
- Both Bully Ray and James Storm came out of their respective matches at TNA Sacrifice banged up.
Ray noted on Twitter that he was unable to workout on Monday morning because he's just getting out of the hospital. According to the former TNA Champion, he bruised one rib and fractured another.
Bully Ray went under to Bobby Roode in a Tables match.
Storm said he underwent x-rays but they came back negative. The following is from Twitter:
James Storm went under to Gunner in an "I Quit" match.
- Below are official details on TNA Champion Eric Young's new "No Limits" show on Animal Planet:
IMPACT Wrestling superstar, self-avowed adrenaline junkie, and recently crowned TNA World Heavyweight Champion, "Showtime" Eric Young returns to Animal Planet in the new 10-part series NO LIMITS, a continuation of the adventure fishing series OFF THE HOOK: EXTREME CATCHES. Premiering Friday, May 30, at 8 PM (ET/PT), NO LIMITS follows Young as he showcases adrenaline-fueled adventures that take him to the edge of his comfort zone. From the intrepid to the insane to the just plain dumb and the all-out dangerous, Eric tests his limitations like never before! This season, Young travels to New York, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Puerto Rico, Maine and many other locations to experience hidden thrills and to discover the wild subcultures and lifestyles of those driven to live the extremes that the outdoors has to offer. Whether he's searching for invasive pythons in South Florida, river boarding through Class IV rapids on the Ocoee River in Tennessee, or climbing an Alaskan iceberg from a paddleboard, Young (and his iconic manly beard) won't stop until he puts his signature move on the competition.
Click here for more.
- Brooke Tessmacher wrote on Facebook that she has received a ton of questions about why she dedicated to have a breast revision, therefore she released the following statement:
- Christopher Daniels has been removed from the roster page on Impact Wrestling.com. We noted last week that Daniels is a free agent and commanding interest from Jeff Jarrett'sGlobal Force Wrestling promotion.
- The replay of TNA Sacrifice is now available online for $39.99. You can watch at this link
- TNA Wrestling's next "One Night Only" show to premiere on pay-per-view will be "Joker's Wild 2" on Friday, May 9, 2014.
- Kurt Angle traveled to Winnipeg, MB over Easter weekend and appeared at Primos Collectibles in the Garden City Shopping Center. This was a meet & greet and autograph session that was held on Saturday, April 19, 2014 from 1PM CDT to 4PM CDT.
Kurt contacted me and stated that Jaime Sparkes from Sparkes Productions, the promoter who signed Angle and ran the event, scammed him out for $10,000. Kurt stated that he received two bounced checks from Jaime - One bounced before the event and then another bounced afterwards. Kurt tried to contact Jaime, but he won't respond.
While Angle is still looking to get the money that he deserved for participating in the event, he said, "I don't want him doing it to another talent."
- Knux is being repackaged in TNA Wrestling in a new stable called The Menagerie that also involves a Knockout named Rebel. That character will be played by former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader Tanea Brooks. You can familiarize yourself with her at this link. Here's a vignette for the stable. The faction taped their first match in TNA earlier in the week that will air on next week's Impact Wrestling. Click here for spoilers.
- Kenneth Cameron made his TNA debut on this week's episode of Impact Wrestling under the ring name Bram. Cameron is known for his days in WWE NXT, as his real name is Thomas Latimer. Here's a backstage segment with Magnus. Bram worked as a member of The Ascension (still in existence but as a tag team) in NXT. We reported on April 29, 2014 that TNA Wrestling had agreed to a contract with Bram. It should also be noted that he is the son-in-law of Ric Flair as he's married to Ashley Fliehr (a/k/a Charlotte from NXT).
- It was announced a couple of weeks ago on Impact Wrestling that Brittany suffered a concussion. We can confirm that injury was legitimate and occurred at the last set of TVs (obviously not the ones this week).
- This week's post-TNA Sacrifice episode of Impact Wrestling did an average viewing audience of 1,131,000 viewers on Spike TV. Click here for the Thursday cable ratings table at TV by the Numbers.
- While the announcement isn't surprising, Global Force Wrestling sent a press release out today announcing the partnership with Mexico's top wrestling promotion, AAA. Jeff Jarrett stated in GFW's The Journey webisode last week that he is looking forward to working with the Mexico promotion, but there wasn't any word from AAA themselves until now. Below is the official press release:
April 29, 2014
GFW REACHES AGREEMENT WITH TOP MEXICAN PROMOTION
NASHVILLE – Global Force Wrestling has reached a partnership agreement with AAA, the top wrestling promotion in Mexico for more than 20 years.
The companies will exchange talent for events in both the United States and Mexico. AAA started in 1992 and quickly became the most exciting professional wrestling promotion in Mexico.
“AAA is happy to continue our relationship with Jeff Jarrett and now with his newly formed wrestling promotion Global Force Wrestling,” said Dorian Roldan, executive vice president of AAA. “I believe it’s imperative that wrestling organizations have talent exchanges because it’s good for the industry and wrestling fans around the world. It exposes them to different talent and different styles that will bring a unique perspective to GFW.”
Jarrett, the founder and CEO of GFW, and his wife, Karen, have regularly appeared in AAA and have headlined their signature event TripleMania.
“I’ve had a working relationship with the family that owns AAA for the past 10-plus years,” Jarrett said. “Karen and I have seen firsthand the passion of the wrestling fans throughout Mexico.
“This is exactly what Global Force Wrestling is about. We’re thrilled to share the AAA brand as part of our mission to span the globe to find the absolute best talent. We promise to immerse our fans in a wrestling promotion that is constantly evolving, constantly striving to be innovative and interactive.”
GFW already has announced a partnership with 25/7 Productions and David Broome, the creator of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” and the promotion has several more key announcements planned for the coming weeks.
You can check out the official press release on GFW's website here.
- Speaking of Global Force Wrestling, we're told Toby Keith (whose net worth is estimated at $320 million) has scaled back on what he's willing to invest in talent. We're told he's not willing to give Jeff Jarrett a blank check to do whatever he wants. This has added some pressure for Jarrett to possibly attract some more investors to assure they are able to land enough to star power to launch. This is also on the assumption they will be able to get a decent TV slot.
With Brock Lesnar in the midst of the biggest push of his career, do you see WWE being crazy enough to blow the opportunity? Wouldn't you say it's essential he go over in several of his upcoming matches?
One of the reasons why I was initially against Brock Lesnar ending the streak was a lack of confidence in WWE creative to handle booking him forward (my stance has since changed). While Brock is 5-2 since returning to WWE in 2012, I cannot get the loss to John Cena in his first match back at Extreme Rules 2012 out of my mind. That was one of the worst creative calls in WWE history. It still boggles my mind why WWE chose to put Lesnar under to Cena when he came in as the hottest name in pro wrestling and MMA circles. Moving forward, it's imperative that WWE books Brock with the upmost confidence and protects him to the fullest extent. Yes, I believe it's absolutely essential that he goes over in his next several programs and eventually provides a payoff to an up and coming talent that has the potential to be a megastar. In short, I believe Brock Lesnar needs to be WWE World Heavyweight Champion by Wrestlemania 31 next year.
Do you see Rob Van Dam getting on final run as WWE World Heavyweight Champion?
Anything is possible but I do not see Rob Van Dam getting another run as WWE World Heavyweight Champion due to the short-term nature of his contract. His new deal calls for him to work through SummerSlam, so he's very much a short-term option. Vince McMahon is high up on RVD and I expect him to be booked as an upper level mid card talent.
Do you think R-Truth is getting frustrated by the way he's booked in WWE?
R-Truth is 42 years old and in the position where he can help up and coming talent. I suppose he could get frustrated but I'm not sure what good that would do him. Not everyone can work in the top of the card and the fact of the matter is R-Truth still gets on television and booked for live events. To expect much more at this juncture of his career is probably unrealistic.
With Cesaro out of the WWE Intercontinental Championship Tournament, what's next for him?
The first order of business for Cesaro was to blowoff his underlying feud with Jack Swagger, which is why he wasn't put over to win the No. 1 Contender Tournament for the WWE Intercontinental Championship. That blowoff could have happened at last week's Smackdown taping, where Cesaro went over Swagger clean with the Neutralizer. It's certainly possible that WWE stretches that program out through Extreme Rules next Sunday but whatever happens next, the future is bright for Cesaro.
From the Ask WNW vault…
October 2012: Does CM Punk have a real problem and animosity against The Rock? - CM Punk, like many other workers in WWE, has legitimate beef with how The Rock is able to come in as a part-timer, dominate the spotlight for a select number of appearances and leave only to return and do it again. Many, if not most, of the workers that are on the road 300 days out of the year feel the same way. However, the stuff that is likely to be used on WWE programming will be “turned up” a couple notches to get it over in storyline. As for my thoughts, if a worker gets over and draws, they should be able to do so. I have no problem with part-time talent if they create interesting and compelling programs. Rather than criticize the part-timers, I feel people like CM Punk should try and become bigger stars to where there is no need to utilize past stars. Do you think either The Rock or Steve Austin needed Hulk Hogan to come in and sell pay-per-views?
Update: I know I have to be careful when I’m critical of Punk but let me try a second attempt to clarify my point. The Rock, Steve Austin, Mick Foley and D-Generation X were responsible for defeating WCW in the height of the Monday Night Wars. They drove ratings, pay-per-view buyrates and merchandise sales that ultimately sent a billionaire in Ted Turner scrambling to unload the money hole WCW had become. For those talking about Wrestlemania 18, upon which point Hulk Hogan returned to face The Rock, this was AFTER the war had been won. The Attitude Era ended in March 2001 when McMahon purchased World Championship Wrestling.
Am I the only person that thinks it's bad the satellite providers - Dish & DirecTV specifically - are not carrying Extreme Rules? Is WWE prepared for the financial loss?
WWE knew they were facing the possibility of losing their traditional pay-per-view partners when they announced the WWE Network. Luckily, most providers carried Wrestlemania 30 and the show did a surprising 400,000 traditional domestic buys, however, that will certainly not be the case with Extreme Rules. The company is willing to sacrifice their pay-per-view business - 17% of their net revenue in 2012 - with the launch of WWE Network, which is why they hope to be at 1 million subscribers before the end of the year. Given the fact that both Dish and DirecTV postured about such a move before Wrestlemania, it's not a surprise to anyone in WWE. What's of more concern within WWE is pay-per-view bonuses for talent, with many fearing payouts for Wrestlemania are going to be lower than years past. I'm currently working on a story and will have more shortly.
Where is Evan Bourne?
Evan Bourne is still under WWE contract but there are not plans to use him as of this writing. The last we wrote about him was in February when he was training at the WWE Performance Center. I can tell you he told the office he was ready to go for SummerSlam last year but was told that he wasn't needed. I honestly do not know if there are plans for him to come back or not. As someone that enjoys his work, I hope to see him get another chance.
I am admittedly a fan of Windham Rotunda in the Bray Wyatt role, though once his meteor year passes, I wonder if the talent depth can show through in a character bound to burn out? What would you think of Kevin Steen as Bray? Even in a character burn out his overall ability could likely sustain him long term. Not to mention I feel like the character of Bray is a naturally present part of Steen's psyche.
Addressing the first part of this question first, the biggest issue with Bray Wyatt and how far he goes will be the "stay ability" of the character. Is it a timeless gimmick like that of The Undertaker or like you suggest, will it inevitably burn out? I can't give that answer because only time will tell. As for the second part, you seem to be suggesting that Kevin Steen should replace Bray? Steen isn't even under WWE contract and would certainly have to go through developmental (like many others, including his former tag team partner Sami Zayn) before getting the call to the main roster. My stance is it's the worker that makes the gimmick, not the gimmick that makes the worker. You couldn't have just given The Undertaker gimmick to anyone and expected it to work. The same goes for Bray Wyatt. It's his talent that has brought the gimmick to the forefront with stellar mic work and in-ring talent to match.
Are you looking forward to Extreme Rules on Sunday? What do you think of the show's lineup?
This year's Extreme Rules pay-per-view is built around The Shield vs. Evolution, John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt and Daniel Bryan vs. Kane. That's a strong enough lineup for me to take interest in a B-level show that follows Wrestlemania. I'm also high up on the undercard bouts for the IC title, Divas Championship and the recent work of Cesaro to watch with a close eye. While there will obviously be concerns with major satellite providers not carrying the show, this will likely be one of the most-watched B-level pay-per-views of all time because of the WWE Network.
From the Ask WNW vault…
November 2011:Do you ever see Zack Ryder being a main event type guy in WWE? - I don’t see Zack Ryder’s gimmick as a main event gimmick but he has the talent to work in the top of the card. Gimmicks can always be tweaked to elevate a worker but the Jersey Shore stuff has a shelf life. I don’t want to make a direct comparison between Ryder and John Cena but Cena was introduced to the WWE audience with a gimmick that had a shelf life and developed into one of the biggest stars in the business. While I understand Ryder has had past gimmicks on WWE TV, this is his first singles gimmick.
I was wondering what you thought of Kane coming up from under the ring on Raw? He's done it before recently to Zack Ryder unsuccessfully, so I thought this time, he'd actually capture Brie. Why do they recycle this with the same outcome?
The first thing I thought about when Kane came up through the ring on Raw was Abyss recently doing it in TNA. So many readers accuse TNA of biting from WWE, I just found it funny. I realize "WWE did it first, so technically…" In this business, there's a lot of recycling and it's not a huge issue to me but it does provide ammunition for people to use against a particular promotion. The point of Kane "coming up through the ring" was to push the monster renewed headed into his WWE World Heavyweight Championship match against Daniel Bryan at Extreme Rules. I actually think if Kane had "captured Brie," there would have been more intrigue headed into Sunday but apparently a kidnapping angle is not something the company wanted to do.
Jack Swagger has no lost twice to Cesaro and it only seems to be burying him. Do you see them adding a new member to The Real Americans?
WWE moved forward with these Cesaro/Jack Swagger bouts to provide a payoff for the underlying tension that was teased between them in the build to Wrestlemania. One thing that’s plaguing Cesaro is the fact his character is in limbo following the pairing with Paul Heyman. Heyman is one of the most hated men in the business (due to his Brock Lesnar association) but WWE teased a Cesaro babyface turn for months. Now, Cesaro is with Heyman and the crowd doesn't know how to react. I'll argue this is the reason for Rob Van Dam's insertion in the match at Extreme Rules. WWE isn't concerned with burying Swagger as much as they are elevating Cesaro. I don't know of plans to add another member to The Real Americans as of this time.
When you get down to it, what do you think accounts for the obvious but egregiously misguided fact that Triple H thinks Batista is/was a bigger draw than CM Punk?
The situation is complex and involves more than just Triple H's opinion of CM Punk compared to his opinion of Batista. Obviously Hunter and Batista are closer than Hunter and Punk but then again, there's more to it than that. The initial plan for Wrestlemania 30 was to do Punk vs. Triple H and Batista vs. Randy Orton. Who's getting screwed there? Not Punk, not Batista but Daniel Bryan. Since Punk bolted WWE, everyone has been trying to "think for him" and make accusations based on conjecture. It's not completely unfounded conjecture, however, we still haven't heard from the man himself. Until Punk explains what happened, we really don't know. Punk is a huge star and solidified his status as such three years ago, however, as we've seen, WWE is bigger than any one name. Can we even say Punk "stuck it to WWE" by bolting?
When Undertaker decides to retire from wrestling, do you expect WWE to give him a proper farewell as they did with Ric Flair? I believe Taker has been around long enough to deserve that treatment.
There are new comments out on Wednesday that Steve Austin made to Power Slam magazine where he thinks Undertaker's match against Brock Lesnar [at Wrestlemania 30] should be his last. I thought that was pretty much a given based on the streak ending, however, I was told just days after [Brock vs. Taker] that was actually not the case. My source informed me there was still a chance of Undertaker working the show next year in a match against Sting. That would provide the payoff for a "proper sendoff" that you suggest. At the end of the day it comes down to Undertaker's health and desire to work again, something I gave up on guessing a long time ago. Undertaker remains in the same year-by-year situation he's been in for a while and until he says differently, all we can do is wait.
From the Ask WNW vault…
December 2011: Why did Gail Kim leave WWE? - Gail Kim was unhappy and frustrated with the way WWE pushes their Divas. She made a scene with her WWE departure, eliminating herself from a Divas battle royal and got heat for it from John Laurinaitis. Gail’s three-year WWE contract she signed in 2008 was up in August and she knew she had an opportunity with TNA Impact Wrestling without a 90-day non-compete clause. Gail left TNA in 2008 because of a better financial offer from WWE.
Do you think Brock Lesnar has lost a lot of the momentum he gained by defeating the streak at Wrestlemania by not appearing on television since? WWE has always assumed the fans have short memory so I'd have thought they'd want to capitalize on it as quickly as possible before we stop caring.
I actually look at Brock Lesnar not having a program directly after beating Undertaker at Wrestlemania 30 as a good thing. Let me ask you a question. What program is going to be big enough for Lesnar after beating Undertaker at Wrestlemania? WWE now has a "Lesnar card" they can play when they're in need of a big boost, so they should hold it until the time is right. Extreme Rules is obviously going to be a letdown from Wrestlemania, all shows are, so it's a wise move. This is a situation where Lesnar actually benefits from being a part-time talent. While WWE relies on their audience having a short memory, no one is forgetting about Lesnar ending the streak anytime soon.
If Jeff Jarrett still owns good percentage of TNA but is about to start Global Force Wrestling, is this a problem for TNA and will it have any major affect?
Jeff Jarrett still owns 29% of TNA Wrestling and him starting his own promotion is a major problem. Jarrett already has a number of *his touches* that he had with TNA on the new product. Kevin Sullivan, former TNA producer is involved, Hermie Sadler is on the board and they've officially announced a working relationship with AAA in Mexico. It's not stopping there either as they want to tape TV at Universal Studios and are negotiating a national television contract. Last but certainly not least, Jarrett has a great relationship with a lot of the names TNA let walk, so there is a very good chance of GFW establishing a great roster right out of the gate (we listed 12 names here). TNA had enough problems before this and I can tell you with 100% certainty they were very worried about Jarrett teaming with Toby Keith to start another promotion.
Are the rumors true, is WWE Tough Enough returning?
Perhaps the most notable thing to come out of Thursday's WWE conference call with investors was that WWE Tough Enough is coming to WWE Network. Based on the way it was presented, I'm under the impression this is for a new season and not just repeats of past programming. The company announced the following new WWE original programming coming to WWE Network:
- WWE Countdown Season 2
- Monday Night War
- WWE Tough Enough
Why is WWE in the process of releasing so much developmental talent?
We've confirmed 5 names released from their WWE developmental contracts, with the word going around that Sarah Bäckman actually requested her release. I see this as WWE releasing talent they do not have a clear path for to the main roster and are just making room to sign new talent. It's not uncommon this time of year nor is it anything surprising. Just because someone gets a developmental contract doesn't mean they're guaranteed a run on WWE TV. In fact, it's actually the opposite. Most workers won't make it to the main roster. It's a tough business and when one gets the call, they have to do everything they can with the opportunity.
From the Ask WNW vault…
February 2013: Does having pay-per-views like Elimination Chamber, Hell in a Cell and TLC hurt the prestige of the gimmick matches and cause them to lose luster? - No, I like the way WWE has handled their B-level pay-per-views with the gimmicks. I’m not a big fan of gimmick matches but when used correctly, they work. WWE has been able to integrate the gimmicks into their B-level shows, making them more meaningful and giving viewers a reason to order, without killing the gimmick matches themselves. They’ve done this by putting the gimmicks on one or two “main event” matches of the show but not making every bout on the card a gimmick. I do not feel the gimmicks should be completely exclusive to their respective pay-per-views as I would have no problem with a Money in the Bank ladder match at Wrestlemania. That was talked about for this year’s show but upon last check, they’ve decided against it.
Being that Daniel Bryan is the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, where does he rank now with the decision making in the locker room? Does he have the same amount of influence as John Cena and Randy Orton now?
Daniel Bryan is very high up on the pecking order backstage in WWE, however, he's not known for being vocal. Bryan is known for his humility and going out and letting his work speak for itself. I did hear that he put in a good word for KENTA (who is rumored to be WWE bound). Let me be clear that Vince McMahon knows Bryan is valuable to the company and holds him in high regard. Has he replaced Randy Orton as the "1b" behind John Cena? I think that's a bit premature, however, Bryan is a "main event player" until further notice.
With cable and satellite providers dropping WWE PPVs, I see news reports that WWE may be somewhat concerned, but couldn't this actually work in the favor of the company and push people into signing up for the WWE Network?
This was a point brought up in Thursday's WWE investor conference call as it was mentioned that Dish Network is pointing customers that inquire about WWE pay-per-views to the WWE Network. So here's the scenario. A customer calls Dish and asks why they can't order a WWE pay-per-view for $54.95, they're told to go to WWE.com where they can subscribe to the WWE Network for $9.99/month where the pay-per-views are included. It seems like a no-brainer, however, we have to note that more people ordered Wrestlemania 30 on a traditional basis than expected, pointing to the fact WWE's audience hasn't been as willing to adapt as they thought. I will stress to all of you that it's a much better deal to subscribe to WWE Network than it is to order the pay-per-views on a traditional basis.
I know you usually don't like doing these sort of questions because they can be debated all day long, however, if you were to set up your own promotion and had unlimited funds, what six wrestlers would you start your roster off with and why?
Unlimited funds and six wrestlers. This sounds like a situation where I would be able to go directly at WWE. If I had to pick solely from the current pool of non-committals I would start with The Rock, CM Punk (assuming he doesn't re-sign with WWE in July), Chris Jericho, AJ Styles (assuming he could get out of his NJPW deal), Sting (assuming he could back out of his WWE deal) and Steve Austin (accepting the fact he couldn't wrestle, thus I'd limit his exposure). If I had to pick from the current guys in WWE, I would pick the top names starting with John Cena. I would then follow with Daniel Bryan, Triple H, Randy Orton, Brock Lesnar and probably Hulk Hogan (accepting the fact he couldn't wrestle, thus limiting his exposure. I would also keep him as far away from the creative process as humanly possible. Honestly, I don't even think I would let him in the building until the creative meetings were over). I'm sure I could come up with other combinations but I'd want the biggest draws. Who wouldn't?
With Money in the Bank only a couple of months away, who do you think should win it, how would you have them cash it in?
WWE Money in the Bank is one of my favorite shows of the summer and the match itself is one of my favorite gimmick matches. I would probably go with Bray Wyatt or Cesaro at this point. Both have a huge upside where they could use the opportunity as the "next step." WWE wouldn't be just starting with either as they've already done that so a situation where they would "cash in" wouldn't be underwhelming. I would have either hold the briefcase until SummerSlam, where they would successfully "cash in," carrying WWE into the fall with a fresh new top name.
From the Ask WNW vault…
October 2012: When a WWE worker makes a non-wrestling appearance (e.g. autograph signing, media appearances, etc.) does the company instruct them to appear in or out of character? - WWE workers have a lot of freedom in media interviews but there are directives that come down from the office. Obviously the company doesn’t want stars leaking storylines and generally speaking, they want the focal point of the interview to promote the product. We’ve seen it all – from Randy Orton completely shooting on Kelly Kelly to Sheamus constantly remaining in-character during media appearances. John Cena is known for focusing on the product in-character and is seen as the best promotional mouthpiece they have. Speaking from experience, when I’ve done interviews with workers alongside radio anchors, the radio station has met with company officials to let them know to keep it clean. My biggest pet peeve with interviews (and why I don’t do many of them) is workers using them to put themselves over rather than actually answering the questions. Kind of like what we saw with the Presidential debate on Tuesday night, where the candidates would be asked a question, but skirt around it to get to their approved campaign rhetoric.