Three Major Top Names Noncommittal About Wrestlemania XXX, Surprising WWE Name Mentioned In Main Event Plans For Upcoming PPVs, What's Stopping Goldberg From Returning, Dixie Carter Opens Up About The Future Of TNA, What Has Vince McMahon Upset, Wrestlema

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WNW Premium Newsletter

Welcome to the Premium Newsletter. This is where you will find all of the big news and Ask WNW segments from the week neatly archived for your viewing pleasure. This week's edition covers news from Saturday, November 16, 2013 to Friday, November 22, 2013 as well as all five Ask WNW segments from the week. Use this newsletter as your own personal tool to catch up on any of the news that you may have missed during the week. Below is a table of contents:

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

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

WWE News

- WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee is expected to be fine after briefly fainting at Friday's WWE live event in London, England. She was treated for dehydration and while the initial moment was scary, the mood eased when she got backstage.

- This week's episode of Backstage Fallout Smackdown is subtitled Union Jacks Get Jacked, a play off 3MB, and is online now at this link.

- World Heavyweight Champion John Cena was invited to speak to stands at The Oxford Union while in Great Britain with WWE. You can view photos here on dot com.

- - WWE posted footage from the Wrestlemania XXX On Sale Party from Friday night in New Orleans. You can watch it at this link.

- WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee worked Saturday's WWE live event in Minehead, England after fainting at Friday's show in London. The match was the same, as AJ tagged with Tamina Snuka to oppose The Bella Twins. The babyfaces went over in the bout.

- Country music band Florida Georgia Line will be at Monday Night Raw in Nashville next week. Their song, "Round Here," was used for promotional pieces for next week's Raw Country themed show.

- WWE Classics on Demand is coming to a an end, according to a notice sent out to subscribers. Wrestling News World reader James Bolton received the following notice in the mail from Mediacom:

"As of January 31, 2014, WWE CLASSICS ON DEMAND will no longer be available as a monthly subscription service. This is not a choice made by Mediacom, but rather a business decision made by the WWE in order to focus on other programming content."

This is something that nearly happened two years ago in preparation for the WWE Network, however, the service continued indefinitely due to numerous delays. Given the fact WWE is hoping to launch their network at some point next year ,we could speculate this move is an anticipation for that but I have not been able to confirm that with my sources as of press time.

- Jim Ross posted a new blog entry on his official website on Sunday. In it, he blogged about the main event outcome of UFC 167 and John Cena playing to the crowd about the possibility of Wrestlemania taking place in London. There was one tidbit that I thought readers would find interesting as it's a question I get from time-to-time in Ask WNW:

Long and grueling trip for WWE talents who have been throughout Europe the past couple of weeks and change. Considering WWE handles all the travel, provides plenty of food, as in every meal, and lodges their talents at excellent hotels, it makes the trip easier but it can never be made to be like a relaxing vacation. It's a business trip. A series of one night stands, 17 of them for example, is never going to be easy. The travel arrangements and accommodations are better than they've ever been but again how do you make 17, one night stands easy? You don't.

However, it does make the trip better if talents discipline themselves to get ample rest and don't over imbibe on alcoholic beverages.

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

- WWE features a behind the scenes look at David Otunga's Muscle & Fitness cover shoot in a new episode of Outside the Ring. You can watch it at this link.

- Wade Barrett is back in the United States and will re-join the WWE crew now that his work visa issues are sorted.

- Speaking of WWE performers traveling back to the United States, it was none too easy. Justin Roberts noted their 11 hour flight to Chicago landed in Detroit after 13 hours. 10 hours later they arrived in Nashville for this week's Raw. The delays were weather-related and so this concludes the grueling 2-week loop overseas.

- Sheamus was in attendance at Sunday's NFL game between the San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The appearance was in conjunction with Wrestlemania XXX tickets going on sale as Sheamus was at the On Sale Party last Friday.

- WWE cameras were filming at Mick Foley's comedy show in Long Island, New York on Sunday. Joey Styles and Brodus Clay were there as was former WWE performer Pete Gas. Foley's family was in attendance and filmed by WWE.

- Oakland Athletics outfielder Josh Reddick is scheduled to attend this week's Monday Night Raw in Nashville.

- Rey Mysterio did media for this week's Monday Night Raw as he's quoted here in The Tennessean. In the piece, Mysterio talks about being a Gucci and Louis Vuitton fanatic.

- I've now been told by two key sources that WWE is indeed in negotiations with Bill Goldberg. I'm working on details surrounding his negotiations with the company but there is something else I want to focus on in this article.

We mentioned last week that Vince McMahon isn't happy with the fact that he doesn't have definitive plans for Wrestlemania XXX next year. We heard a little more about why those plans are so unsettled.

Vince still wants The Rock but Rock won't commit. Vince wants Daniel Bryan vs. Shawn Michaels but Shawn won't commit. Vince wanted Steve Austin vs. Triple H but Austin wanted too much money. The one match many people assume is a done deal, Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker, is not 100%. We're told Undertaker isn't completely committed to the show as he recovers from a recent surgery.

So with the aforementioned names noncommittal, Goldberg has gained more leverage in financial terms. In fact, we're told that Vince is so upset and frustrated about not getting his way with several possible matches, that it's bleeding over into the negotiations with Goldberg. Again, we're still working on that story but it's interesting that late into November with tickets already on sale that creative plans are so uncertain.

- WWE issued the following statement to in response to WWE Classics On Demandending and my subsequent response in Monday's installment of Ask WNW.

“Beginning February 2014, WWE will no longer offer WWE Classics On Demand, our subscription video-on demand content delivered through cable television providers, as we are focusing our resources on other initiatives. As communicated on our recent earnings call, we continue to aggressively pursue launching a WWE Network; however, no launch date has been set.”

- Add Sheamus to the list of WWE stars that wants to face Undertaker at Wrestlemania, as The Celtic Warrior named The Dead Man his "dream Wrestlemania opponent" while doing media over the weekend. We have a new story online, noting why Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker isn't a sure thing for next year's show. You can read it at this link.

- WWE announced that not only with Florida Georgia Line appear on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw but they'll perform their hit single "Round Here." The hit is being used as the official theme song for Raw Country. Make sure to join our "Open Thread" Watch Party at 7:30 PM EST.

- The latest episode of After Total Divas is online now at this link.

- Kmart officially announced their exclusive boy's apparel line, Never Give Up by John Cena, on Monday. The fall 2013 collection includes on-trend military-inspired camo prints, graphic tees, hoodies, cargo pants, outerwear, headwear and accessories priced from $7.99 – $29.99. A follow-up spring collection is anticipated to launch in-stores and online in early 2014.

- WWE looks at 365 days of The Shieldhere on dot com.

- has a new Q&A online with Chris Jericho. In it, Jericho says he doesn't need the "last match" and wouldn't be interested in big retirements like that of Ric Flair or Shawn Michaels. He said he likes doing the opposite of what people want and just wants to fade into the sunset, never to be seen again. Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- Last week's episode of WWE Smackdown did an average viewing audience of 2,684,000 viewers on SyFy. The show ended up with a 1.90 cable rating. You can see how the competition stacked up at this link.

- WWE announced on this week's Monday Night Raw that Bret Hart, Booker T and Mick Foley will work as the Survivor Series Kickoff panel prior to Sunday's pay-per-view.

- Big E Langston beat Curtis Axel to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw. The match was just shy of 9 minutes long. We reported on November 5, 2013 here on Premium that Axel's days as Intercontinental Champion were numbered. You can become a WNW Premium member now at this link.

- Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards, known collectively as The American Wolves, were at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida on Monday. I heard last month Richards was rumored to be headed to WWE and reported the next day Edwards was believed to follow. We do not have word on what their status with the company as of this writing.

- The Miz turned heel on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw. WWE turned him in a tag team match with Kofi Kingston against The Real Americans when Kofi was looking to tag out and Miz short-armed him. Miz's heel turn isn't completely unexpected as he worked as a heel on WWE's European tour the past two weeks. It was unclear at the time if the turn would be make it to television as they look to promote his role in the upcoming WWE Studios production "Christmas Bounty."

- The Divas will face-off in a 7-on-7 Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match at the pay-per-view on Sunday. The match will see WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee, Tamina Snuka, Aksana, Alicia Fox, Rosa Mendes, Kaitlyn and Summer Rae facing the cast of Total Divas - The Bella Twins, Naomi, Cameron, JoJo, Eva Marie and Natalya.

- Xavier Woods debuted on the main WWE roster on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw. Woods teamed in a tag team match to face Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre. He formerly worked in TNA Wrestling as Consequences Creed and has been in WWE's developmental system since 2010.

- Former NFL player Michael Strahan is scheduled to guest host next week's episode of Monday Night Raw. Strahan is best known for playing defensive end for the New York Giants but now works as a football analyst and is the co-host of Live with Kelly & Michael.

- Rey Mysterio returned to WWE Monday Night Raw in the final segment of this week's show. Mysterio helped Daniel Bryan and CM Punk fend off The Real Americans following the show's main event. Mysterio has been out for an extended period of time due to a left ACL tear. He worked in Mexico last month to try out the knee and hoped to return full-time by Thanksgiving or Christmas.

- The Miz will face Kofi Kingston in the WWE Survivor Series Kickoff match on Sunday. For those that missed it, The Mizturned heel while working in a tag match with Kofi against The Real Americans on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw.

- Jim Ross posted his thoughts on this week's Monday Night Raw where he addressed JBL's "knock" on him. JR also admitted that he's out of touch with today's product. Click here to read JR's latest in its entirety.

- After this week's Monday Night Raw went off the air, World Heavyweight Champion John Cena beat Alberto Del Rio in a dark match main event.

- Mark Henry posted the following on Twitter:

- WWE announced on Tuesday the appointment of Matthew Singerman as Executive Vice President, Programming. Singerman will report directly to Vince McMahon and previously held senior level positions at Fox News, TV Guide Network and Reelz Channel. He'll hold a newly created position that will be "responsible for the strategic development of content, including original, unscripted and scripted shows, scheduling of all programming and operations across all distribution platforms, including a potential WWE Network."

- Rey Mysterio returns in the latest episode of Backstage Fallout Raw. You can watch now at this link.

- More episodes of "But I'm Chris Jericho" are now online at this link.

- has a new Q&A online with Alberto Del Rio. In it, he said it wasn't hard for him to adapt to the WWE style from Mexico because he didn't start in Mexico but in Japan. He said to be a good heel you have to be a "bit of an asshole in real life" and that's him. Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- Big E Langston was featured on the WWE App following his WWE Intercontinental Championship win on this week's Monday Night Raw. The victory is of no surprise as Langston has been tapped for a push for quite some time. We're told he has heavy support from both Vince McMahon and John Cena. Click here to watch his post-match interview with Josh Mathews.

- Speaking of Big E Langston and the WWE App, the company filmed him throughout the day on Monday prior to his title win and will air "The Journey of Big E" Friday on the WWE App.

- Rey Mysterio was seen limping after his return on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw. Mysterio has been out for an extended period of time due to problems with his left knee. He's battled multiple ACL tears in the knee and has been trying stem cell treatment has opposed to undergoing yet another surgery. I haven't heard if he's indeed injured again but this doesn't seem like a good sign. Mysterio was filmed for a segment on Backstage Fallout Raw with Renee Young after returning where he said there was no way to explain the feeling and excitement going through him after returning. He said as a kid that Survivor Series was one of his favorite pay-per-views and put over his inclusion in the 5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match. As things currently stand, Mysterio will team with Cody Rhodes, Goldust and The Usos to face The Shield and The Real Americans on Sunday's pay-per-view.

- Good news for fans of Total Divas as this week's show did an average viewing audience of 1,411,000 viewers on E.

- AJ Lee'sfainting spell from London, England last week is being attributed to a bad diet. There's been a lot of speculation about other reasons but that was one thing I heard going around. WWE told me firsthand she was treated for dehydration. There was initially widespread concern for her health but it tapered considerably when she got to the back. This was evident on Raw this weeke when they ribbed her for it in the match with Vickie Guerrero.

- Triple H and Vince McMahon are looking forward to the return of Sheamus and are looking to insert him back into the top of the card when he returns.

- Rob Van Dam is still in negotiations with WWE about another short-term teal. We're told it's likely he'll be back for Wrestlemania season, the only question seems to be if it will be before or after Royal Rumble.

- A few WWE officials were interested in the tape from last Friday's Ring of Honor show in Dearborn, Michigan. It's interesting to note that Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards were at the WWE Performance Center on Monday. The company was also evaluating others on the card which included but wasn't limited to Zach Gowen and Jimmy Jacobs.

- For those that noticed JBL's shout out to Jeff Jarrett during Dolph Ziggler's match against Damien Sandow on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw, it was intentional and done out of respect. The following is from JBL's Twitter:

Here's what Jarrett wrote about it:

- This week's episode of WWE Monday Night Raw, the go-home to Survivor Series, did an average viewing audience of 3,802,333 viewers on the USA Network. Below is how the show broke down by hour:

Hour 1 - 3,768,000
Hour 2 - 3,965,000
Hour 3 - 3,674,000

The show ended up with a 2.73 cable rating.

- WWE has signed female World Arm-wrestling Champion Sarah Backman to a developmental contract. She began at the WWE Performance Center on Monday and posted this photo on Instagram.

- Zack Wheeler of the New York Mets and Josh Reddick of the Oakland Athletics are scheduled to attend Tuesday night's Smackdown taping in Atlanta, Georgia.

- WWE will run a show from the INTRUST Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas on February 1, 2014. Tickets go on sale December 7, 2013 at 10 AM.

- WWE developmental worker Judas Devlin was at Monday Night Raw this week and is expected at Smackdown Tuesday night.

- I just spoke with someone at Tuesday night's Smackdown taping in Atlanta and I'm told Rey Mysterio teamed with The Usos to face The Shield in a match that will air on this week's show. Mysterio reportedly "looked fine" and did not walk with a limp. Barring an unforeseen setback, I would consider Mysterio to be a go for Survivor Series on Sunday.

Backstage news and notes from this week's Raw in Nashville…

- Putting a secondary title on Big E Langston has been planned for a while, they just weren't sure whether it would be the Intercontinental Championship or United States Championship. The former was chosen with Curtis Axel not working out as expected and the fact the US title is seen as a good "accessory" for Dean Ambrose.

- Ryback once again has heat and we're told it's over his attitude on the recent overseas tour. Him being booked under to Big Show in a finish that he wanted to use in a match at Wrestlemania XXX on Raw was seen as punishment.

- WWE officials were starting to second guess the decision to take Daniel Bryan out of the hunt for the WWE title at Survivor Series. The feeling is Bryan helped some of the shows because he was challenging for the title, causing some of the "smarter" fans to buy them that ordinarily wouldn't.

- The AJ Lee vs. Vickie Guerrero match on Monday NIght Raw was a rib on her for her dietary habits. That is what was believed to be the cause of her fainting spell, as noted here on Premium.

- We're told Seth Rollins was nursing a sore knee at Raw but isn't expected to miss any time.

- WWE issued a press release on Wednesday to announce that Wrestlemania 29 generated $101.2 million in economic impact for the New Jersey/New York region this past April, according to a study conducted by the Enigma Research Corporation. The announcement was made by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Click here to read the release on The Wall Street Journal website.

- Booker T spoke with Scott Fishman for a new article published on The Miami Herald on Wednesday. In it, Booker discussed reconciling with his brother Stevie Ray at this year's WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony. Booker said they hadn't spoken in 5-6 years before the weekend and that it was a chance for them to come together and bury the hatchet. He said now they are as close as ever. Book said that he wants to put his days in the ring behind him and he wants to work behind the scenes where he can produce and direct. Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- R&B singer Monica and Chili from TLC were in attendance at Tuesday night's Smackdown taping in Atlanta, Georgia.

- World Heavyweight Champion John Cena is scheduled to appear on SportsNation on ESPN2 on Wednesday and Thursday. He wrote the following on Twitter:

- Check out this video of some really cool Bray Wyatt fan art.

- Daniel Bryan won the beard off with Oakland Athletics outfielder Josh Reddick. Watch video of Daniel Bryan shaving it at this link.

- You can watch a deleted scene from Total Divas of Cameron freaking out after stepping in dog poop at this link.

- The latest kayfabe Triple H is now online. In it, he discusses WWE Champion Randy Orton being on his own at Survivor Series. He also announces that Big E Langston will defend the WWE Intercontinental Championship against Curtis Axel at the pay-per-view on Sunday. You can watch it at this link.

- Speaking of Triple H, he Tweeted a photo of the new WWE corporate jet following Tuesday's Smackdown taping in Atlanta. You can view it below:

- The Calgary Herald has a new article on Bret Hart inspiring the Calgary Hitmen with a gift of a replica WWF "winged-eagle" title belt. In it, Hart addressed his inclusion in the Survivor Series Kickoff expert panel, calling it an "odd cameo." You can read the article at this link.

- The Miz discussed the possibility of Maryse returning to WWE while doing media for ABC Family's "Christmas Bounty." He said right now she's busy dealing with their wedding stuff because he's not home to do it. You can listen to the appearance at this link.

- Dean Malenko reportedly had a health scare on WWE's European tour and returned to the United States early. Apparently there was concern of cardiac problems so once it was determined he was going to be OK, he was sent home for further evaluation.

- Kane has arrived in Orlando and was at the WWE Performance Center on Wednesday. He, along with Antonio Cesaro, Kofi Kingston and Natalya are scheduled guests at this week's WWE NXT tapings. We'll have a reporter on the ground and provide exclusive taping results upon the conclusion Thursday night.

- Colt Cabana was also spotted at the WWE Performance Center on Wednesday. WWE apparently still has interest in him as an announcer/color commentator.

- Chris Jericho has signed on for a new podcast with PodcastOne. His first guest will be Steve Austin.

- E! has indeed renewed Total Divas for a second season. The show has been a hit with viewers, posting an average viewing audience of 1,411,000 viewers last Sunday. Below is the preview for next week's show:

Episode #11 - "Seeing Red"
Brie has a difficult time accepting Bryan's notoriety. Nattie feels that Eva is trying to get too close to TJ. Nikki has to cope with John's demands.

In celebration of the renewal, we have a look back with photos…

- SLAM! Wrestling is reporting that Maurice "Mad Dog" Vachon died Thursday morning in Omaha, Nebraska. He was 84 years old. Vachon had been in poor health following a 1987 hit-and-run accident where he was struck by a vehicle, which resulted in his leg being amputated. He most recently battled memory issues.

- ABC Family issued a press release to announce their "Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas" programming. The WWE Studios feature film, Christmas Bounty starring The Miz, will premiere on the network on Tuesday, November 26 at 7 PM ET/PT.

- WWE's animated Scooby Doo film is called "Scooby Doo and the Curse of the Ghost Bear" and will feature animated versions of Vince McMahon, AJ Lee, Brodus Clay and Santino Marella.

- The Indian Express is reporting that Rajesh Kumar, an Indian wrestler taller than The Great Khali, is set to travel to Japan to participant in a WWE training session.

- Jim Ross has a new blog with random thoughts including why he thinks heroes and villains are imperative in pro wrestling. Click here to read it.

- Hornswoggle has a brief cameo in "Muppets Most Wanted." You can see a trailer for the film at this link.

- Brodus Clay is featured in the latest episode of WWE Inbox that you can watch now at this link.

- Jake Roberts and Scott Hall are facing heat from fans that donated to their fundraising campaigns, claiming they haven't received the "perks" they were promised. TMZ reached out to Roberts who said the reason for the delay is they didn't realize how much time it was going to take to get them all done. He promised they're coming but admitted they weren't secretaries. Click here for coverage by TMZ.

- Stephanie McMahon and Linda McMahon were photographed together at the CableFax 2013 Most Powerful Women Breakfast. Click here to view a photo.

- We confirmed on Monday that WWE is indeed in negotiations with Bill Goldberg about working Wrestlemania XXX next year, also noting that Vince McMahon was so frustrated with not getting his way [with Wrestlemania bouts] that it was starting to bleed over into talks with Goldberg.

We're told the gap in money between the two parties is said to be within reason and WWE thinks they'll be able to get a deal done in terms of finance. However, there are issues on the creative end.

While some people will think Bill wouldn't want to lose, we're told that's not the issue. Goldberg wants a lot of money but nothing considered to be outrageous. Bill knows he'd be brought in for a potential loss to Ryback. That's not the issue.

When negotiations started, the idea was that Bill would be brought in as the babyface. He wanted a finish that would allow him to save face in some way even though he was ready and willing to be pinned by Ryback. The issue is that Vince has been considering turning Ryback babyface and wanting Goldberg to come back a heel. So far, that's been a major sticking point.

We're told Goldberg doesn't want to be a heel and right now, he's saying it's a deal breaker. Our source is unsure if more money could convince him to change his mind, however, some fear Vince is determined on Ryback being the babyface.

There is some talk of Ryback, as a babyface, facing Brock Lesnar at Royal Rumble and if they go that direction, the plan would be for Lesnar to go over and then face Undertaker at Wrestlemania 30. This would setup the aforementioned Ryback vs. Goldberg bout with Ryback going over.

Richard Reacts: This is one of the more mind blowing stories I've ever written. It took me a couple of days to get all of this together before I ran it but wow. There are multiple things that surprise me here. First, I'm surprised to hear Goldberg and WWE are close in terms of money. Second, I'm surprised to hear the plans involve Ryback. While this information was given to me before this week's TVs, you can clearly see WWE still wants fans to buy Ryback by having him Shellshock Big Show. Yes, the fact Show pinned Ryback was seen as a dig of "what could happen" but he's still in their plans as of now. I'll be very interested to see if this happens. Goldberg returning to WWE is one of those things I've said I'll have to see it to believe it but now everyone I speak with is telling me the two parties are very serious.

- Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards worked Thursday night's WWE NXT tapings as The American Pitbulls. They went under in a match to The Ascension.

- CM Punk is scheduled for The Wizard World Portland Comic Con on January 24, 2014 in Portland, Oregon.

- WWE Tribute to the Troops will air at 8 PM on December 28, 2013 on NBC.

- Alberto Del Rio did a kayfabe interview with MTV News UK where he hyped his World Heavyweight Championship match against John Cena. Click here to read it.

- Dave Batista was at this week's WWE NXT tapings in Winter Park, Florida. This isn't his first visit since the company began taping in Winter Park as he visited back in March. At the time, he was there to film an interview for the "Thy Kingdom Come" Triple H DVD where the possibility of him coming back for 3-4 appearances was discussed. I haven't heard why Batista was there on Thursday but unless I hear otherwise, Batista is focused on acting.

- We've written a lot about Wrestlemania XXX plans for next year this week because they've become a major source of Vince McMahon's "grumpy" mood lately. On Monday, we reported the major names that were noncommittal. On Thursday, we elaborated on negotiations between WWE and Bill Goldberg. The only match that WWE can deliver for sure for next year's show is the dream match between CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. However, we're being told not even that is a sure thing due to the aforementioned interest in Shawn Michaels. Vince wants multiple big names on the show and is enthralled with reproducing the results he received when bringing back The Rock.

- We're told Michael Hayes is currently undergoing treatment for alcoholism and isn't expected to return to WWE until early next year at the soonest. So to recap, Hayes' suspension was more about getting him help then a disciplinary measure for being seen at a bar with Rosa Mendes.

- Diamond Dallas Page was at the WWE Performance Center on Friday, taking developmental talent through his yoga routine.

- The latest episode of The JBL & Cole Show is now online at this link.

- World Heavyweight Champion John Cena shared his tips of exaggerating contact and becoming a "Grade A" flopper on ESPN's SportsNation. You can watch the segment at this link.

- CBS Boston interviewed Ryback to promote Sunday's Survivor Series pay-per-view in the city. Ryback said he was issuing an open challenge to anyone that wanted to face him. He also reiterated his interest in facing Bill Goldberg at Wrestlemania XXX. You can listen to the interview at this link. For those that think Ryback is just blowing smoke, think again. This is actually under consideration and it looks better than many of you realize. I have the latest at this link.

- The 30th Birthday Bash of The Bella Twins is scheduled to take place Friday night in Austin, Texas. This is of note because the party is being filmed by E! for inclusion on Total Divas. The party is scheduled for the Recess Arcade Bar and begins at 10 PM. Complimentary beverages are being offered while supplies last as you can get more details on attending at this link. A special guest from WWE is also advertised.

- The Baltimore Sun caught up with former NFL linebacker Shawne Merriman. In it, he briefly spoke about his time at the WWE Performance Center. While some are erroneously reporting that Merriman received a tryout, he was just there to visit and actually got the chance to get in the ring. You can read the article at this link.

- Brian Fritz has a new interview online with Cody Rhodes talking about Survivor Series. Click here to listen now.

- We mentioned earlier this week that WWE cameras followed new Intercontinental Champion Big E Langston for a feature called "The Journey of Big E." That feature is now online for viewing and can be watched here on dot com.

- For those that missed our earlier report, Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards worked at the WWE NXT tapings on Thursday night. They worked a non-title match against The Ascension that's scheduled to air on December 18, 2013. Richards Tweeted the following afterwards:

*Spoilers* WWE NXT Taping Results Through The Middle Of January 2014

TNA News

- Quinton "Rampage" Jackson beat Joey Beltran in his debut with Bellator MMA on Friday night. The fight was called at 4:59 via TKO (strikes) in the first round. Jackson's Bellator debut was originally scheduled to be against Tito Ortiz on November 2nd on pay-per-view, a fight that was co-promoted in TNA Wrestling, but was called off due to Ortiz suffering a neck injury.

- TNA Champion AJ Styles beat Seiya Sanada at Saturday's Wrestle-1 show in Tokyo, Japan. The show took place despite a magnitude 4.7 earthquake hitting close to Tokyo. Other TNA names on the show included Rob Terry and Jay Bradley as they teamed together.

- Kurt Angle, Chris Sabin and Magnus appeared on TLC's "Extreme Cheapstakes." You can watch footage at this link.

- TNA Wrestling launched a "news and notes" column here on In the latest, they not that "some familiar faces are expected back soon."

- A follower asked Hulk Hogan on Twitter if he would be coming back to TNA Wrestling. Hogan responded by saying he won't be returning to the company. You can see the post at this link. This is hardly groundbreaking and is almost not even worth mentioning. Hogan wants to return to WWE and has aspirations of facing John Cena at Wrestlemania XXX. I know it sounds ridiculous but it's something Hogan has eyed for months. Hogan left TNA because he refused to take a pay cut in exchange for more years on his deal. I laid out why I'm not interested in Hogan returning to the ring at this link.

- TNA Wrestling is covering pseudo TNA Champion AJ Styles like a third party entity. According to their official website, Styles is fielding inquires from promoters in the UK, Canada and Puerto Rico. The reality of this is Styles is under TNA contract but they're trying to give the illusion he's not and making "unauthorized title defenses." You can view footage of Styles' title defense against Seiya Sanada at Saturday’s Wrestle-1 show in Tokyo, Japan at this link.

- Shark Boy is scheduled to return to Impact Wrestling on this week's Turning Point show in Orlando, Florida. They did an angle where he "quit his job" at a pizzeria in a new #Impact365 video at this link. Shark Boy is one of the familiar faces we wrote about last week.

- Speaking of #Impact365, Gail Kim did an angle where she received a text message about her "blonde" opponent for this week's Turning Point episode of Impact Wrestling. You can watch now at this link.

- James Storm is featured in a new Impact Podcast with JB and Christy Hemme. Listen now at this link.

- Sports Illustrated's Loretta Hunt ran an in-depth piece on Dixie Carter and TNA Wrestling titled "Welcome to Dixieland: A Look at pro wrestling's female boss." I went through it and compiled some notable excerpts:

The article chronicles Dixie's life growing up in Texas, making note her parents, Bob and Janice Carter, didn't come into money until later in life. Panda Energy International, the multi-million dollar energy company, was formed in 1982.

Dixie would not confirm how much her family paid for majority ownership of TNA but claimed it was much higher than the rumored $250,000. It's noted that Dixie hinted it was in the seven-figure range. Dixie said her father encouraged they get in the wrestling business.

It's noted that TNA "became a contentious topic" among the Carter family a couple years in because a lot of money was being spent and the company was not going the way the Carter family wanted. This later resulted in a shake-up that saw Jerry Jarrett sell his share to the Carter family and Jeff Jarrett remain on in an executive role.

Spike TV is credited for helping TNA turn things around with the evolution of Impact in October 2005. Dixie said this was when the revenues grew. She said they've been "cash flow positive for the last four or five years."

Dixie denied the company was for sale, calling the reporting "totally unsubstantiated." She brushed off the rumors saying this was the tenth, eleventh or twelfth time they've come up over the last 11 or 12 years.

Carter said that Hulk Hogan was worth it but she admitted they used him on television too much (amen to that).

Dixie said they took Impact on the road thinking if they could sell 1500-2000 tickets per show, they'd be good. She said they were very conservative in their budget. Carter said while they hit their revenue numbers, they overspent and there was a two-month overlap that cost them.

She said the show has to be shaken up, not the venue and they've learned from the experience.

Dixie concluded the piece by encouraging the negative Tweets she receives. She said she wants people to say those things because it means she's doing her job (as a heel).

I highly recommend you read the piece, even if you don't agree (or believe it), it's well-written and highly informative.

Welcome to Dixieland: A look at pro wrestling's female boss

- TNA Genesis will not not take place on pay-per-view next year but will instead be a themed episode of Impact Wrestling. The show will air on Spike TV on January 16, 2014 from the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Alabama. TNA Genesis took place on pay-per-view eight times. The show was a November staple 2005-2007 before being moved to January where it aired on pay-per-view from 2009-2013. The show was was one of four live pay-per-views the company ran this year.

- We have a dose of gossip for all of the readers that enjoy that sort of thing and we're not just running it just to run it either. First the gossip, then the explanation about why this gem is here on is reporting that Brooke Hogan has called off her engagement to Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Phil Costa. Brooke has reportedly moved back to Los Angeles to finish up her new album and to be closer to her mother. Brooke received nuclear heat in TNA Wrestling for her public engagement to Costa last summer. At the time TNA was heavily invested in an angle where Brooke was separated from her on-air "husband" Bully Ray. TNA was blindsided by the announcement, causing them to abandon the angle. As we reported here on Premium, this is one of the reasons why Brooke was released from her contract with the company.

- TNA Wrestling announced on Friday that Kurt Angle will join members of the band One Direction on Saturday for the global 1D Day event. Angle joins Simon Cowell, Piers Morgan, Celine Dion, Robbie Williams and The Muppets, to be featured during the seven-hour live stream, which fans can view and participate in via the One Direction YouTube channel.

- TNA also issued a press release on Sports Illustrated's feature piece on Dixie Carter. The piece covered a lot of ground as I made several notes on it. Below is the statement Carter issued about it:

"When people think of who I am, they usually think about who I come across as on TV, not the mother and businesswoman,” says TNA President Dixie Carter. “I am excited readers have an opportunity to get an in-depth look at not only how TNA was built from the ground up, but also a look at the bright future ahead. In the process they will also gain insight into the real Dixie Carter."

- M&C spotlighted Austin Aries for National Vegan Month. You can check it out at this link.

- For those that missed this week's Turning Point episode of Impact Wrestling, Mr. Anderson beat Bully Ray in the show's main event. The finish saw Anderson hit Ray with a hammer that was thrown into the ring by Brooke. Intended to go to Ray, it went to Anderson and he used it to get the win. As the stipulation goes, Aces and Eights must disband. TNA is advertising that Mr. Anderson will be "holding a public funeral" for the faction on next week's Thanksgiving broadcast.

- Speaking of next week's broadcast, TNA will tape episodes of Impact Wrestling Friday and Saturday night from SoundStage 19 at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. We'll have a reporter on the ground and will be providing full taping results when the tapings conclude.

- Gail Kim's opponent on this week's episode of Impact Wrestling was Candice LeRae. LeRae is known as the "first lady" of Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. We have a photo of her here on Page 2.

- This week's Turning Point themed episode of Impact Wrestling did an average viewing audience of 1,190,000 viewers on Spike TV. The show ended up with a 0.96 cable rating.


How does Vince McMahon react to hyper crowds? Does he find it funny or get upset when the crowd "flips the script," like what we saw for Raw in New Jersey or the crowds overseas?

I think WWE would take a hyper and over-enthusiastic crowd over a dead one any day of the week. WWE knows there are some cities with "smarter" fans that do not always follow along with current storylines but they book around it. Vince McMahon is rather quirky and there's really no guessing his mood behind-the-scenes, however, there is a method to his madness as he's the reason WWE is the clear worldwide leader. The company pays a lot of attention to how crowds react and they play an important part in booking and other decisions.

With John Cena lobbying for WWE to bring Wrestlemania to London, can you ever see it happening?

If there's one thing I'll stress in every question I answer it's that anything is possible in the pro wrestling business. Just when we think something is impossible, Bret Hart ends up back in a WWE ring shaking the hand of Shawn Michaels. However, I tend to agree with Jim Ross on this one and that is not being live in North America on a Sunday night at 7 PM ET is a deal breaker. Wrestlemania plays an integral part in WWE's business and even though they're a company focused on global expansion, they rely on the benefits of their flagship show of the year being live in this continent. John was playing to the crowd and I've heard from several people that attended that he was great.

With WWE Classics ON Demand ending on January 1, 2014, does this signal the arrival of the WWE Network next year?

This is a piece of news you may have missed over the weekend. WWE is in the process of contacting carriers to inform them of the cancelation of WWE Classics on Demand. We've been here before, as the same thing happened two years ago, but yes this is being done in preparation for the WWE Network. The plan as of now is for the WWE Network to launch at some point next year but again, it was expected to launch in 2012 as well.

You make a clear and compelling case for why Hulk Hogan should not work John Cena at Wrestlemania XXX. But let's say Hogan was willing to participate in Wrestlemania in some other capacity and his asking price was not too unreasonable: how would you use him? Do you think he could handle a tag team match, maybe teaming up with someone in line for a major push against The Real Americans? Or maybe the guest referee in one of the main events? Is there a scenario you can think of where Hogan would be a good fit?

I would just rather see someone other than Hulk Hogan get the opportunity. There's no way Hogan is going to be able to have a good match, in any scenario, so why force feed him just to get his name on the show (remember Bret Hart at Wrestlemania XXVI)? Hulk Hogan is a legend, the most iconic name of the pro wrestling business, but it's time to move on. I loved Michael Jordan but I don't want to see him play an NBA game at 50. It's the same situation here.

From the Ask WNW vault…

February 2012:What’s the latest on the launch of the WWE Network? - The proposed April 1, 2012 launch date of the WWE Network has been delayed. The hang-up has to do with the lack of clearances on cable and satellite systems. WWE went forward with a plan to promote the network despite no firm plan of clearances in hopes the public demand would help speed up negotiations with provides. So far, no firm clearance plan is in place so the launch date has been pushed back. I’m hoping we will find out more in the investor conference call with Vince McMahon later this month.

We all know John Cena is "the guy" backstage but who comes after him? Can you list 5 workers who have the most stroke backstage?

You can take a look at how people are being booked and begin to get an idea of who has more influence. The higher up a worker is on the card, the more stroke they carry. John Cena is the face of the company and has as much power and influence as anyone. Randy Orton and CM Punk round out the top three with favor and opinions to boot. After that, there's a drop off and it's not as clear and defined. I have to think that Daniel Bryan's stock continues to rise but I can't really list him in those ranks yet. Someone like The Undertaker, who is a part time talent, is extremely influential. Brock Lesnar on the other hand is seen as a guy that comes in and does what he is told to collect his large paycheck. He's not as engaged when it comes to the booking of his character as someone like Undertaker who is thinking about his iconic legacy.

Can you confirm that the mystery partner for The Usos and Goldust & Cody Rhodes at Survivor Series will be Rey Mysterio?

Yes, Rey Mysterio is the mystery partner for The Usos and WWE Tag Team Champions Goldust & Cody Rhodes, however, Mysterio didn't escape Raw without injury concerns. The word coming out of Raw was that he was seen limping after his segment. I don't want to speculate any further but this is the last thing any fan of Rey Mysterio wanted to hear, me included.

Looking back at superstars such as Hulk Hogan and Steve Austin, each of them had to start from the bottom and work their way up to become the "top guy" in the company. When the time was right, they were given their chance and made the most of it to become the stars that they were (and are) known for. With that being said, there is no question that John Cena is "the guy" in WWE at the moment, and probably will be for some time. However, are there any superstars on either the active or developmental roster that you believe has the "it" factor to take over the reigns when Cena's time is over?

There is just no way to predict the next Steve Austin or John Cena. I heard a WWE investor ask Vince McMahon this very question a couple years ago and Vince laughed it off. By comparison, take a look at pro sports. Even though next year's NBA Draft class is expected to be one of the most talented classes in many years, it's still impossible to predict there will be another LeBron James or Kobe Bryant. Everyone with a WWE developmental contract has potential because it takes a lot just to get to that point. However, it all comes down to the right situation, which includes a level of reliance on the creative team. Austin was "Stunning" Steve Austin before he was ever Stone Cold. He had the talent but he also relied on the right creative opportunity. There's a lot that goes into making a mega star and because there are so many factors, it's literally impossible to predict.

I know that you have had your reasons for not liking the way Ryback has been booked and some of the matches that he has had but I was very impressed by the match he had with Big Show and with Ryback's strength. What are your thoughts on the future of Ryback?

Ryback Shellshocking Big Show on this week's Monday Night Raw was impressive but the one thing that detracted from their match was the blatant spot calling. Someone said it looked like Big Show was telling Ryback to slow down at one point. Ryback is still learning and wasn't ready for the opportunities in the top of the card he was given. It didn't help that he was booked very poorly out of the gate and he's been left on a proverbial treadmill that's kept him from breaking out. Another thing working against Ryback is his attitude. He doesn't have a good reputation behind-the-scenes and can't handle criticism. We can all say he was working but remember his freakout on me last month?

Do you think it was a bad idea for Monday Night Raw to go three hours?

I have been against the expansion of Monday Night Raw to three hours from day one. WWE likes it because they get an extra hour of advertising revenue but I feel it's over saturation and had a telling impact on the quality of programming. It's just too much week in and week out and they would have been better suited to continue Tough Enough (or anything else) in the 8-9 PM timeslot preceding Raw. That way they would have still cashed in on the extra hour without worrying about over saturation and viewership fatigue.

From the Ask WNW vault…

October 2011: Do you think Cody Rhodes is going to get a run as World Heavyweight Champion? - WWE is currently in the process of elevating Cody Rhodes (hence the program with Randy Orton). They've tested the waters in elevating him before but he's talented enough where it will eventually stick. I like the gimmick transition from "dashing" to "demented" and feel like he has a bright future in WWE.

I thought Damien Sandow and Dolph Ziggler had a very entertaining hardcore match on this week's Monday Night Raw. I feel they proved you can have fun hardcore match in a PG environment. Do you see WWE replacing one of mid card titles with the Hardcore title?

I thought Damien Sandow and Dolph Ziggler did great but there were some non-PG spot that I found questionable, more specially the spots focused to the head. I haven't heard if the spots were pre-approved or if there was any fallout from them but there were some questionable spots. With that being said, the last thing WWE needs is another title. They have a hard enough time utilizing the belts they have, what's the point in adding another? Furthermore, if Sandow and Ziggler were pushing the envelope, what do you expect for future hardcore bouts? It's good for WWE to utilize the gimmicks when the situation presents itself but there is no need for yet another useless title.

In the Attitude Era there were numerous wrestlers chasing the WWE Championship, which led to classic triple threat and fatal four way matches… Why is there only two workers in the WWE Championship picture nowadays?

Title matches for the WWE and World Heavyweight Championship respectively have only been singles matches on WWE pay-per-view so far this year, however, that's just this year. Last year's Survivor Series featured CM Punk defending the WWE title in a triple threat match against Ryback and John Cena. So WWE still utilizes title matches that feature more than two workers, it's just not a common scenario. One of the reasons could be attributed to the lack of depth at the top of the card although there is also something to be said about a long-standing one-on-one feud. WWE had a golden opportunity with Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan but blew it with bad booking.

The Miz was a face for almost exactly a year. His time as a face would have to be considered a failure by any measure. Considering the way he turned heel, in a kind-of afterthought segment, and the fact that he's booked on the pre-show against Kofi Kington, do you think there is any chance that The Miz will return to relevance as a "born-again heel?" Or should he consider himself lucky that he was once a major player and accept that he'll be a mid-carder for the rest of his career?

I'm not putting a blanket statement on The Miz to the tune of "he's designated to the mid-card" for the rest of his career," as that's something that no one knows for sure. Miz has clearly taken a couple steps back since headlining Wrestlemania XXVII as the WWE Champion but there are arguments on both sides. Some people will say Miz is working where he should be working, while others are discouraged at the regression. I'm more in the middle. I don't see Miz as a Wrestlemania-closing main event talent but I feel he has a lot more potential than working a pay-per-view pre-show. The Miz is a more effective heel than babyface, so we'll see if this turns him around.

It seems like whenever a wrestler gets thrown over the top rope, there's no good way to land. Although, it seems to happen in most WWE matches I see. Do you think it is as dangerous as head shots and should they consider not doing this move as much?

There are proper ways to bump and there are improper ways to bump. As long as a talent is trained to execute the spots correctly, and actually execute them correctly, then I don't have a problem with them. Accidents do happen but I do not put these high-risk spots in the same category as unprotected chair shots to the head. I push back on almost any type of ban but I am in favor of commonsense protective measures such as disallowing unprotected chair shots to the head and I would rather see workers drop to their knees rather than backside when executing a tombstone piledriver.

From the Ask WNW vault…

April 2012: I have read the accounts of Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart in regards to the infamous Montreal Screwjob at Survivor Series 1997. Both place the blame on one another. Who do you think is telling the truth? - I’ve always heard there are two sides to every story and when you combine both sides, the truth is somewhere in between. The Montreal Screwjob was a bad situation because I can understand how it was no-win on both sides. On one hand if Vince McMahon put Bret Hart over Shawn only for his champion to go to WCW, how does that make WWE look? WCW was really putting the pressure on WWE and it would have been a disaster for their champion to leave for the competition. On the other hand, Vince had told Bret he was going over and Bret felt that his hard work and dedication had earned him the right to leave as champion. Bret was blindsided by the screwjob and he took it very personal. In the end I’m glad Bret and Shawn were able to reconcile their differences and while they’ll probably never be best friends, it was awesome for the business when the beef was squashed a couple years ago.

It seems like Curtis Axel's push to becoming WWE Intercontinental Champion hinged on his alliance with Paul Heyman. With his reign being a bit of a disappointment, what do you see for Axel after his rematch against Big E Langston at Survivor Series on Sunday?

This is something we've talked about a lot lately but it's safe to say the Curtis Axel push didn't work. WWE put the rocket pack on him and put him in the ring with Triple H and John Cena before giving him a reign as Intercontinental Champion. The thinking was the gimmick makeover with Paul Heyman would help elevate him. I was optimistic about the gimmick out of the gate but it didn't translate. One thing I pointed out in this week's Premium Mailbag was that he struggled in his promos and the fans never bought him.

Axel's rematch against Big E Langston for the Intercontinental Championship at Survivor Series on Sunday is a case of workers going in opposite directions. Big E Langston's stock in surging and this is a push Vince McMahon has wanted to give him for months. We'll see how it plays out but right now Langston's star is brighter and it'll be up to him to take full advantage of the opportunity.

Why is WWE pushing Eva Marie instead of JoJo? I can't think of anything good to say about Eva's work but JoJo on the other hand, seems to have potential to be really good.

In-ring work has little to nothing to do with how WWE pushes their female talent. It's not a major factor in pushing their male superstars but the Divas division is even less about it. WWE officials feel Eva Marie looks like a star and has the potential to be one of the faces of the Divas division. It doesn't matter that she's green as grass in the ring, she has the look and WWE is showcasing her for it. For those that missed it Thursday morning, Total Divas has been renewed for a second season and we posted some photos looking back at season 1 at this link.

John Cena seems like he is working injured ever other week. What is his current condition?

I am sure John Cena has his aches and pains like everyone else but he's medically cleared to compete. Cena certainly came back on the early end from his surgery to repair his torn triceps this past August but he's good to go. The stuff with his arm in a sling and constant selling is kayfabe and I feel Cena has done a good job with it. This isn't an easy business but Cena isn't a guy that likes time off.

What's the relationship like between Daniel Bryan and CM Punk behind the scenes?

From what I understand Daniel Bryan and CM Punk are friends and get along well behind-the-scenes. Bryan has a reputation for being extremely humble and easy going. It's hard to find anyone that has a bad thing to say about him. Punk on the hard is more opinionated and has his fair share of detractors but he's still over with the right people. Bryan and Punk have a lot in common and are revolutionary in that they really helped change the WWE mindset of top indy guys translating to top WWE guys.

Page 1 - Midcarder Getting Pushed, Another Regressing; Eva Marie the Future Face of Divas?

From the Ask WNW vault…

July 2013: What were your thoughts on the premiere of Total Divas? - I held this question for a couple of days because I didn’t get to watch the premiere episode of “Total Divas” until Tuesday night. I watched the show with my wife, who is a fan of reality TV and watches a lot of programming on E. She is admittedly and unapologetically not a pro wrestling fan so I was interested to see her reaction. The final verdict was that she liked the show and I did not. She felt the program was compelling and entertaining while the show told me what I already figured. This isn’t a program about wrestling nor is it meant to cater to pro wrestling fans. This show is to expand WWE’s demographic while also touting their diversity as an entertainment company. Total Divas featured romance, drama and a “real-life” look at the people that play the characters on television. I will continue to watch the show because I enjoy watching television with my wife – not because I’m a fan of its content. I’m not saying it “wasn’t a good show,” I’m saying I’m not a fan of reality TV shows based on romance and drama. I would rather be watching a baseball game. However, WWE and E got good news in terms of viewership and touted the results. The show also carried strong viewership numbers following Raw on Monday, with an average viewing audience of 1,300,000 viewers on the USA Network.

Do you believe there is any possibility WWE may repackage Brodus Clay and get him away from Tensai? I've personally always thought the Funkasaurus was a terrible gimmick.

The Funkasaurus gimmick was never a gimmick meant for a main event push, it was for comedic relief. There is a need for this type of gimmick, especially in mainstream pro wrestling that is trying to target children. With that being said, I do not see Brodus Clay portraying the Funkasaurus throughout the duration of his career. There are two sides to the coin here. On one hand Clay isn't a serious threat to work in the main event. On the other hand, he has a gimmick that gets on television and is frequently used at live events. So while he's not John Cena, he's not JTG either. One can argue the gimmick saved Tensai's career with WWE as they tried to push him as an unstoppable monster in the main event and it fell flat. Clay is a talented guy and he should be credited for getting the gimmick over.

I noticed on Monday that all the Divas will be used at Survivor Series except for Layla. Is she injured or was she just not included?

I haven't heard the status of Layla but I'm assuming she's out dealing with an injury. She hasn't competed on WWE television since the September 23, 2013 episode of Raw and wasn't on the European tour.

Are you surprised that WWE turned The Miz heel given the fact he stars in the upcoming "Christmas Bounty" movie on ABC Family? I would have thought they waited until the New Year to do it.

Yes, I am surprised that WWE turned The Miz heel on television the week before "Christmas Bounty" was set to premiere . Especially given the fact the movie is one that targets the company's younger demographic. When we heard he was portraying a heel in Europe, we were under the assumption they were "testing the waters" and would delay it after the movie. As we saw on this week's Raw, that isn't the case and it's certainly a surprise. The Miz is more effective as a heel and this does bode well for him in the longterm.

What would you think about a possible heel versus heel rivalry between The Shield and The Wyatt Family? I'd pay to see it! I don't even think they would have to turn either team face for it to work.

Readers have been clamoring for a program between The Shield and The Wyatt Family since the latter debuted on WWE television. I've pushed back on it because I don't see a desirable outcome unless it's used as a catalyst to breakup The Shield. As previously mentioned, seeing the group face-off is a look into WWE's bright future of impressive young talent.

We all know how hard Ryback was pushed to start with and then how it ended. He was paired with Paul Heyman, a genius in his own regard, but still couldn't get over. What can WWE do now? Ryback has the look, but lacks almost everything else. Do you think sending him back to NXT and repackaging him would be smart? Should WWE just demote him to a career midcard guy like Santino or should they just release him?

WWE has a bad habit of pushing talent too hard too fast and as a result, it does damage to the worker's career. For every Sheamus or Alberto Del Rio there's a Tensai, Mike Knox, Gene Snitsky, Ryback, Great Khali, etc. There are two schools of thought and it's almost relatable to the NFL. When a team drafts a stud rookie quarterback, some believe the best way for them to learn is to be a backup for a couple of years. Others believe it's imperative they immediately get on the field and start at the position. The same thing happens in pro wrestling. I'm more for building guys up through the mid card as I feel there are a lot of benefits to it rather than throwing someone very green in a position where they're expected to compete at the highest level. Ryback couldn't capitalize and I don't think people view him as a viable main event talent as a result. However, that hasn't stopped WWE from trying multiple times and they're pitching top level programs involving him for next year. I have more on that here on Premium.

From the Ask WNW vault…

December 2009: I've watched the ending to John Cena-Sheamus at WWE TLC a few times now, and I noticed that when Sheamus fell off the top turnbuckle, there was a table on its side next to him. Do you think Sheamus and John Cena were supposed to simultaneously go through tables thus ending the match in a draw? - No, the plan was for Sheamus to beat John Cena and win the WWE Championship. Company officials just kept it more quiet than usual to pull off the swerve finish.

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