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, September 7, 2013 to Friday, September 13, 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
- Tyson Kidd returned to the ring at Friday night's WWE live event in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Kidd went under to Bo Dallas.
Kidd has been out since January after suffering a serious knee injury that required surgery to repair. His injury was recently highlighted on E!'s Total Divas.
- Sami Zayn, the former El Generico, worked Friday night's WWE live event in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He went over Antonio Cesaro.
- This week's episode of Backstage Fallout Smackdown, subtitled Kofi gets the best of Axel, is online at this link.
- Wrestling News World reader Aaron Cook sent word that WWE Monday Night Raw will take place from the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on October 28, 2013. Tickets go on sale on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 10 AM.
- Dustin Rhodes, also known as Goldust, will face Randy Orton on this week's Raw in an attempt to get Cody Rhodes' job back. The match was set up on Twitter, where the following exchange took place:
Click here for more.
- John Cena posted another picture of his scar from his surgery to repair his torn triceps. The following is from Twitter:
Speaking of Cena, he's apparently the reason for some upcoming tour dates in Madrid and Barcelona being canceled for the company's fall overseas tour. Click here for more.
- Best of Orlando noted on Friday of a physical WWE Hall of Fame and possible wrestling-themed restaurant at Universal's CityWalk. The rumor has been the attraction will replace NBA City. More details are available at this link.
- Eva Marie offers breakup advice to JoJo in a Total Divas bonus clip at this link.
- Speaking of Total Divas, below is a preview of this week's episode:
A Leg Up
Nikki's wrestling career is in jeopardy when she suffers an injury. Eva does a photo shoot for Maxim while JoJo becomes jealous. Ariane is nervous when Vincent starts talking about marriage.
Join us at 10 PM EDT for exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- Prior to the problems WWE had with Ric Flair over SummerSlam weekend, there was a new position being created for him. In addition to filling the role as a "good will ambassador" for the company, Triple H was hoping to use his friend as an "elite level polisher" for developmental talent.
Basically, WWE wanted Flair to work with a few NXTers on main event psychology and promo work. We're told the idea was for talent labeled the most impressive to have one on one time with Flair. One of the things Triple H is looking to change more and more in the coming years is having more of the promos and interviews being in the voice of the performer. This means scripting them less heavily and focusing more on giving the talent general goals and messages to convey, as opposed to memorizing scripts.
This is something seen as a gradual transition with some talent not being trusted in that role and being more heavily controlled. Obviously the better talkers will have more freedom.
So it's Flair that is being tapped as "coach" for this transition but it could have been delayed due to heat accumulated at SummerSlam Axxess. The heat is expected to blow over (if it hasn't already) and Flair is expected to land the position created for him.
- NBC Universal announced on Monday that USA Network co-president Jeff Wachtel has been promoted to the newly created position of president and chief content officer at NBC Universal Cable Entertainment. Chris McCumber, who worked alongside Wachtel, will operate as the sole president of USA Network. The Hollywood Reporter has the story at this link.
- Jerry Lawler is closing in on the one year anniversary of suffering a heart attack live on WWE Monday Night Raw. The health scare has done little to slow him down as Lawler is scheduled to return to the ring on Saturday night to face Jeff Jarrett. The match will take place at the Resorts Casino in Tunica, Mississippi. He Tweeted a photo of the promotional poster that you can view below:
- Last week's episode of WWE Smackdown did an average viewing audience of 2,467,000 viewers on SyFy. That number was down 327,000 viewers from the week prior. The show ended up with a 1.88 cable rating.
- WWE sent out a text message to mobile subscribers Monday evening that "The Cutting Edge" segment with Edge will be returning on this week's episode of Raw. The text message reads as follows:
Tonight at 8/7 CT, Edge returns to Raw with "The Cutting Edge!" Find out what will The Rated-R Superstars have in store for the WWE Universe on the USA Network!
Our WWE Raw "Open Thread" Watch Party is now underway at this link.
- A #1 Contenders Tag Team Turmoil Match will take place on the WWE Night of Champions Kickoff show. The match will feature 3MB vs. The Usos vs. Jack Swagger & Antonio Cesaro vs. Tons of Funk vs. The Prime Time Players, with the winners challenging Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins for the belts on the pay-per-view. The match will be streamed live here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com beginning at 7:30 PM EDT.
- Santino Marella returned to WWE on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw. Santino has been out the majority of the year with a neck injury and opening his Battle Arts Wrestling Academy in Toronto. In his return, he beat Antonio Cesaro.
- After this week's episode of WWE Monday Night Raw went off the air, CM Punk beat Curtis Axel in the dark match main event. After the match, Punk hit Axel with a chair and celebrated to send the crowd home happy.
- Rey Mysterio was in attendance at Monday night's NFL game between the Houston Texans and San Diego Chargers. He posted the following photo on Instagram:
Mysterio lives in San Diego and is still targeting a return to WWE from a knee injury.
- WWE posted video footage of "The Cutting Edge" segment with Edge from this week's episode of Monday Night Raw. You can watch it at this link.
- Beth Phoenix was backstage at this week's WWE Monday Night Raw in Toronto with her boyfriend Edge. She Tweeted the following photo with Natalya:
- WWE posted exclusive backstage videos from this week's Monday Night Rawhere on dot com.
- In asking around Tuesday morning, I'm told Goldust was "put over heavily" for his match against WWE Champion Randy Orton on this week's show. Both company officials and other wrestlers thought he really elevated his game for the top level program and that he was very impressive. I'll have more in my backstage Raw notes.
- Santino is back! Watch this week's episode of Backstage Fallout Raw at this link.
- Booker T spoke to Yahoo Singapore while he was doing promotional work for WWE in the country. During the interview, Booker talked about MMA and how he wouldn't want his kids to do it. He was asked about UFC's Ronda Rousey and described her as someone who “couldn’t find her way in life and found it through going out and beating other girls up.”
He spoke about his release from prison and how it motivated him to never go back.
“I remember when I walked out of prison, the guard told me, ‘I’ll see you when you get back’,” revealed Booker. “That motivated me like crazy to never, ever come back again.”
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
- The Temple News has an interesting article online featuring quotes from Total Divas story producer Mike Wehr. In it, he talks about the show's success.
“You can usually get a sense of how good a show is going to be from your first day of work,” Wehr said. “If I’m watching something and I don’t laugh or sense drama, then I get worried. On ‘Total Divas,’ there was always some sort of nugget that could be translated into good television. The fact that the WWE fan base is so huge and E! was so gracious to promote it as much as it has definitely helps. But I didn’t think the numbers would go up every week. We went from a 1.3 to 1.7 [million] in just two weeks. That’s not unheard of, but I think the surprise of it all is that people didn’t expect a show about female wrestlers to rival shows like ‘The Kardashians.’”
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
- One year after suffering a heart attack on live WWE television, Jerry Lawler reflected on Twitter:
Backstage news from WWE Monday Night Raw in Toronto…
- We're told several workers had their luggage lost at the airport when arriving for this week's show in Toronto. As Jerry Lawler mentioned on the broadcast, this was the reason for his Nike polo with the WWE logo on it.
- I noted earlier that Goldust was “put over heavily” backstage for his match against WWE Champion Randy Orton. The bout was so over that he received a standing ovation when he got to the locker room. The feeling was that he came in and "flipped the switch" and that it only added to the side feud of the McMahon/Triple H stuff.
- The "doctor" in the Paul Heyman segment was a local independent worker known as Asylum. He's one half of a tag team known as The Flatliners and is on Twitter at Twitter.com/Asylum1240. Those interested in booking him can do so at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Triple H wasn't happy with Ryback vs. Rob Van Dam and the words used to describe his reaction to me were "train wreck." Apparently Hunter felt Ryback was unprofessional when he took a stiff kick.
- We're told the writing team "went out of their way" to make fans believe that Curtis Axel has no chance against CM Punk. The seed is now planted that Heyman may "seek out an upgrade" to take out Punk.
- Negotiations continued on Monday night to try and lock Edge into a Legend's contact. In typical WWE negotiating strategy, the sense was that he "had the itch again" so they tried to use that momentum to get him to jump at a contract offer. Vince McMahon has a way of using "love for the business" against guys. You may remember that Edge rejected WWE for a deal when they first negotiated because they low balled him and he doesn't need the money. However, we are told that he is interested in securing more money in merchandising and licensing through the company. We can confirm nothing was signed on Monday night but it is also worth noting that Edge did see doctors about having mild physical contact. It could have been (and probably was) just a precautionary measure but I would feel remiss if I didn't at least mention it.
- This week's episode of Total Divas did an average viewing audience of 1,091,000 viewers on E. This is by the far the lowest viewing audience the show has done since its premiere on Sunday, July 28, 2013.
- The competition is back for WWE Monday Night Raw and the results are not pretty. This week's episode averaged 3,885,666 viewers on the USA Network. Below is how the show broke down by hour:
Hour 1 - 3,801,000 viewers
Hour 2 - 3,903,000 viewers
Hour 3 - 3,953,000 viewers
The show ended up with a 2.9 cable rating.
Click here to check out the dominance of the NFL.
- David Wilcox of The Citizen in Auburn, New York has a new Q&A online with Dolph Ziggler. Below is an excerpt:
Q. Right now you're part of the big story of the McMahons going on this power trip, and them kind of playing into the way they're perceived by wrestling fans. What do you think of the story so far?
A. Honestly, if you don't find it interesting as a fan, then it's on you. Some of us hardcore fans have wanted something different, and now you're getting this blurred reality. Are these real behind-the-scenes things taking place or part of the story? And it makes it much more fun. That's what it's all about: suspending reality. We give you a three-hour movie. And with the Internet and people being hardcore fans and knowing what's going on behind the scenes, you're not sure where the story stops and real life begins.
Q. You faced Bray Wyatt last night for the first time. What's your take on first-time matches like that happening without any kind of notice or context?
A. That's the nature of the business, that's WWE: spur-of-the-moment. It's not three hours of continuing stories. That's what sometimes sparks new stories. You find chemistry, a new angle, a new story. I think it's exciting. I found out and went, "These guys are coming out?" And I don't know what to expect. But that's what I've prepared myself for, for eight years.
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
- After this week's episode of WWE Smackdown was taped, Daniel Bryan beat WWE Champion Randy Orton via disqualification in a dark match main event. The Shield caused the disqualification finish. Rob Van Dam, Dolph Ziggler and Kofi Kingston made the save. Dean Ambrose ended up taking the finishers of the babyfaces to send the crowd home happy.
- Sky Sports has a new Q&A online with Drew McIntyre. Below are the highlights:
The creation of 3MB:
Heath, Jinder and I hung out a lot together and are all good friends, and one day the big men decided that we should form a band on TV. I had a wrist injury at the time so it kept me occupied and it has been a lot of fun to show a different side of my personality.
Friendship with Alberto Del Rio:
You can probably imagine how a Scot and a Mexican became such good mates! We are very similar personality-wise, we both love wrestling - he grew up in a wrestling family and I've always wanted to be a wrestler - and we are both very passionate about what we do and very driven.
How he spends his days off:
I just like to chillax and it is easy to do that in Tampa, Florida because it is so sunny. That said, it can get too sunny and make you feel like you're melting. I keep up with my training and go to bars, too. I just wish there were more old-fashioned pubs.
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
- Damien Sandow did an interview from Santino Marella'sBattle Arts Academy and talked about it being the first facility of its kind. You can watch the interview at this link.
- WWE United States Champion Dean Ambrose is quoted on CityBeat.com about his future goals in the business. Below is an excerpt:
“To me, anything less than being the top guy in the industry, the top villain in the industry, the WWE Champion, is a failure,” he says. “That’s a lot of pressure to put on yourself, but whenever I look at it realistically, that’s just how it is.”
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
- WWE posted another kayfabe interview with Triple H conducted by Michael Cole. You can watch it at this link.
- Darren Young, who recently made headlines after becoming the first openly gay member of the active WWE roster, will be a guest during the Season 11 premiere week of "Ellen," hosted by Ellen Degeneres. Young will be appearing on Friday, September 13. Click here for more information.
- Drew McIntyre recently spoke with Sky Sports to promote this Sunday's WWE Night of Champions pay-per-view. McIntyre spoke out about his friendship with Alberto Del Rio, working with 3MB as opposed to having a singles career, and more. In the following excerpt, McIntyre outlines his goals in WWE:
skysports.com: Which titles in WWE do you consider to be the most prestigious?
DM: The WWE and World Heavyweight Titles are the ones everyone is aiming for and if you're not aiming for them you are in the wrong business - and I like to think that when the time is right I will get my shot. I have just turned 28 and have lots of years left in me and after being hindered by injury I am ready to get going. I am hungrier and more vicious than I have ever been and I don't think anyone can match my aggression.
Click here to read the full interview.
- Shaul Guerrero, the daughter of Eddie & Vickie Guerrero, is headed back to WWE developmental and is currently in the process of moving to Orlando, Florida. She'll report to the WWE Performance Center where she will resume training for her pro wrestling career.
- A promo trailer for next week's mid-season finale of Total Divas is online at this link.
- Edge discusses Season 4 of "Heaven" with Tiffany Vogt at this link.
- WWE announced Wednesday here on dot com that Jim Ross is retiring from the company following 20 years of service. According to their report, JR will leave WWE to focus on "his personal business endeavors."
Jim Ross debuted with WWE at Wrestlemania IX in 1993 and became one of the greatest wrestling commentators of all-time for his work alongside Jerry Lawler during the Attitude Era. Ross was removed from weekly commentary in 2009 due to his third Bell's palsy episode.
While Ross' desire was to return to the booth, he was never again used on a weekly basis. Ross made sporadic appearances on television including filling in for Jerry Lawler last year following Lawler's heart attack. JR has spent the latter years of his WWE career as a talent relations consultant.
In addition to his accomplished career as a broadcaster, Ross served as Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and is credited for signing some of WWE's biggest stars.
Below is some Twitter reaction from around the Internet:
- Jim Ross posted the following on Twitter regarding his retirement from WWE:
The company announced on Wednesday that Ross was retiring after 20 years of service. Click here for our initial report.
I'm currently working on more details surrounding Ross' departure and will be posting them shortly.
- The major story currently in development is the abrupt retirement of Jim Ross from WWE. By all accounts the retirement was not of JR's choosing and this was a move on the company's part to cut ties with the Hall of Famer. In fairness, I am not able to confirm that but JR's words are what draw strong suspicion.
At one of his meet and greet events at the Glasgow Hilton in Glasgow, Scotland on August 27, 2013, JR was asked about retirement. He said that he would never retire from the wrestling businessand he will be there when called upon. This could be for one match, three matches or a full pay-per-view but he planned to be available for WWE. JR said the day he would retire is the day they bury him.
From what I've been able to gather, WWE was very upset with the Legend's panel for the WWE 2K14 video game over SummerSlam weekend. While executives from 2KSports and fans in attendance were said to be entertained by the entire thing, the WWE reaction was quite the opposite.
The feeling was that Ric Flair embarrassed the company and that rather than help quell the situation as moderator, JR only added to it with his comments. He was asked about the incident during his meet and greet last month in Scotland.
JR calmly addressed the situation and informed the crowd he was not drunk. He explained that he was slurring his words because he was tired and his Bell's Palsy was the culprit. Ross explained that Flair is in the grieving process and probably shouldn't have been there. He said that Ric wants to keep working to keep his mind off of things and asked the crowd how they would react if they found their pride and joy lying motionless in a hotel room.
In total, it's being reported that Vince McMahon notified JR about his situation with the company some time this week. I have no details about a meeting and do not want to want to read too much into what I have yet to confirm. However, it's at least reasonable to conclude that JR's retirement has to do with the public events that took place over SummerSlam weekend. Further, the entire line that JR "retired" from the company seems to be a move to save face and prevent a PR hit.
Richard Reacts: Vince McMahon for the lack of a better term has bullied Jim Ross for years. I remember when they switched him from Raw to Smackdown, we actually heard (and reported it) before he was told. Vince loves to kayfabe Ross and would often get amusement of letting him "sweat things out." One incident that comes to mind was his involvement at Wrestlemania a couple of years ago when Vince had already made the decision to use Ross but didn't let him know until the last minute. JR made it clear it was not his decision to leave weekly TVs and he wanted to be there. This is also why he would be there when called upon because he still wanted to announce.
I personally feel this entire situation stinks. While I don't feel that I withheld coverage, I refused to drag Ric Flair's name in the mud over the Legend's panel during SummerSlam weekend. Everyone I spoke with in attendance had a blast and I heard from sources within 2K Sports they were 100% fine with it. I took it as the typical WWE overreaction and wasn't about to start bashing Flair as he is clearly going through an unimaginable season of grief. I heard the Flair heat was expected to blow over and Triple H was still hoping to bring him in. We posted details on that here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium.
Back to Ross, this seems like Vince McMahon's way of having the last laugh and just another very unfortunate way to treat a man that loves this business with all that he is. Jim Ross is as good as it gets in terms of play-by-play and has one of the best minds in the wrestling business. My fear is that Vince knows the type of people he can treat like this and once someone shows him they'll take it, he'll keep giving it. At this point I do not know if WWE will continue to sell JR's BBQ products but I have reached out to Jim for confirmation. If I hear back, I'll be sure and pass along the word. I personally wish Jim nothing but the best and know that he will find success in whatever that he does.
- Jim Ross posted a blog entry on his last day in WWE being September 11, 2013. It's interesting to note that he doesn't mentioned retirement nor does he include details surrounding his departure. JR wrote that he wouldn't have changed a thing in his career except that he wished he had avoided some health issues along the way. You can read his blog entry at this link.
- WWE Superstars & Divas tackle Ben Affleck as Batman, as well as disgusting food, in this week's WWE Inbox. The video is available at this link.
- David Kreizman is officially out as head of WWE creative. Kreizman quit in June but agreed to stay on through the summer angles to close out his direction. He quit after only three months at the post. If you're interested in why he quit, we have an exclusive report that was filed in June with all the details at this link.
- Former WWE Diva Michelle McCool was visiting at the WWE Performance Center earlier this week. WWE routinely invites former talents back to speak with the developmental workers.
- Ring of Honor'sR.D. Evans will be featured in a segment with Ryback on this week's episode of WWE Smackdown.
- Jim Ross' BBQ products will continue to be sold on the official WWE Shop website. He Tweeted the following:
- Nikki Bella continues to keep fans up-to-date regarding her shin injury on Twitter. She noted earlier this week she is getting stronger every day and continues to do physical therapy in preparation for her return to the ring. The second half of season 1 of Total Divas premieres on Sunday, November 17, 2013. Original plans were for the show to keep its 10 PM/ET timeslot, however, there are unconfirmed reports it could be moving to 9 PM. We'll update when we get confirmation. The mid-season finale airs this Sunday at 10 PM up against WWE Night of Champions.
- WWE did a tournament on dot com with the twenty-three superstars that have won the WWE title since January 1, 2000. They had website visitors vote on the most impactful champion during that time period. The competition came down to The Rock and John Cena and Cena ended up winning. You can check it out at this link.
- Jim Cornette is now featured on the Alumni section of dot com. You can view his profile at this link.
- Sport 360 has a new interview with The Miz that was conducted last week in Abu Dhabi. In it, Miz says he's "pretty close" with Dolph Ziggler, Zack Ryder, Chris Jericho, Christian and CM Punk.
- The Rock is set to be The Fall Guy. We ran the story (via The Hollywood Reporter) earlier this month that Rock was in negotiations to star in a big-screen remake of the 1980s TV series The Fall Guy. The Rock Tweeted on the rumors on Thursday and linked to an article about it. The following is from Twitter:
The film is being co-financed by WWE Studios, which obviously resumes Rock's working relationship with the company.
- Tensai beat Jake Carter in a dark match prior to this week's tapings.
- Ricardo Rodriguez worked under his masked Luchador gimmick, El Local at this week's tapings. He taped a match against Sami Zayn that will air on September 18, 2013.
- The Triple H/McMahon family storyline continued over to NXT at this week's tapings. Triple H "relieved" Dusty Rhodes of his duties as NXT General Manager and named JBL as the interim GM. Bradshaw appeared live as the transition will be highlighted on the September 18, 2013 episode.
- Santino Marella worked this week's tapings in a match with Emma to oppose Fandango and Summer Rae.
- As we reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, Kassius Ohno made his return. He taped a match against Luke Harper of The Wyatt Family that will air on September 25, 2013.
- Brooks Oglesby was in attendance and noted that Bo Dallas taped a match against Sami Zayn that is "absolutely" worth watching.
- Rob Van Dam beat Aiden English in the Superstar Showdown match.
- The next set of NXT tapings will take place on Thursday, October 10, 2013 and will feature Alberto Del Rio and Christian as the featured guests.
- Alicia Fox and Layla will appear on an upcoming episode of "Cupcake Wars" on the Food Network. The episode is titled "WWE SummerSlam" and features Fox and Layla as judges. Click here for more information and air times.
- Lilian Garcia is scheduled to sing the National Anthem at the Buffalo Bills at New York Jets NFL game on Sunday, September 22, 2013.
- There is talk going around that WWE is in the process of planning an Axxess event the weekend of Royal Rumble 2014 in Pittsburgh.
- Roman Reigns did an interview to promote Friday night's show from the Breslin Student Events Center in East Lansing, Michigan. In it, he discussed the evolution of The Shield. Click here to read it.
- A video promo for the WWE Night of Champions Kickoff is online at this link.
- There is a lot of interesting stuff going down in Orlando right now. Most people already know about WWE potentially opening a physical Hall of Fame at Universal Studios. As we've previously reported, the leaks about WWE's interest in the location that was formerly used for NBA City were on Universal's end. WWE wasn't happy as the feeling was the theme park leaked the negotiations in an effort to drive up the lease.
We're told there is one particularly big hangup and it involves TNA Wrestling in a roundabout way. Basically, WWE wants to be the only sports entertainment company in the theme park. In theory this wouldn't be that big of a deal but we're told Universal doesn't want to give WWE exclusivity unless they agree to tape a show at the theme park. Universal didn't want to see TNA leave as they were happy with the arrangement and liked having a regular event from the park that broadcast on a major cable network.
If WWE wants to block competing companies from doing business at Universal Studios, they will have to tape a show there. With WWE already being locked in at Full Sail University with WWE NXT, they aren't in a position to tape a show there, nor are they interested. We're told this could be a deal breaker if neither side backs down.
Another element in this is we're told TNA recently "tested the waters" if they ever wanted to return (not necessarily by taking Impact off the road, but for a potential special like they did with the "One Night Only" shows), if they would be welcome if WWE had a presence there. This was seen as another reason why Universal doesn't want to simply "hand out exclusivity" to WWE.
Sources close to situation seem to feel like the impasse could be solved if Universal had assurances that the WWE HOF location would be regularly mentioned and featured on WWE programming since the TV exposure Impact brought the park is the main reason they've be hesitant to agree to something that would prevent TNA's return.
- Darren Young appeared on "The Ellen Show" about being the first openly gay WWE performer. His boyfriend Nicky was in the audience and Darren opened the interview by thanking Ellen for "paving the way" for him to be able to come out. You can watch the appearance at this link. You can also watch the appearance embedded in the video below:
Young said it was the best move he ever made. I thought Ellen also had a really good quote from the piece that I'll include below:
"It's OK to be whoever you are you. It's OK to just be yourself. That is the message." - Ellen DeGeneres
- Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler for the United States Championship is still in the plans for WWE Night of Champions . We'll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- You can watch a new episode of WWE Outside the Ring with Superstars and Divas going shark diving at this link. It's also embedded in the video below:
- It was brought up in a promotional appearance with Shawn Michaels and Keith Mark while promoting their Outdoors show on Kansas City radio that Michaels could potentially be coming back to Raw in the next couple of weeks. While HBK tried to downplay it, we've heard for several weeks about the possibility of including Michaels in the Triple H/Randy Orton/Daniel Bryan stuff.
- Wade Barrett is apparently in search of new theme music. Read the latest from him at this link.
- WWE is honoring the legendary Michigan State University men's basketball coach Tom Izzo at Friday night's WWE live event in East Lansing. Izzo will be presented with an honorary WWE championship belt. You can read more at this link.
- Remember it's Jerry Lawler vs. Jeff Jarrett Friday night in Tunica, Mississippi. You can view a photo that Lawler Tweeted below:
- Edge and Christian reunited on this week's episode of The JBL & Cole Show at this link.
- WWEissued a press release on Friday, announcing they're revising their 2013 outlook. The company is altering their operating income to $40-$50 million from the previously estimated $56.9-$69.5 million.
The revision is "primarily due to several recent developments." While not specially named, the developments "caused an approximate 5% reduction in second half revenue expectations. This, coupled with the Company’s high operating leverage, was the primary driver of the change in expected earnings."
Below is a quote from WWE Chief Financial Officer George Barrios:
"Our revised 2013 Outlook reflects a relatively moderate change in our second half revenue expectations and our continued investment in the WWE brand and our content,” said George Barrios, Chief Financial Officer. “Given the rising value of content in the market place, we believe these investments will maximize WWE’s future earnings as we renegotiate our four largest television distribution agreements and potentially launch a WWE Network.”
Click here for the complete 2013 Outlook.
- Zema Ion worked his first match in 5 months at Friday night's TNA live event in Newark, Delaware (results here). Ion underwent an emergency appendectomy that began his time off.
Speaking of Ion, he is also accepting independent bookings. This is something TNA is now allowing talent to do as long as they sign off on the dates. The following is from Ion's Twitter:
Other TNA workers accepting independent bookings include Devon and Jay Bradley. As we reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, Devon is still under TNA contract despite his storyline "firing."
- We noted yesterday that Kurt Angle has been discharged from an inpatient rehabilitation center. He was set to appear at Team 3-D Wrestling Academy's show on September 14th, but Giovanna Angle, Kurt's wife, said the event has been cancelled. The event was also going to feature other TNA Wrestling talent. Her tweet is below:
- The Cincinnati Gardens official website lists an Impact Wrestling taping from the venue on Thursday, November 7, 2013. You can check it out at this link.
- Jeff Jarrett is scheduled for The Great Muta'sWrestle-1 event in Tokyo on October 6, 2013.
- The Team 3D Academy show in Melbourne, Florida set for this Saturday has not been canceled as previously reported. Kurt Angle was pulled from the show but other TNA names, mainly Hulk Hogan, will still be featured. Below is the promotional poster:
- A new Impact Wrestling Podcast features Hulk Hogan, Tito Ortiz, Rampage Jackson and Gail Kim. You can listen at this link.
- Dixie Carter announced on Twitter on Thursday night that Spike TV will air a one hour special before TNA Bound For Glory on Sunday, October 20, 2013. Carter Tweeted:
We'll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- After three months of the Bound for Glory Series, AJ Styles went on to win the whole thing as he defeated Austin Aries and then Magnus in the main event. He will fight Bully Ray for the TNA World Championship at Bound for Glory. Bound for Glory will be live on October 20th from the Viejas Arena in San Diego, California. We will have exclusive coverage of the event right here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- In case you missed tonight's Impact Wrestling (results can be found here), Bully Ray defeated Mr. Anderson in a Last Man Standing Match after spearing him through the table. Mr. Anderson was stretched up the ramp to sell the "injury". Bully tipped Ken off the stretcher and ended it with a piledriver on the stage. Impact Wrestling gave an update on Mr. Anderson. The official statement is below:
On Thursday at the "No Surrender" IMPACT special, Aces and Eights President Bully Ray successfully defended the World Heavyweight Championship against Mr. Anderson in a violent and chaotic bout. Anderson refused to give up - and took a major beating from Bully Ray. Bully Ray battered and bloodied Anderson, eventually putting him through a table and winning the bout via countout. Bully Ray continued the assault after the match, dumping Anderson off a medical stretcher on the entrance ramp and annihilating him with a piledriver on the steel structure.
ImpactWrestling.com has learned that in addition to several lacerations to his head and body, Anderson suffered a possible concussion and was being examined for damage to his neck from the piledriver. Anderson will be evaluated tonight by doctors at a local St. Louis hospital, and we hope to have an update on his condition on Friday.
Below is the video highlight of the attack:
I usually only do this at the end of my Impact Wrestling coverage, but I felt like it was something that I should add to this story. After doing some research, I found out that Mr. Anderson signed a long-term contract with TNA Wrestling back in late September of 2010. Their contracts usually last 3 years, which means it very well could be coming to an end within the next couple of weeks. I have yet to hear of any negotiations, but it looks like the "injury" angle is to write Anderson off television until a possible agreement can be reached.
- AJ Styles won the Bound for Glory Series on this week's episode of Impact Wrestling and will challengeBully Ray for the TNA Championship at the pay-per-view next month.
- The current storyline direction is to turn Dixie Carter into a heel on-air authority figure. The ball was put in motion in a segment taped for next week's show.
- Alex Barie posted the kayfabe update on Ken Anderson with the latest legitimate update. The last record of Anderson signing a TNA contract was in September 2010 so it's clear his status is up in the air. Whenever I hear about Anderson's status, I think about his quote from a couple of years ago when he said if he was still wrestling in five years to shoot him. You can re-live that story at this link.
- Kazarian beat Chris Sabin in a match taped for TNA Xplosion on Thursday night.
- The matches set for next week's show are as follows - TNA X Division Champion Manik vs. Jeff Hardy, Mickie James vs. ODB for the TNA Knockouts Championship, Eric Young vs. Robbie E, Joseph Park vs. Robbie E, Hernandez vs. Gunner and Sting, Magnus, Samoa Joe vs. Bobby Roode, Kazarian and Christopher Daniels.
- This week's No Surrender episode of Impact Wrestling did an average viewing audience of 1,389,000 viewers on Spike TV. The show continues to gain momentum as the competition increases as the Thursday Night Football game on the NFL Network drew an average viewing audience of 8,791,000 viewers. TV By the Numbers has all the info on the night at this link.
What are the future booking plans for The Shield? It seems like they were all strapped then put into the background?
Booking backwards creates interesting situations as one could argue The Shield took a step back AFTER winning the WWE United States and WWE Tag Team Championship respectively. The group was booked with confidence early on, going over main event talent on pay-per-view. When booked like that, there's only one way to go. After taking a background role, the group has been functioning as the enforcers of Triple H in the main storyline this fall. They've weathered some backstage politics and are still doing well. I do not think it's time to break them up just yet but still believe there is a lot of potential in the faction.
Do you think we really needed Triple H back on WWE television?
Yes, without John Cena WWE needed more star power and the Triple H/McMahon vs. Daniel Bryan angle fulfills that purpose. Vince McMahon has a reputation for over-saturating programming with his own character but I'm not burnt out on it yet. I actually think I'm in the minority as I'm actually enjoying Daniel Bryan's chase so far.
I remember a report posted here that Christian was in line for a decent babyface push. Is that still the case or has WWE pulled back on that?
Christian was in the midst of the push we reported on as he went on to challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam. However, things have been halted after he suffered a concussion while working against Randy Orton on the August 26th episode of Monday Night Raw. He's a reliable veteran that WWE has the ability to push at any time.
Why did Devon leave TNA Wrestling?
At this point I'm under the impression that Devon's TNA departure was for storyline purposes. He has a contract through October and he's taking indy dates as a TNA talent. We'll see if anything changes.
From a storyline standpoint, why should we believe that Daniel Bryan has any chance to beat Randy Orton at Night of Champions on Sunday? Given the fact that Triple H and company have continually "screwed" him, why wouldn't they just do that again on Sunday?
This is the concern many observers have with the Triple H and Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan program. The worry is they've made Daniel Bryan look too weak and the corporation unstoppable. I spoke with one person close to creative that told me they were on the verge of making Bryan look completely inferior. My hope is it leads to some type of storyline progression as Daniel Bryan's chase for the title against the McMahons increases but I can tell you that you are not alone in your concern.
Do you see John Laurinaitis returning to WWE with the return of the corporate champion?
John Laurinaitis still works for WWE as a producer so there is always a chance his on-screen character could return although I haven't heard anything as of this writing.
The story between Daniel Bryan vs. the corporation feels more like the build to a Survivor Series match than a singles title match. Do you see it continuing that long?
I haven't heard how long WWE plans to book Daniel Bryan in his current program. I would assume it will go past Night of Champions but there will be some type of storyline progression by Survivor Series in November. The one piece WWE is going to have to address sooner than later is the corporation looking completely unstoppable, perhaps with a third party alliance. That was part of why Edge was booked in the role that he was on this week's Raw.
What do WWE officials think of Sami Zayn?
Sami Zayn, the former El Generico, was on the road with the main roster over the weekend. Not only was he given time in his match in Montreal against Antonio Cesaro but his reactions on all shows (Saturday night in New Jersey and Sunday in New York) were said to be very good. WWE takes promising developmental stars on the road with them to get a handle on how the audience will react to them and how they do against main roster stars on main roster shows. If this weekend was any indication, Zayn has a very bright future.
I think the whole Big Show storyline about him being broke is absolutely stupid, what are your thoughts?
I do not like the gap in logic that he went from an ironclad contract to a guy that will do whatever he's asked just to keep his job. WWE relies on their audience to have a short memory so they can use talent how they see fit in current storylines. The problem with this is, Show just missed significant time this summer due to injury and WWE played it off that he was away because he works when he wants to work. It makes no sense and I don't like it. I'll also take this opportunity to dispel any worries people may have about Show's financial stability. Big Show has made a tremendous amount of money throughout his career, has his own tour bus and is not by any means broke.
With the McMahons, Triple H and Randy Orton part of a powerful corporation stable, will there be new members added?
I've pushed back on adding more members to the second coming of the corporation faction. Stables are ]\effective but have a limited shelf life and can become overdone very easily. I always like to point to the NWO when talking about factions. When was the NWO the most effective, as a three-man group of Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash or as a faction so big it was split into two separate factions? The question is rhetorical. Adding members can be a good thing in certain situations, as I feel DeGeneration X was more effective in its format that featured the New Age Outlaws and Chyna with Triple H and Shawn Michaels as opposed to the resurrected version that just featured Michaels and Hunter. Stables are tricky but effective if booked correctly.
Name some other tag teams of brothers than than the obvious due of Jeff and Matt Hardy.
Two of my favorite tag teams of all-time are made up of real-life brothers - Harlem Heat and The Steiner Brothers. We're so far away from that level of tag team wrestling with today's product but those were the days. Jimmy and Jey Uso are twin brothers and currently function as a tag team in WWE.
Edgier and more realistic storylines usually translate to entertaining programming. Has there been any talk of using Darren Young's sexuality in storyline?
You are correct in that edgier and more realistic storylines are more entertaining. When the lines of what is scripted and what is real are blurred, storylines are the most successful. However, there are lines that shouldn't be crossed and to incorporate Darren Young's sexuality in his gimmick would mean the antagonist would play the role of a homophobe. I'm 100% against that. The pro wrestling business has destroyed stereotypes in the reaction to Darren Young coming out and the fact WWE had to turn the Prime Time Players babyface speaks volumes about the acceptance of the audience. This is something as a fan that I'm extremely proud of. There's no reason to ruin that with an immature and discriminatory angle to get cheap heat. On the same token, I'm find with characters such as Triple H and Ryback playing the role of a bully so it's really a case-by-case basis. However, stuff like homophobia, racism, etc. should be left alone.
I'll be blunt: Was Jim Ross forced out?
From the outside looking in, it appears Jim Ross' WWE contract was up and he wasn't re-signed. WWE is spinning it that he retired after 20 years of service. It's almost like a rib considering we know JR had no plans to retire just over two weeks ago. JR had heat from the WWE 2K14 Legend's panel over SummerSlam weekend, as the feeling was he should have tried to quell the situation with Ric Flair when the belief was that he only added to the fire with his comments. We have full details on the story here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium. JR blogged on his final day in WWE but never mentioned the word retirement.
Are show appearance bonuses the same no matter what program they appear on (Raw, Smackdown, Superstars, Main Event)?
If a worker is used on a WWE show, whether it is a live event that isn't televised or one of the programs you mentioned, they are paid a $500 show bonus. Pay-per-view bonuses are different because workers get a portion of the buyrate but the $500 bonus is a flat fee used for all shows.
Where is Evan Bourne?
We heard that Evan Bourne was interested in returning at SummerSlam but was told that he wasn't needed. WWE is planning to give him another shot on the main roster but I do not have a date as of this writing.
Between Bray Wyatt and Curtis Axel who do you think has had more success so far since coming to the main roster
If you look at the fact that Curtis Axel is WWE Intercontinental Champion and currently in a main event angle with CM Punk, you would have to say him. However, I can't label Curtis Axel a success and do not feel it has worked so far. Bray Wyatt is more over and I think has a much higher ceiling at this point. I'm a fan of a Joe Hennig but it'd be delusional for me to sit here and write that his push in WWE has worked.
Is there any chance that Jim Ross makes the move to TNA now that he has "retired" from WWE?
Anything is possible but I don't see it as a likely. Jim Ross has never shown interest in TNA (at least not publicly) and they are in a state where they have been cutting expenses. What message would it send if TNA brought him in at a time when they are cutting talent? I expect JR to continue to contribute to the business through his blog, sell his BBQ sauce and hold Q&A events like he recently did overseas.
Does Big Show have any creative control over the current portrayal of him as a suck-up crybaby? It can't be good for him in the long-term.
I am sure Big Show has some stroke when it comes to the booking of his character but I don't think his current gimmick hurts him in the long-term. When you're as large as Big Show, you can flip the switch from "gentle giant" to "unstoppable monster" at the drop of a dime. His current character keeps him in the limelight and annoys people. It's doing exactly what it's intended to do.
Is the fact that Bo Dallas appeared on main roster TV briefly then 'disappeared' back to NXT purely a result of being lost in the mix around Wrestlemania or is the fact that he hasn't re-emerged since indicative of concerns around his readiness?
WWE officials are still high up on Bo Dallas as a developmental talent. They gave him some main roster experience but the feeling was he wasn't ready just yet. While these guys can work in developmental forever, the only sure way to gauge a worker's progress is to take them on the road with the main roster and see how the crowd reacts. Dallas needed some more seasoning but that's not to say he won't be ready at some point.
Do you think next year will be The Undertaker's final Wrestlemania match?
I am finished speculating on when The Undertaker will hang it up. Every year he comes in and exceeds my expectations so it's just a situation that I'm going to sit back and enjoy. It is worth nothing that he's not a sure thing for Wrestlemania XXX but made it clear as early as the pay-per-view this year that he wanted another bout next year.