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, November 2, 2013 to Friday, November 8, 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
- Brandi Runnels, the wife of Cody Rhodes and former WWE developmental Diva Eden Stiles, is apparently returning to the company. Runnels Tweeted the following photo on Friday:
- This week's episode of Backstage Fallout Smackdown is subtitled "Total Fallout" and is online now at this link.
- The Times-Picayune has a new article online featuring quotes from John Cena. In it, he says he doesn't consider the World Heavyweight Championship a second-tier championship and hopes to defend it at Wrestlemania XXX next year. Below is an excerpt:
“This is not taken as a shot of disrespect to anyone who has held the title before me, but it’s now viewed as a second-tier championship,” Cena said. “(Defending it at WrestleMania 30) will truly put a stamp on making it the real deal. I want the WWE universe to realize that it’s not a second-tier championship. It should be treated with as much respect as the WWE title.”
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
- WWE sent Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz a WWE title belt that he wore at the Red Sox rally on Saturday. Below is a photo:
- WWE developmental worker Scott Dawson sent a strange Tweet to the verified Twitter account of Vince McMahon. The Tweet is as follows:
- The Mercedes-Benz Superdome will host a Wrestlemania XXX on-sale party on Friday, November 15, 2013 from 5-9 PM in Champions Square. The event will feature WWE appearances, food and beverages. Click here for more information.
- Video of Daniel Bryan's Q&A panel at Wizard World Nashville from last month is now online. You can watch it in its entirety at this link.
- WWE Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel is disputing that he is out with a hip injury. He Tweeted the following from his verified Twitter account:
- Part of the Total Divas cast (The Bella Twins, Naomi & Cameron) filmed an appearance on Steve Harvey. You can view a photo below:
- Wrestletalk TV has a new shoot interview online with Maryse Ouellet. You can watch it at this link.
- The Marine 3 is set to premiere in the United Kingdom on Sky Premiere 1 on Friday. Click here for more information.
- Jim Ross posted a new blog entry on his official website that you can read at this link.
- Prince Devitt, known primarily for his work with New Japan Pro Wrestling, claimed on Twitter that he's headed to WWE. The following is from Twitter:
- WWE has signed 2012 Olympian Chas Betts to a developmental contract. Betts, 27, announced the signing via Facebook over the weekend. He's scheduled to start at the WWE Performance Center on Monday. Click here for coverage by NBC OlympicTalk.
- Scott Fishman of The Miami Herald has a new article online featuring quotes from Rey Mysterio. In it, Mysterio said he still needs a bit more therapy before he makes a full-time return to the ring due his left knee injury. He said if he doesn't return by the end of the year, he'll be back next year. Mysterio stressed the need to take his time and not push it. You can read the article in its entirety at this link.
- In Monday's installment of Ask WNW, I discussed the phenomenal late-career resurgence of Goldust. Mike Mooneyham of The Post and Courier featured him in an article on Sunday where he talked about stumbling into a foundation of youth. Click here to read now.
- WWE Studios and Film Roman announced on Monday they have entered into a co-financing and co-production agreement to produce up to 13, 3-minute webisodes of a new animated series called Camp WWE. The series will be scripted by Mike Benson of "Entourage" and "The Bernie Mac Show." WWE posted the official press release here on their corporate website.
- Rob Van Dam spoke with Sam Roberts a couple weeks ago about his contract status with WWE. RVD's WWE return hinges on his acting schedule and he reiterated he is currently without a WWE contract. As we've been reporting for quite some time, Van Dam is working under 90-day agreements to keep his options open. Click here to watch Sam's interview.
- We reported over the weekend that part of the Total Divas cast (The Bella Twins, Naomi & Cameron) filmed an appearance on the Steve Harvey Show. That episode is scheduled to air Tuesday to promote the return of the hit E reality series.
- R-Truth hasn't worked since the October 21, 2013 WWE Superstars taping in Memphis, Tennessee because he recently underwent oral surgery. We're told the surgery caused him to miss Hell in a Cell and that put him in the WWE doghouse. Truth was featured on the promotional poster for the show and expected to wrestle but was pulled as a result of the surgery. Apparently Truth has heat over the scheduling of the procedure. As one observer questioned, since when does it matter that a worker featured on a promotional poster doesn't actually work the pay-per-view?
- Last week's episode of WWE Smackdown featuring World Heavyweight Champion John Cena did an average viewing audience of 2,730,000 viewers on SyFy. Cena came back in a big way last week and the viewership numbers reflected. The show ended up doing a 1.90, which was down slightly from the 1.94 the show did the week prior.
- Chris Jericho was a guest on AMC's "Talking Dead" on Sunday night. I don't watch the show but it's online for those that do at this link.
- It was announced on this week's episode of WWE Monday Night Raw that Big Show will face Randy Orton for the WWE Championship at Survivor Series. The match was announced as part of the storyline "settlement" of Big Show's "lawsuit" against WWE. Stephanie McMahon announced in Raw's final segment that Show was re-hired. Show demanded a title match and eventually got it from Hunter after some posturing. He was then setup for a handicap match beatdown by The Shield and Randy Orton to end the show.
- After this week's WWE Monday Night Raw went off the air, Big Show received medical attention in the ring to sell the beating he took in the overrun segment. Alberto Del Rio came out to face John Cena for the World Heavyweight Championship in the dark match main event. Cena ended up retaining after hitting the Attitude Adjustment.
- WWE announced that Daniel Bryan will face Luke Harper on this week's episode of Smackdown. The company will tape Smackdown on Tuesday night from the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The following comments were made on Twitter:
I almost get fired 4 an "irreverent" cartoon & @WWE decides 2 make their own? Hope Mark Henry doesn't cry about it
Kinda makes me wanna release the 2 episodes of #MidCardMafia season 2 that I have sitting here....
Backstage news and notes from Monday Night Raw in Greenville…
- We reported last week the plan was for Vince McMahon to be behind Bray Wyatt's statement "the devil made me do it." Well another idea is to have Paul Heyman as the "devil," and it's an idea that has gained some traction from speaking with people backstage this week.
- The WWE Survivor Series lineup began to take shape on this week's show. In addition to the already announced WWE Championship match between Randy Orton and Big Show, rumored bouts are as follows - Daniel Bryan & CM Punk vs. The Wyatt Family (there's been talk about making it an 8-man match), World Heavyweight Champion John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio and Goldust & Cody Rhodes and two others vs. Kane & The Shield.
- Everyone I've spoken with feels Curtis Axel's days as WWE Intercontinental Champion are numbered. The Paul Heyman experiment seems to be over and apparently there are still injury concerns.
- The anticlimactic return of Big Show was due to the massive amount of long-term booking changes we've seen over the last couple of weeks. The main criticism with the entire corporation angle is nothing has been long-term. The only thing seen to be an inevitable probability is an on-screen feud between Triple H and Vince McMahon.
- Tyson Kidd returned to WWE on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw, however, this isn't his first match back. Kidd has been working under the masked Luchadore tag team of Los Locales for the past month. Kidd Tweeted about his singles character returning, you can read below:
- This week's episode of Backstage Fallout Raw is subtitled "Big Return, Big Reactions, Big Fallout." You can watch it at this link.
- This week's episode of WWE Monday Night Raw did an average viewing audience of 3,887,667 viewers on the USA Network. Below is how the show broke down by hour:
Hour 1 - 4,069,000
Hour 2 - 3,951,000
Hour 3 - 3,643,000
The show ended up with a 2.75 cable rating.
Monday Night Football on ESPN did an average viewing audience of 16,102,000 viewers. You can see how all the competition stacked up at this link.
- Marvel.com has a new Q&A online with World Heavyweight Champion John Cena. In it, Cena says he knows that "not necessarily everyone" at his job loves him but that doesn't sour him on his place of employment. Cena said he really likes his job [with WWE] and doesn't like being out. He said he truly found a home with the company and it helped keep him motivated to return early from injury. Click here to read the piece in its entirety.
- The Miz did media in Greenville, South Carolina on Monday ahead of this week's WWE Raw. You can check his appearance out at this link.
- The first four episodes of Chris Jericho's new Web series, 'But I'm Chris Jericho,' are now online at this link.
- World Heavyweight Champion John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio is advertised to headline WWE's show in Munich, Germany on Saturday. We'll be covering the tour in detail on Wednesday as one of the company's busiest months is underway.
- There was some confusion during the awkward commercial break in the final segment of this week's episode of WWE Monday Night Raw. I don't have the specifics but it was almost like the commercial break wasn't planned and they were having concerns about time constraints. Triple H was seen with a headset by audience members during the break.
- Jim Ross has a new blog entry online featuring his thoughts to this week's episode of Monday Night Raw. Click here to read it.
- John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship was added to the Survivor Series lineup at Tuesday night's Smackdown taping. We broke the news of the title rematch here in our Backstage Raw notes. There are more pay-per-view plans revealed there as well.
- WWE Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel vs. Big E Langston wasn't taped for this week's WWE Main Event as announced. I've heard Axel still has some injury concerns but he still worked this week's Smackdown taping so he's medically cleared. I haven't heard why this one was pulled.
- Hunico & Camacho worked this week's WWE Main Event taping against The Usos.
- WWE announced through a mobile alert that Triple H has "appointed" Kane the new "Director of Operations" of the company. This is a lead-in to this week's kayfabe Michael Cole interview with Hunter online now here at dot com. Obviously the role is part of Kane's new role with the corporation faction.
- Jonathan Coachman filled in for Colin Cowherd on "The Herd" Wednesday on ESPN Radio. In a segment with Mike Golic where they were discussing the Richie Incognito/Jonathan Martin incident, Coach briefly spoke about incidents in the WWE locker room. Coach mentioned there were some people that others had to "standup for themselves" in front of others but didn't elaborate.
- Dot com has a "where are they now?" interview with Eve Torres. Click here to read it.
- Xavier Woods beat El Local (the masked luchador gimmick of Ricardo Rodriguez) prior to Tuesday's WWE Main Event/Smackdown taping in Charlotte, North Carolina.
- "The Call" was nominated for Favorite Thriller Movie in the People's Choice Awards 2014. The film, considered to be the first hit under the new strategy of WWE Studios, starred Halle Berry with David Otunga in a supporting role. The People's Choice Awards air on CBS on January 8, 2014. Click here for the full list of nominees.
- SLAM! Wrestling has a new article online featuring quotes from Paul Heyman. In it, Heyman explains that he originally came back to be a mouthpiece for Brock Lesnar and was slated to leave the company after his role concluded. It's also worth noting that Heyman wasn't part of the Lesnar deal but brought on after Brock was acquired. Heyman confirmed he's booked on the current overseas tour in 2-on-1 handicap matches. Click here to read the article by SLAM!
- WWE Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel vs. Big E Langston didn't take place at Tuesday night's Main Event taping in Charlotte, North Carolina because Langston wasn't there. He was actually on his way to Ireland with the crew that worked Wednesday in Ireland. I'm not sure why WWE advertised the match in the first place but plans clearly changed.
- If you missed this week's WWE Main Event you can read our full results report at this link.
- The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is attached to star in MGM’s action project Seal Team 666. He will also executive produce the project. Rock just finished filming Hercules in Budapest and is now shooting Fast & Furious 7.
- We reported on Tuesday there was noticeable confusion during the final segment of this week's Monday Night Raw. Triple H was reportedly upset they went to commercial before announcing Big Show would be challenging Randy Orton for the WWE title at Survivor Series. The segment was running long and they had to get one final break in, which was the reason for the awkward timing. Hunter wasn't happy and voiced his frustrations at ringside in a headset to the back.
- Mae Young was visiting at Wednesday night's WWE live event in Columbia, South Carolina.
- Dot com posted 187 "unique images" of Hulk Hogan at this link. The timing is interesting given rumors the Hulkster is headed back to WWE. I wouldn't read too much into it, however, as Joey Styles admitted the company pays attention to what's on the Internet and uses it to attract visitors. Further, Hogan's image is being used to promote WWE 2K14 and they want people associated Hogan with "30 Years of Wrestlemania." We can confirm there's currently no deal between WWE and Hogan.
- The latest episode of WWE Inbox is subtitled "Totally Natalya" and is online at this link.
- We have an update on the controversial Michael Hayes. As I suspected, there is more to the story where he was suspended for being seen having a drink with Rosa Mendes. We're told WWE has requested that Hayes enter rehab and that so far, he has "seemed agreeable." There is no timetable yet for his return to WWE. Hayes was controversially suspended in October after reports surfaced that he was seen having a drink at a bar with Mendes (who has a history of substance abuse and recently completed WWE-funded rehab).
- WWE announced on Thursday they're opening a new international office in Munich, Germany.
- Fitness model Ashley Sebera has signed a WWE developmental contract. She posted the following photo on Twitter:
- WWE officially announced on Thursday that The History of WWE: 50 Years of Sports Entertainment and Raw 20th Anniversary Collection: The 20 Greatest Episodes Uncut & Unedited will be released on Tuesday, November, 19, 2013 and Tuesday, December 3, 2013, respectively. Click here for the official press release.
- WWE announced earlier this week that Jane Geddes has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Operations for Talent and Live Events. Geddes, who fans got to know in the Total Divas reality series, had been working as the Senior Vice President of Talent Relations. She will now report directly to Triple H. Pete Leone, who worked as Senior Vice President of Operations for Talent and Live Events since September 2010, was let go. We have yet to hear Geddes' replacement as the job was once previously filled by John Laurinaitis. He now works backstage as a producer.
- WWE announced plans earlier this week for a new animated series called Camp WWE. The company announced in the December 2013 issue of WWE Magazine plans for another animated series. According to a full page promotional poster, the series will be called WWE Slam City and will debut at Royal Rumble 2014. Below is the premise for the show.
Banished from the ring, the WWE Superstars are bringing big action to their new jobs and the streets of Slam City!
The series is being done in conjunction with a new toy line. There are plans for a website at WWESlamCity.com but it is not yet online. WWE filed the trademark for "Slam City" over the summer.
- We're told filming is "well underway" for DVDs on Paul Heyman and WCW's Top 50 Moments. What's interesting about the DVD compilations is that WWE sent out a survey to fans about the possibility of the projects when filming began that same day. The hope within WWE is that the Heyman title will be one of their best selling releases next year. To differentiate the WCW release from past WCW titles released by WWE, the company is reaching out to former WCW talent that hasn't been featured on previous releases.
- Sean Cleary will replace Jane Geddes as Senior Vice President of Talent Relations in WWE. We reported on Thursday that Geddes was promoted to Senior Vice President of Operations for Talent and Live Events, while Pete Leone was released. Cleary has been working in Human Resources for WWE since March of last year, which is a position he held for two years at Bank of America. Prior to that, he had a short stint with Take-Two Interactive.
- WWE issued a press release on Friday to announce that Stefan Kastenmüller has been named General Manager, Germany, Switzerland and Austria, a newly created position, effective immediately. The appointment is part of WWE's first office in Germany, which will be located in Munich. You can read the official release at this link.
- Jim Ross weighed in on Adam "Pacman" Jones returning to TNA Wrestling on Twitter. The following is from his verified account:
- The Rack radio show interviewed Cameron about the upcoming season of Total Divas. Click here to listen now.
- Sheamus, Rey Mysterio, Mark Henry, Kaitlyn, Alicia Fox, Mick Foley, Booker T and Jimmy Hart are scheduled for the Wrestlemania XXX Pre-Sale Ticket Party next Friday from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in Champions Square from 5-9 PM. Click here for more information.
- Dot com has a new interview online with Edge. In it, he's asked about Triple H's controversial promo on Raw a couple of weeks ago where Hunter said that guys like Edge, Chris Jericho and Rob Van Dam were great and popular but were never "the guy." Edge said the only people that carry that title are Bruno Sammartino, Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, The Rock and now John Cena. Click here to read the interview in its entirety.
- The following matches are from this week's episode of WWE Superstars:
- TNA Wrestling has officially announced their return to Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. The company will move from their former Impact Zone location at Soundstage 21 to Soundstage 19. Confirmed dates include November 21, November 22 and November 23. Admission is free and we'll once again have a reporter on the ground at Impact.
- Speaking of the TNA calendar, the company has added a December 28, 2013 live event in Long Island, New York. You can view all of the updates at this link.
- Click here for eight things you didn't know about Magnus.
- Jeff Hardy's new album, "Plurality of Worlds," debuts on November 7, 2013 and is available for pre-order at this link.
- TNA Wrestling posted official details on their return to Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. Click here to read them.
- Former WWE employee Lou D'Angeli claims his friend Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins is negotiating to purchase TNA Wrestling. D'Angeli Tweeted:
According to CelebrityNetWorth.com, Corgan has an estimated net worth of $50 million dollars.
I am unable to confirm D'Angeli's claims. I have yet to hear from any of my sources about TNA being for sale and Janice Carter sent out a memo to TNA talent last week, re-affirming the Carter family's commitment to the company. At this point I'll just caution to be careful what you read. We'll continue to research the story but the only thing we know 100% is a memo went out to TNA workers saying the company wasn't for sale and the Carter family was committed to it. Obviously Janice could be telling talent one thing and doing another but at this point, the other stuff has not been confirmed.
Corgan on the other hand is no stranger to pro wrestling. He's a big fan and has promoted his own shows with Jacques and Gabe Baron. Their company is called Resistance Pro Wrestling.
- TNA Champion AJ Styles defended the title Sunday night for AAA in Mexico. The match was against El Mesias (a/k/a Judas Mesias) and went nearly 20 minutes. Styles went over after making Mesias tap out in the calf killer. AAA familiarized the audience with the current TNA storyline that Styles has "left the company" with the title. Styles was not well-known by the Mexican audience.
- Jim Ross has a new blog entry online where he doesn't buy rumors that Billy Corgan is purchasing TNA Wrestling and questions if the company is even for sale in the first place. These are pretty much the same sentiments I share as you can read JR's latest at this link.
- Hulk Hogan will appear on Oprah Winfrey's "Where Are They Now?" show during the new season that premiered Sunday night on OWN. You can watch a commercial for the episode featuring Hogan at this link. It's unclear when the episode featuring Hogan will air.
- TNA Wrestling's agreement with Ohio Valley Wrestling as their official developmental territory is indeed coming to an end. While the changes have not yet been addressed by OVW, TNA is moving all talent in their developmental system to Orlando.
- In a new #Impact365 video, Dixie Carter discussed AJ Styles defending the TNA Championship for AAA in Mexico last weekend. Dixie, obviously in-character, said Styles was not the TNA Champion so he wasn't defending any TNA title. You can watch the video at this link.
- Alex Barie of TNANews.comconfirmed last Friday that Panda Energy's Janice Carter sent an email to all employees of TNA Wrestling, addressing rumors the Carter family was looking to sell the company. On Monday, we provided an excerpt from the email and have now obtained the memo in its entirety.
You can read it below:
October 31, 2013
As we embark on our "Where Action Never Ends" 365 initiative, I wanted to take this time to thank you for your dedication and enthusiasm to your company's renewed creative direction. I feel confident that, together, we are marching towards something great - a revolutionary way to experience professional wrestling.
With this said, I am aware of the false rumors currently circulating that The Carter Family and Panda Energy is attempting to sell their ownership stakes in TNA Wrestling. An unfortunate aspect of this business is that there are wrestling "reporters" who consistently post "news stories" without proper facts. I want to assure you that these are just rumors and I am committed to TNA and its future.
While I typically find that responding to such rumors is a waste of time, I wanted to use this as a moment to express my support and delight for the creative direction we are moving in. Our work has just begun and I look forward to a long and rewarding future with you and TNA.
Chairman of the Board
Panda Energy is the majority owner of TNA and the financial backbone of the company. Janice's memo has done little to quiet rumors as speculation persists in many circles, including Billy Corgan's name surfacing as an interested buyer last weekend.
At this point, all we know for sure is the memo that was sent above. There are a lot of rumors and speculation but we'll only report what we can confirm as fact. I'm not trying to sound self-righteous but it's amazing how quickly gossip and assumptions get passed on as fact. To date, we have never reported TNA is for sale because we haven't been told that by any of our sources.
- TNA Wrestling just added a new job posting to their official website. The company is seeking a "Writer/Producer". As I questioned on my Facebook page, could this be trying to fill the void of Eric Bischoff? Below is the official job description or check it out at this link:
The Writer/Producer will be responsible for the creative content and scripts of television content. He/She will work with a team of writers who will produce original, compelling content for broadcast.
- Develop and implement creative storylines for broadcast on TNA television broadcast.
- Build compelling stories that capture the audience.
- Consistently improve and refine storylines.
- Use consumer insights and social media to deliver impactful storylines that are consistent with the TNA brand and each talent’s skills.
Desired Skills and Qualifications
- A creative, original thinker with great programming instincts.
- Minimum of 3 years writing and production experience in television preferred.
- Deep understanding of pop culture, trends, and topical events, especially as they relate to television programming.
- Writing and directing reality television a plus.
- An experimental, risk-taking mindset. Must be open to thinking outside of traditional television formats and outside of the traditional linear television model.
- Highly developed written and verbal communications skills. Ability to communicate story lines, including vision and strategy, effectively with senior management, writing and production teams, and external parties.
- Awareness of, and potential passion for, TNA content.
Please submit resumes and any other applicable material to email@example.com with Writer/Producer in the subject line.
TNA is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against persons because of age, race, color, creed, religion, disability, gender, ethnic or national origin, or veteran status. TNA prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities and will reasonably accommodate applicants with a disability, upon request, and will also ensure reasonable accommodation for employees with a disability.
- TNA Champion AJ Styles is taking the title to Japan where he will defend it against Seiya Sanada for Keiji Mutoh’s WRESTLE-1 promotion at their November 16, 2013 show in Tokyo. Additionally, Rob Terry and Jay Bradley will be coming from TNA Wrestling to work the same WRESTLE-1 show in November and their December 1st show in Fukuoka. All of this was worked out prior to Styles going over for the TNA title at Bound for Glory. We unveiled the plans prior to the pay-per-view here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium.
- Jeff Hardy discusses his band Peroxy?gen in a new #Impact365 video at this link.
- TNA Wrestling has released VIP packages for fans in Orlando looking to return to the Impact tapings at Universal Studios later this month. The packages are $159 a person and include admission to all three shows, meet and greets and access to a Welcome Back After-Party. Click here to buy now.
- Bully Ray is featured in a new Impact Podcast at this link.
- In a new #Impact365 video, Dixie Carter said that Adam "Pacman" Jones is returning to Impact Wrestling on this week's show. You can watch the video at this link. Carter got the speculation started when she announced on Tuesday that a former World Champion was returning to the show this week in Cincinnati, Ohio. Jones infamously carried the TNA Tag Team Championship with Ron Killings in 2007 but wasn't allowed to have physical contact due to his NFL contract. Consequences Creed worked for Jones,where he and Killings dropped the belts to Sting and Kurt Angle.
- TNA Wrestling issued a press release on Thursday, announcing the release of Jeff Hardy's Calling All "Creatures" music album. The album is available here on ShopTNA.com.
- Joseph Park gets wrestling advice advice from Adam "Pac Man" Jones in a new #Impact365 video at this link. For those that missed my reaction to Dixie Carter promoting Jones as a "Former World Champion," you can read it in Thursday's Ask WNW.
- Preview this week's episode of Impact Wrestling in a new video at this link. This week's taping in Cincinnati is the final road taping for awhile. Alex Barie has more on this week's taping at this link.
- I love interacting with readers on my Twitter and Facebook because it gives me an idea about how other people view things and my subsequent musings and reactions to them. On Thursday, I had an interesting conversation with a reader that was reacting to me likening Dixie Carter advertising a "former World Champion" and delivering Adam "Pacman" Jones to WCW putting the World Heavyweight Championship on David Arquette in the latest installment of Ask WNW.
I'm going to feature that conversation and explain my reaction.
My comparison is based on the bait and switch. Let's don't overreach here. I have no problem with TNA bringing back Adam "Pacman" Jones and garnering some local publicity. I have no problem with using Jones in the storyline that Dixie Carter is a delusional southern bell. I do have a problem with the bait and switch, mostly due to similar situations in the last 4 months. How many times has Dixie Carter used the shtick before? How many "major signings" have been promised? What about "groundbreaking announcements?" Just how many times are we going to get the "earth-shattering, change the business forever" Tweet?
It's not that the Internet or critics "fail to realize" the storyline, it's that no one buys it. I say all the time the most successful gimmicks are extensions of a person's real life personality. It's why Steve Austin was successful, it's why John Cena is successful, it's why the Mr. McMahon character garners so much attention.
Even the biggest TNA fan will tell you that Dixie doesn't fit the bill of a heel character, not even as a delusional southern bell. While some may feel Dixie is "over her head" at times, pretty much everyone will tell you she is as nice as they come. She's easy to work for because people like her. She's compassionate and caring. Dixie Carter views her wrestlers and her staff like family. The role as a delusional heel authoritative figure is the antithesis of her real-life personality.
Now, as for fans "ripping TNA to pieces," you are correct. This is what I explained in Ask WNW and it's why I don't like it when the promotional blurbs of a "major free agent signing" or a "former World Champion" are used. There are only a few people that are going to appease the fans, so it's best to find another way to do it.
As of this writing, the initial video (located here) has 34,307 views. So while you see what is being done and understand the backstory, what about the other 900,000+ people that never saw it? Even then, perhaps some saw the promotion of a "former World Champion" and tuned in, only to learn it was an NFL defensive back. Isn't that going to leave people feeling ripped off? Yes, Dixie was trolling the audience to further herself as a heel but isn't this the kind of thing that causes people to tune out?
If people care, then where's the increase in viewership? Why did the post-Bound for Glory Impact tapings look like this or this? If people care, then why did Bound for Glory look like this? If people care, then why have we seen ratings and viewership remain flat or even decrease over the past 4 years? If people care, why is TNA returning to Orlando after Dixie Carter vowed that Impact was permanently going on the road?
I want people to care but I'm just not sure that they do. If they did, then the joke is on us. We're all kayfabed! Dixie Carter promising a "former World Champion" and delivering Adam "Pacman" Jones is all gravy baby! We're just cogs in the machine and we're playing into a storyline that will inevitably give Dixie Carter the momentum the company needs in turning things around and competing with WWE.
However, I'm not sure that's the case. TNA is in a bad place right now. It's been a brutal year. The last thing that Dixie needs to be doing is "trolling the fans." In-character or not, the bottom-line is this is a questionable move. It's a bait and switch that is only going to leave fans disappointed and wondering why they tuned in in the first place.
There are your normal "we want TNA To fail trolls" but I don't think everyone hates Dixie Carter. The fans are frustrated with Dixie Carter. While that isn't completely her fault, the fact of the matter is most fans want WWE to have a viable competitor. The company is in no place to pull this kind of move and I would question it even if the Dixie Carter heel turn was catching on.
Now, just take a look around the Internet. Publicity is what Dixie wants, right? Well, take a look at some reactions:
From Bleacher Report - Bengals' Adam Jones to Make His Return to TNA Wrestling Thursday Night
From Pro Wrestling journalist Brian Fritz - Latest WTF Moment in TNA Wrestling as Returning Former Champ Revealed
I want to put something on the record and I'll end this debate/editorial. This isn't going to work. Dixie Carter advertised something she had no intention to deliver. In-character or out-of-character, it's irrelevant. It's an overexposed shtick that is not going to add to TNA's audience. The people that do watch are just getting more and more frustrated (read this and the other two pieces I linked too). I'm not a TNA hater, I want TNA to succeed but TNA is not going to succeed with moves like this.
- TNA Wrestling issued an official press release about Adam "Pacman" Jones returning to the company on Impact. You can read it at this link. I covered it in depth in Ask WNW and in a Richard Reacts piece.
- Below is a preview of the new TNA trading cards by Tristar:
- The following matches will take place on the Turning Point themed episode of Impact Wrestling on Thursday, November 21, 2013:
Samoa Joe vs. Magnus in the TNA Championship Tournament
James Storm vs. Bobby Roode in a Bull Rope Match in the TNA Championship Tournament
Bully Ray vs. Mr. Anderson. If Ray wins, Anderson "leaves." If Anderson wins, Aces & Eights disband.
- TNA Wrestling will tape their Hardcore Justice "One Night Only" pay-per-view from the Lowell Memorial Auditorium in Lowell, Massachusetts on Sunday, December 29 2013. The show was originally scheduled as a live event. Click here for local information.
- For those that missed this week's show, Jeff Hardy advanced in the TNA Championship Tournament after beating Chris Sabin in a Full Metal Mayhem Match. Kurt Angle vs. Austin Aries in a Submission Match in the World Title Tourney was taped for next week as you can read results at this link.
- The official preview for next week's episode of Impact Wrestling is online at this link.
- AJ Styles Tweeted the following on Thursday:
Apparently some are speculating he entered into negotiations with WWE, which isn't true. Styles signed a contract extension with TNA earlier this year and is believed to have agreed to something longer-term considering the company went ahead with plans to put the TNA title on him and have him defend it overseas. We've mentioned numerous times that WWE respects Styles and his talent but there isn't much interest in him for several reasons.
- TNA Wrestling issued a press release on Friday with official details on the December 29th "One Night Only - Hardcore Justice" pay-per-view taping in Lowell, Massachusetts. The announcement was made on this week's episode of Impact and covered here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com. Names advertised for the taping include Jeff Hardy, Kurt Angle, Bully Ray, Magnus, Bobby Roode and James Sotrm. Tickets are now on sale at this link.
- This week's episode of Impact Wrestling only did an average viewing audience of 1,019,000 viewers on Spike TV. The show ended up with a 0.87 cable rating. There wasn't significant competition anywhere on cable but between the NFL game (6,473,000 viewers) and the NCAA football game (5,732,000 viewers), TNA had to compete for their demographic.
What is your perspective on Goldust's current work in WWE?
Goldust is having the best stint of his career in 2013. I realize he's won other titles and has been in the business for 23 years but I'll argue that today, he's taken more seriously than he has been in his entire career. It's actually quite phenomenal when you sit back and think about it. After all these years the chips have finally aligned for him and not only for his good, but also to help elevate Cody Rhodes. This is also the sentiment shared by many in the WWE locker room. His work has been off the charts and I've already made a strong case that he understands how to play his character as good as anyone on the WWE roster. I'm not saying Goldust is in line for a world title run but this late-career resurgence is one I'm rooting for like never before.
Do you think that Hulk Hogan has a deal with WWE?
This is a story everyone is trying to get ahead of and the rumors escalated off a report by Examiner.com. I cannot confirm this report as of this writing and haven't mentioned it until now. Since I've received a lot of questions about Hogan returning to WWE, let me tell you what I do know. Hulk Hogan had an option attached to his TNA contract for another year, however, TNA wanted to "sign him to an extension," which was basically a way of asking him to take a pay cut for more years on his deal. Hogan was not receptive to taking less money and felt he still had value in the eyes of WWE. Regardless of what Eric Bischoff claims, Hogan in WWE 2K14 was one of the first steps in Hogan re-building the bridge for him back to WWE. However, let's also be clear - Hogan didn't think TNA would actually decline the option to his contract and they did. This left Hogan a "free agent," which is his status currently. Now Hogan is clearly interested in returning to WWE and sources within WWE indicate there is obviously interest from the McMahon machine. The question seems to indicate - what would Hogan's role be in WWE? I was told WWE wanted something that would feature him on television but used primarily for merchandise and licensing. Hogan's camp claims he wants John Cena at Wrestlemania XXX. So that's where we are - Hogan is interested and WWE is interested. The issue is now, what would a Hogan to WWE deal look like? The Examiner report claims Hogan and WWE have a verbal agreement. Let me remind you what a verbal agreement looks like in the wrestling business - Lex Luger, who verbally agreed to re-sign with the WWF, debuted live on WCW Monday Nitro on September 4, 1995.
Now that John Cena is the World Heavyweight Champion, does that mean WWE is finally giving both world titles equal importance?
This topic always brings me back to a point Adam Wacker made in an article here on WWENews.net back in May. The champion defines the championship, the title doesn't define the worker. No one is going to look at the World title as second-tier with John Cena holding it, a point he made in a recent interview. So Cena as World Heavyweight Champion absolutely helps with the prestige of the belt but how it's treated after Cena will determine its standing.
Does WWE offer tours through their Performance Center?
The WWE Performance Center is not open to the public at this time. There has been a lot of talk about developing a WWE tourist attraction in Orlando that will operate as the company's physical Hall of Fame. WWE was in negotiations with Universal Studios about bringing it there, however, they wanted exclusive rights to the park. Universal wouldn't give them exclusive rights if they wouldn't agree to tape a show there. Now that TNA has returned, it remains to be seen if WWE will still push to have their Hall of Fame in the same park as TNA Wrestling.
From the Ask WNW vault…
December 2010: Jonathan Coachman now works for ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut. If you watch any of the ESPN networks you will probably see him at some point. I certainly do not blame Coachman for pursuing a career in sports broadcasting as there are very few things that could take me away from my position here at Wrestling News World but it would be hard for me to turn down a position with ESPN.
What is it about Curtis Axel's promos that are off? I cant put my finger on it. I mean, they're not BAD promos. Just fall flat somehow…
I know exactly what you're saying and it's part of the reason why I gave Curtis Axel a little more time than I normally would when judging a gimmick because I thought it was just nerves. I can't put my finger on it either but I honestly feel if he relaxed a little bit that he would be just fine. One thing I've noticed with a lot of younger workers is they are more concerned with following a script then they are playing their characters. Just to draw a comparison, watch the way Axel looks when he comes through the curtain and watch the way Goldust looks when he comes through the curtain.
A lot of people thought Damien Sandow being unsuccessful in his Money in the Bank "cash in" was a downgrade, however, it's looking more and more like an upgrade. What are your thoughts?
Damien Sandow was booked under so many times prior to "cashing in" last week, pretty much anything other than losing was going to be an upgrade. I know many people backstage saw Sandow's loss to John Cena last week as an upgrade and he's working in a desirable spot right now but only time will tell how he's booked going forward. We could argue that Sandow's loss takes away from the "guarantee" of the Money in the Bank contract, which could be a good thing or it could be a bad thing. Sandow is a guy primed for a breakout and I would like to see it happen.
Do you think there's any chance Shawn Michaels gets in the ring to square off with Daniel Bryan, possibly at Wrestlemania XXX?
Anything is possible and WWE can clearly re-visit Shawn Michaels vs. Daniel Bryan after the framework that was laid at Hell in a Cell and Raw last week, however, I continue to operate on what we know and that is Shawn is retired from the ring. When a retired worker gets back on television the whispers start almost immediately about an in-ring return. The whispers are fair as many guys, such as The Rock (or even Ric Flair), love the business and have a difficult time walking away. Michaels is still healthy enough to work and could get "bit by the bug" again but it's also worth noting that he's under WWE contract and appears when they need him. Workers that do not wrestle have a limited shelf life and run the risk of being overexposed if they do not wrestle.
Why do you not cover Ring of Honor?
We've significantly scaled back our coverage of Ring of Honor for a couple of reasons. The biggest has to do with public interest. Our readers are primarily interested in WWE followed by TNA Wrestling. I find that my time is better suited covering these because that's where there is the most interest. Also, Ring of Honor doesn't reach out to us at all. When Gabe Sapolsky was there or when Dave Lagana was there, they emailed us several times a week and made sure their product was getting out to our readers. We hear more from our WWE and TNA public relations reps than we hear from anyone in Ring of Honor. In fact, I couldn't tell you the last time we had communication with what some consider the "third company." If our readers aren't showing an interest and they aren't reaching out, there's really no incentive to provide coverage. It's basic supply and demand.
With Wrestlemania XXX going on sale Saturday, November 16, 2013, will there be a presale?
I haven't heard details on an Internet presale but I'm assuming there will be one. Tickets will be sold the Friday before at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Wrestlemania 30 On Sale Party. You can get more details at this link.
From the Ask WNW vault…
November 2011: Why does TNA try and sign all names that leave WWE instead of building up their own names? - TNA pursues WWE talent because of name recognition and the fact that WWE wrestlers are the best in the world at what they do. If you are a top wrestler in the world in 2011, you are going to work for WWE. There are exceptions like Kurt Angle but the fact of the matter is WWE is the top wrestling company in the world and offers their performers the best chance to make a lot of money. People that can’t make it in WWE or choose to leave due to certain circumstances, look for work in TNA because it gives them an opportunity to make money on a mainstream platform. I agree TNA should focus on home-growing talent; however, it’s also important they keep some of the names that have been around to make people care. So far, TNA hasn’t been able to make that work despite some of the biggest names in the business such as Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and Sting. Vince McMahon’s mentality is if these workers can’t make TNA competitive than why should he worry about mid-card workers like John Morrison jumping ship?
Is there legitimate heat between Triple H and Chris Jericho as a result of Hunter's promo from a couple weeks ago?
Chris Jericho initially seemed peeved over Triple H's promo on the October 21, 2013 episode of Monday Night Raw. He later admitted he'd been drinking Grey Goose vodka and that was the reason for his reaction on Twitter. My problem with Hunter's promo is he essentially dismissed Daniel Bryan, who never looked like he had a chance to keep the WWE title in his program with Randy Orton. The lack of direction and long-term planning with the corporation is obvious and extremely problematic. At this point, I'm ready for the angle to end.
A lot of people complain that TNA could do a better job marketing their product. What could they do better?
We've discussed the marketing and branding in TNA Wrestling for years now and there hasn't been much change despite modest growth. If I or anyone else knew exactly how to solve TNA's problems and could easily explain them, we'd have a guaranteed job with the company. It's always easier from the outside looking in but one thing that has really hurt TNA has been the lack of structure at the top. At a WWE taping, there is no question who is in charge. Vince McMahon is atop the chain of command and has his hands on everything to make sure it's running smoothly. That's not been the case in TNA. There are egos and personalities everywhere and one can only hope that will end with the departures of Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff. TNA hoped Hogan and Bischoff would be their ticket to mainstream relevance when it actually looks like they had the opposite effect for the past 4 years.
Did you notice all of the negative commentary when Tyson Kidd and Natalya came out on this week's Monday Night Raw? They really seemed to be ripping on Tyson a lot. Does Tyson have any heat backstage?
I took it that JBL and company were doing a little worked shoot ribbing on Tyson Kidd upon his 'return' match. I heard several people were happy with the work of Tyson Kidd and his stock is rising in the company. Kidd is a guy that is well-liked by his co-workers and I can honestly tell you I've never heard a bad word about him. Kidd talks about his serious knee injury in a new interview with dot com that you can read at this link.
If and when Undertaker decides to retire, who will make the decision on whether or not the streak ends? Undertaker or Vince McMahon?
At this point Undertaker has complete and total control over the booking of his character. He's going to sign off on all plans before he agrees to come in and work. He's earned the right to retire undefeated at Wrestlemania and the streak will go down as one of the most iconic records in the history of WWE.
From the Ask WNW vault…
December 2009:What is the highest rated episode ever for Monday Night Raw? - WWE Monday Night Raw is War scored its highest rating ever on May 10, 1999 when the show did an 8.1 cable rating. That show was headlined by Undertaker, Triple H, and Shane McMahon taking on Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, and Vince McMahon with Shawn Michaels as the guest referee in a six man tag team match. Ratings over the years have ranged from the lower 2s all the way up the 8.1 I talked about, with the ratings being in the 5s and 6s during WWE's most popular days back in 1999. Recent years the show has done in the 3s with an occasional 4.
What are your thoughts on Adam "Pac Man" Jones returning to TNA Wrestling?
Remember the campaigns that TNA Wrestling used to deliver Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (the "big free agent signing") and Tito Ortiz (#August1Warning cryptic videos) earlier this year? I was in the minority in defending both moves because I felt they had more "star power" than another WWE retread, however, the moves fell flat and were the beginning of what has been a brutal year for TNA. Dixie Carter advertising a "former World Champion" and delivering Adam "Pacman" Jones is a very questionable move. I will give her credit for "revealing him" before it happened Thursday night at TVs but moves like this cause fans to not take Dixie seriously. Jones isn't even relevant in NFL circles, much less pro wrestling circles. The pro wrestling business is all about hype. It's about who can generate buzz around their product. However, when you start to create buzz and hype about a former "World Champion," you set unattainable expectations. Many set their hearts on people that have less than a 1% chance of coming in like Dave Batista or Bill Goldberg. And this is why I hate the "major free agent" and "former world champion" promotional lines.
No matter who the company delivers, most fans are going to be disappointed. Because outside of a select few names, there aren't many that can answer the hype. Especially in TNA's case that has already employed the likes of Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and Sting. When you've had some of the biggest names in the business, the bar is raised accordingly. TNA got destroyed for bringing in Jackson and Ortiz and haven't learned from their past mistakes. If they wanted to use Jones because they're in Cincinnati (he plays for the Bengals), then I'm fine with that. Those type of tie-ins are more than acceptable and can be very effective if utilized properly. However, to advertise a former "World Champion" and deliver Jones is like WCW putting David Arquette over for the World Heavyweight Championship. It makes no sense and undermines the business all for cheap mainstream publicity.
For the sake of the business and the fact I want TNA to succeed, let's hope they swerve. If not, I'm afraid Dixie Carter is going to have a lot of upset fans to address after the show airs. Regardless, make plans to join our "Open Thread" Watch Party Thursday night beginning at 8:30 PM EST so we can watch together.
Now I know Hulk Hogan is gone from TNA, but recently you mentioned Eric Bischoff was gone as well. Is Eric Bischoff really gone from TNA and how come that wasn't mentioned until recently?
The questions surrounding Eric Bischoff's status starting popping up when he wasn't backstage at Bound for Glory last month. After all, his official title is "Executive Producer" so it's pretty important that he is at the shows he is executive producing. Talent were later told when it was announced that Impact would be returning to Orlando that Bischoff would be working "from home" moving forward. Again, Bischoff's job as Executive Producer isn't exactly a job that can be done "from home." While not officially announced, the word going around backstage is TNA is paying him the remainder of his contract while keeping him away from the product.
Does Paul Heyman have any creative duties backstage or is he just an on-screen character?
Paul Heyman was originally brought back exclusively as an on-screen mouthpiece for Brock Lesnar. He wasn't part of the Lesnar deal, he was added afterwards because the thinking was he could be used in situations where they did not want to burn through one of Lesnar's limited appearances. Heyman got his foot in the door and landed an expanded role as he's currently on the overseas tour… where he's advertised to wrestle. There are few people that understand the business the way Paul Heyman understands it and because of that, there will always be opportunities for him. As for your question about creative duties, Heyman has no formal title other than on-screen talent. However, I'm aware of multiple situations where his input has been sought in the direction of storylines.
Am I the only one that is confused with Kane, He's gone from the "Big Red Monster" and now he's in a suit?
Kane was named the new “Director of Operations” in this week's kayfabe Tripe H interview. This is a way of aligning him with the corporation faction and turning him heel. Taking the mask off him is seen as something that's part of his role in the forthcoming "See No Evil" sequel. If the sudden change of plans caught you off-guard, you aren't alone. The plans for Kane changed significantly over the last week as initial plans had him aligning with Vince McMahon.
From the Ask WNW vault…
July 2011: Was WWE Money in the Bank the best pay-per-view of the year? - Sunday's WWE Money in the Bank pay-per-view was the best show of 2011. From the way it was booked, to the ultra hot crowd, to the surprising CM Punk title win - the show was very entertaining. We saw title changes, surprising finishes and stuff that made logical sense and had everyone guessing what was a shoot and what was a work. There isn't much more you can ask for in a pro wrestling pay-per-view and I feel I got my money's worth. The biggest disappointment to me was a weak WWE Raw following a stellar pay-per-view. As one of my sources pointed out, this is what happens when you leave your creative team in the dark.
Has Paul Heyman ever had training to work as a professional wrestler?
No, Paul Heyman has never been trained to work as an actual professional wrestler yet he's advertised to do just that on WWE's current overseas tour. As I stated in Thursday's Ask WNW, Heyman is someone that just gets it.
With the way Daniel Bryan has been booked lately do you think Daniel Bryan will be in main event role come Wrestlemania or will he be in lower
I am hopeful that Daniel Bryan will be in a main level program at Wrestlemania XXX, however, I don't think any of us would be surprised if he wasn't. The one good thing to come out of Bryan's program with Randy Orton is that he's as over as any babyface in the company. I did find it interesting that Bryan wasn't featured on the first Wrestlemania XXX promotional information as that features Alberto Del Rio, Randy Orton, John Cena, CM Punk, Brock Lesnar and Kofi Kingston but we can never put too much into promotional materials done far in advance.
With Hulk Hogan gone from TNA and Eric Bischoff likely to follow, do you see a return of TNA's six-sided ring?
I haven't heard any plans for TNA to bring back their six-sided ring. The decision to scrap it was a decision made by Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff so with them gone a return is certainly a possibility but that's nothing more than speculation at this point. Some major decisions influenced by Hogan and Bischoff include moving Impact from Thursdays to Mondays, taking the product on the road and the Gut Check concept.
Do you see WWE incorporating the confrontation between the Undertaker and Brock Lesnar a few years ago at the conclusion of Lesnar's UFC loss in a storyline between the two should they go forward with a match between the two at Wrestlemania?
At the time that was believed to be the framework for a possible Wrestlemania match between Undertaker and Brock Lesnar and now that match is in the preliminary plans for next year's show. I could see WWE re-visiting that if they have their own photos/footage from it. We are able to confirm Undertaker has been pushing for a Wrestlemania match against Lesnar since before Wrestlemania 29 this year.
Kevin Nash hasn't been seen for two years. Is he still with WWE? If so, what's his role within the company?
Kevin Nash is under a WWE Legends contract through January 2016. His deal allows him to work independent dates while still making him available for WWE licensing and merchandise opportunities.
From the Ask WNW vault…
October 2011: Do you like seeing Vince McMahon as an on-screen character or do you feel he should just stay behind-the-scenes? - The Mr. McMahon character is entertaining in moderation. I find it compelling when McMahon involves himself in storylines, however, his character is like any other character in that it has a limited shelf life. With that being said the Mr. McMahon character is a prime example of taking someone’s real-life personality and turning it all the way up.