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 14, 2013 to Friday, September 20, 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
- AJ cracks! Check out the latest episode of Backstage Fallout Smackdown at this link.
- Stephanie McMahon has invited Dusty Rhodes, father of Cody Rhodes & Goldust, to Raw this Monday. The invitation is below:
It may be worth noting that Vince McMahon & Triple H, in addition to Stephanie, are advertised to appear at Raw. For the latest spoiler information regarding Dusty's onscreen role in WWE, click here.
- Renee Young did on commentary at this week's WWE NXT tapings from Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida.
- Randy Orton told The Detroit News it feels "really good" to be back on top and that he's glad to have the chance to prove he is capable of carrying the ball and representing the company. Below is an excerpt:
“It feels really good,” says Orton, on the phone Monday from Toronto before going live on “Monday Night Raw” that night. “I’m glad I can get another shot. Not to harp on the past or anything, but I’ve made a few bad decisions here and there, and this is my chance to prove not only to the fans but to the company that I can carry the ball and represent the company.”
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
- We noted earlier that Michelle McCool was at the WWE Performance Center this week. We can also confirm The Undertaker was with her and they attended Thursday's tapings in Winter Park, Florida.
- A Total Divas reunion special will air immediately following Sunday's episode at 11 PM/CT on E. The special was filmed a couple weeks ago in Tampa, Florida.
- WWE is in the process of cutting non-essential talent from live events. It's a cost-cutting measure and the target is managers. Zeb Colter was notably absent from Saturday night's WWE live event in Saginaw, Michigan.
- 2KSports is expected to begin hyping the 45 matches for the "30 Years of Wrestlemania" mode over the course of the next week. The game will hit stores in the United States on October 29, 2013 and November 1, 2013 in the United Kingdom.
- To update on an earlier item from this weekend, it looks like Dusty Rhodes will be at Monday Night Raw in Cleveland. The following is from Twitter:
- Speaking of the Rhodes family, congratulations to Brandi Reed and Cody Rhodes as they were married last week. The following is from Twitter:
- Ryback interfered in CM Punk vs. Paul Heyman on behalf of Heyman at WWE Night of Champions. Curtis Axel had already been eliminated from the disqualification handicap elimination match when Punk was working over Heyman. Ryback ran out and took out Punk, then picked up Heyman to cover Punk. He then shouldered Heyman and carried him out of the building. We reported on the plans to align Ryback with Heyman back in August here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium.
- Speaking of Curtis Axel, he ended up defending the WWE Intercontinental Championship on the pay-per-view against Kofi Kingston. He went over in the match.
- The show was not sold out as is usually the trend with WWE pay-per-views.
- CM Punk suffered a cut to his back after being put through a table by Ryback during the No DQ Elimination Handicap Match at WWE Night of Champions. Punk was visibly bleeding but worked all the way to the back, "not allowing" medical personnel to touch him.
- Daniel Bryan beat Randy Orton at Night of Champions to win the WWE Championship. The match featured a clean outcome with a pinfall victory.
- If you missed the WWE Night of Champions Kickoff you can watch it online now in its entirety at this link. It's also included in the video embedded below:
- The first commercial for next month's WWE Battleground pay-per-view is available at this link. It's also included in the video below:
- WWE is returning to the Joe Louis arena on Sunday, December 28, 2013. There is currently a presale taking place with the password WWEHOLIDAY.
- Hulk Hogan and Sting won fan polls for the greatest WWE Champion and United States Champion respectively, as the results were announced on the WWE Night of Champions pay-per-view. There were polls throughout the evening that saw Booker T voted as the greatest World Heavyweight Champion, Trish Stratus as the greatest Women's Champion, Chris Jericho as the greatest Intercontinental Champion and DeGeneration X as the greatest WWE Tag Team Champions.
- WWE has a complete playlist of backstage interviews from Night of Champions including comments from Daniel Bryan, The Shield, AJ Lee and Natalya. You can watch the kayfabe interviews at this link.
- The questions in the WWE title match between Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton [at WWE Night of Champions] including the referee swap and subsequent fast count will be addressed as expected on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw.
- Now online for WNW Premium Members is my exclusive 30-minute reaction from WWE Night of Champions. I discuss what I liked about the show and what I didn't like and concluded by grading it. You can listen now at this link. If you are not yet a Premium Member you can signup now for as low as $5.95/month at this link.
- Arda Ocal recently interviewed Chris Jericho where he talked about one of his programs with CM Punk (when they used the alcohol and the bit about his dad being an addict). Jericho claimed that the plan was actually for him to tattoo his initials on Punk with a legitimate tattoo. Apparently Vince McMahon approved it but later reneged. You can check out the interview at this link and also watch it in the video embedded below:
- Brodus Clay and Hornswoggle are at a Detroit elementary school on Monday hosting a reading celebration. You can view a photo below:
- For those that didn't order WWE Night of Champions, the Fatal Four-Way Match for the WWE Divas Championship had a bad/blown finish. While I couldn't imagine it being part of the script, Naomi was laid out with Brie Bella on top of her and the referee didn't count. Instead, Natalya used it to setup a double sharpshooter while the referee went "deer in the headlights." They made reference to the referee not counting on announce but no explanation was given. Theoretically, it could be inserted into storyline but the lack of logic drove me nuts, especially when there was a screwy finish involving the referee(s) later in the night.
- WWE is running back-to-back shows (on Saturday and Sunday) from the State Farm Arena in Hidalgo, Texas this weekend to celebrate the venue's 10th Anniversary. You can check out local information for the shows at this link.
- WWE Champion Daniel Bryan was just interviewed by Chris Van Vliet from WOIO-TV earlier today to promote tonight's WWE Raw in Cleveland, Ohio. Chris pointed out to me that Daniel didn't have the title with him as he stated the belt was "getting fitted with customized plates". Chris also stated that Daniel Bryan was great to talk to and funny as he discussed a variety of topics. Below are some of the questions and answers. Thank you Chris for sending this in!
Does he feel like the champion right now: "Until I get actually get the title and get it in my bag for a night, I don't think I'll feel like a champion. So tonight, after the show, hopefully I will feel like a champion."
On Cena's injury being good for WWE: "I think right now it's a great thing because it gives other guys an opportunity to step up and fill that spot that Cena's been in for years. When Cena's on the roster it's X amount of time every show is devoted to John Cena, now it's being given to other guys who have the opportunity to shine and that's better for when John Cena comes back because now we have John Cena, we have me, we have other guys who are stepping up and becoming stars. And that's what happened in the Attitude Era with Steve Austin and The Rock, that a lot of guys left and created a lot of spots for a lot of guys to come in and be like 'hey, we're the new stars' and that's what's going to happen now"
On why his "YES!" catchphrase caught on: "I have a theory that people like doing hand motions and saying things at the same time. So if you're a wrestler out there and want to make a mark, come up with something that's easy to say and some sort of hand motion that you can do with it and guaranteed success. If you can back it up in the ring."
Which up and coming WWE Superstars fans should keep an eye on: "I love watching Antonio Cesaro wrestle, I think he's just incredible. Tyson Kidd doesn't get a lot of opportunities and I think he's amazing as well. But it's going to take people who can wrestle great and have the personality and stuff to get over and really break through to that next level. But we have a lot of guys who can do it. The Shield guys right now are being given a lot of awesome opportunities as a trio but if they ever split up, they are going to be awesome individually because they are all such unique, charismatic performers."
Whether he ever considered going to TNA: "TNA probably doesn't want me saying this but I would make more money wrestling on the independents than I would wrestling for TNA. And it's a more free schedule and you're not under anybody's contract, you can go do what you want."
On his name change from Bryan Danielson to Daniel Bryan: "It's especially hard getting used to people calling me 'Daniel'. Cody Rhodes likes to call me 'Dirty Dan' and Teddy Long calls me 'Soulman Danny B'. All these little weird different names that spring up that you were never used to. When I came here, I was 28, 29 years old and you get used to just being called 'Bryan' everywhere you go and now it's all these different things. Maybe the weirdest one is 'DB' because DB can also stand for something else. Like 'Hey DB, what's up!' and I'm like 'Umm, I'm not sure if I like that'".
In the interview, Daniel also talks about his role on Total Divas, his beard, and why John Cena will never be a midcarder. Below is the full interview:
- We're told there was a "state of confusion" over Triple H's apparent babyface promo to open WWE Night of Champions. I noted it felt like it ran long but the fact it confused the live crowd adds to the fact they could have found a better way to open the pay-per-view.
- Speaking of the crowd, the fast count in the main event went unnoticed live. Speaking to people that were in attendance, the consensus was the match ended clean. This wasn't the case and is expected to be follow-up on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw.
- Alberto Del Rio lost a tooth in his match against Rob Van Dam. The injury happened when he took the Van Terminator.
- There was talk over the weekend about having Damien Sandow "cash in" his Money in the Bank briefcase at the pay-per-view on Sunday, however, those plans obviously changed.
- Ryback's alliance with Paul Heyman is seen as "feast or famine" and "one last chance" for him to make it as a top talent. Everyone knows what I think about it but I'm told he's being put in the program with CM Punk because Punk is a guy with major influence that will hold Ryback's ego in check. The office knows Punk won't be shy if Ryback is unsafe or reckless in the ring. Both accusations have been made in the past.
- Daniel Bryan and CM Punk were seen to be on a "different level" over everyone else on WWE Night of Champions.
- We have some developmental releases to announce. WWE has cut ties with Jake Carter, Malik Omari and Luther Ward. Carter is the most notable as he's the real-life son of Leon "Vader" White.
- CM Punk threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Detroit Tigers game on Sunday prior to the pay-per-view from the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. The game was actually mentioned on the pay-per-view broadcast but there was no mention of Punk being honored.
- Attendance was spotty at WWE Night of Champions with much of the upper deck of the Joe Louis Arena completely tarped off on the non-camera side.
- Due to a fast count from referee Scott Armstrong at WWE Night of Champions, Triple H stripped Daniel Bryan of the WWE Championship on tonight's episode of Monday Night Raw.
- Last week's episode of WWE Smackdown did an average viewing audience of 2,827,000 viewers on SyFy. That was good enough for the most-watched episode since April 12, 2013 and is up significantly from the previous week. The show ended up doing a 1.96 cable rating.
- WWE is running an injury angle with The Miz following an attack from Randy Orton on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw. The nature of the "injury" is explained in the following excerpt:
“Based on the placement of the chair and the force by Randy Orton, Miz has a preliminary diagnosis of an upper thoracic injury,” WWE physician Dr. Chris Amann told WWE.com. “He has a bruised breastbone and bruised collarbone, he has difficulty moving his neck and arm and signs of a pinched nerve. We’re doing further tests on him right now and we should have more information after those tests are completed.”
Click here to view the full article.
- Neither of the two advertised dark match main events took place as advertised following this week's WWE Monday Night Raw taping in Cleveland. The babyfaces worked the crowd off the air and the taping was over.
- Local advertisements for WWE Survivor Series in November are already running. The advertised matches are Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton and CM Punk getting his hands on Paul Heyman. These are obviously subject to change but it does give an indication that WWE plans to prolong both programs. WWE Survivor Series 2013 will take place Sunday, November 24, 2013 from the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. We'll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- Jim Ross updated his blog on Monday. You can read it at this link.
- Here's a clip for Total Divas After-Party where Cameron explains why she took back Vincent. You can also watch below: - For those that missed it on this week's Monday Night Raw, Dolph Ziggler earned another shot at Dean Ambrose for the WWE United States Championship.
- Titus O'Neil's girlfriend, Omarosa Manigault, was backstage at this week's Monday Night Raw in Cleveland. Speaking of celebrities at Raw, Browns running back Trent Richardson was also in attendance.
- Speaking of the Browns, The Miz visited the team's training facility while WWE was in town. Click here for an article on that.
- The latest episode of Backstage Fallout Raw is subtitled "Diva Disdain" is online at this link. You can also watch below:
- After a lot of early season success, it seems reality has set in for Total Divas. The show's mid-season finale did an average viewing audience of 1,036,000 viewers on E this Sunday night, setting a new series low.
- The "After Party" special that followed it at 11 PM did an average viewing audience of 939,000 viewers. - Below is a look at the show's viewership numbers since its premiere:
Episode #1 on Sunday, July 28, 2013 – 1,300,000 viewers
Episode #2 on Sunday, August 4, 2013 – 1,526,000 viewers
Episode #3 on Sunday, August 11, 2013 – 1,671,000 viewers
Episode #4 on Sunday, August 18, 2013 – 1,349,000 viewers
Episode #5 on Sunday, August 25, 2013 – 1,460,000 viewers
Episode #6 on Sunday, September 1, 2013 – 1,527,000 viewers
Episode #7 on Sunday, September 8, 2013 – 1,091,000 viewers
Episode #8 on Sunday, September 15, 2013 - 1,036,000 viewers
- This week's show was up against WWE Night of Champions but the August 18th episode was up against the traditionally more popular pay-per-view in SummerSlam.
- TV by the Numbers breaks down the numbers at this link.
- Total Divas now goes on hiatus until Sunday, November 17, 2013.
- The talk coming out of this week's Monday Night Raw was that Shawn Michaels would be returning to television soon to take part in the Daniel Bryan program. What I don't understand is if they were finally going to pull the trigger on bringing Shawn (who is under WWE contract, by the way) back to TV, why did he shave?
- We're told Vince McMahon was very pleased with the in-ring work of Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns. The match was seen as Reigns' best in-ring work of his young career, while the stellar work of Bryan obviously took no one by surprise.
- Vince McMahon is high up on The Wyatt Family promos and "loves" the mic work of Bray Wyatt. However, the feeling is there needs to be some advancement in them. The hard part is finding a "happy medium" with the rocket packs being strapped to The Shield from day one.
- One match under consideration for WWE Battleground next month is The Shield vs. The Rhodes Family. The problem is that many backstage are not a fan of Dusty Rhodes in the ring at his age. Our source says if Vince gets his way, that's exactly what will happen but many believe it should be Dolph Ziggler that gets the nod.
- There is apparently little to no interest in bringing Mickie James back to WWE. She is currently a free agent that is still in negotiations with TNA Wrestling.
- This week's episode of WWE Monday Night Raw did an average viewing audience of 4,013,000 viewers on the USA Network. Below how viewership broke down by hour:
Hour 1 - 3,865,000 viewers
Hour 2 - 4,162,000 viewers
Hour 3 - 4,012,000 viewers
The show ended up with a 2.96 cable rating. Monday Night Football on ESPN won the night on cable, doing an average viewing audience of 14,300,000 viewers.
- The fate of the WWE Championship will be determined at next month's WWE Battleground pay-per-view. You can probably guess the participants but you can see how WWE handles it on this week's episode of Smackdown. Brooks Oglesby has the coverage from the taping at this link.
- If you're waiting for Jim Ross to turn off the filter on WWE regarding his "retirement," it's not going to happen. He did an interview with The MMA Hour where he spoke about his "retirement" but said nothing more than he has already written. You can check it out at this link.
- Speaking of JR, he has new blog entry with his thoughts on Monday Night Raw now online at this link.
- Mick Foley called the conclusion of this week's Monday Night Raw "epic." You can read his full thoughts here on Facebook.
- Tickets for WWE TLC go on sale Saturday at 10 AM CDT. WWE TLC 2013 will take place Sunday, December 15, 2013 from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
- Ted DiBiase is accepting indy dates following his WWE departure. He's booked for a FWE show in Brooklyn on October 12, 2013. His opponent is Colt Cabana.
- Yahoo! omg! features Tamnia Snuka at this link.
- Dot com has a storyline "injury" update on Dusty Rhodes following Big Show's Knockout Punch on Raw. You can read it at this link.
- Tyson Kidd beat Bo Dallas in a dark match prior to this week's WWE Smackdown taping in Cincinnati. The WWE NXT title wasn't on the line.
- Jim Ross Tweeted the following on Tuesday:
- E! posted clips from the Total Divas After Party that aired on Sunday. You can watch them at this link.
- Rey Mysterio is advertised to make a special appearance at Sunday's WWE live event in Hidalgo, Texas. Remember the company is running back-to-back from the State Farm Arena in the city this weekend to celebrate its 10th Anniversary. There is a street party on Saturday at September 21st at 2 PM. Click here for more.
- A lot of speculation regarding the use of Sting and Hulk Hogan in the polls that were highlighted on the Night of Champions pay-per-view carried over this week to the television tapings. Both of their respective contracts with TNA Wrestling are coming up and both are believed to have WWE aspirations. While we've written quite a bit about Hogan re-opening his relationship with Vince McMahon and WWE, it's been a while since we've penned any material about Sting. Sting was as close as he's ever been to going to work for WWE two years ago. Many observers believe if Sting is ever going to do it, this may be his last chance. While Sting is seen as "a true professional," he's trying to set himself up for retirement and knows there is a lot of money to be made in WWE. If he does decide to do a WWE run, it won't be for a lot of matches but it will be enough to collect some hefty paychecks and open up more doors when he officially ends his in-ring career.
- Fans were crapping on the babyfaces that came out on Raw this week, saying it was the B-squad. The problem is that was the top babyfaces minus CM Punk as the roster is ravaged by injury and wasn't deep at the top to begin with.
- We're told there was talk about giving Daniel Bryan a bodyguard, which is a role that's been examined for Big E Langston. This is also one of the reasons why Langston hasn't been on television as much so they could leave the possibility. We're told it may have been scrapped for now but we can also confirm there was talk of making Langston the new Paul Heyman Guy. Obviously, that role went to Ryback.
- WWE continues to further the Triple H storyline on dot com. In a new video interview with Michael Cole, Hunter addressed whether or not superstars would be "punished" for aiding Daniel Bryan on Monday Night Raw and the situation with the WWE title. Bryan vs. Randy Orton for the WWE title at Battleground was officially announced. You can watch the video at this link. We have the updated spoiler lineup for WWE Battleground online at this link.
- The New Straits Times Press out of Malaysia has a new article online featuring quotes from Booker T. Below are the highlights:
Being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame:
I am one of the few from the WCW who has made it to the Hall of Fame. But what’s more important (underneath all the success) is the fans’ support. One hundred years from now, people will still remember Booker T. It’s a huge honour and the feeling is just indescribable.
Most promising talent in WWE:
Daniel Bryan is not the face of WWE but he has proved that everybody has a fair chance (to compete). He’s about 178cm and weighs 95kg. He proves you don’t need to be a muscle-bound guy to wrestle. In fact, you can be an average Joe and go out and make people believe in you. He gives hope for those who want to be a champion. He’s that sort of guy who (literally) comes out of the dusty road and creates his own style and character instead of waiting for the WWE to create his style. He is the future of professional wrestling.
Has he ever thought about a comeback?
I wouldn’t call it a comeback (laughs). I’m semi-retired and to work around these schedules that the younger wrestlers and the divas (applies to the female talent, whether as wrestlers, managers or ring announcers) is rough. It’s a young man’s sport. I don’t want to be one of those wrestlers who still holds on to the past, hearing all the roars from the crowd. Royal Rumble (a match based on the classic Battle Royal match, where wrestlers eliminate competitors by tossing them over the ring’s rope) is cool, I can do it once a year but to do it every day or week is tough. It’s time for me to step aside.
Click here to read the article in its entirety.
- CM Punk actually went to see AFI play in Cleveland on Monday which is why he wasn't on WWE Monday Night Raw. As soon as he was spotted, it drew quite the reaction on Twitter from fans in Cleveland who skipped the concert to see Punk on Raw.
- Chris Van Vliet interviewed Dolph Ziggler in Cleveland where he talked about getting into trouble for talking about Randy Orton's position in the company in his interviews. You can watch it at this link or embedded in the video below:
- Ziggler also spoke to the Journal Sentinel at this link. - Dot com has a kayfabe article online with workers talking about coming to the aid of Daniel Bryan on Monday Night Raw. Click here to read it.
- Chris Jericho was recently interviewed by Chris Van Vliet of WOIO-TV in Cleveland, Ohio. Mr. Van Vliet caught up to Jericho after he preformed with FOZZY. Thank you Chris for sending this in. Below are some of the highlights:
If he wants to accomplish anything more in WWE: "I've done everything that I could ever want to do. If you would have asked me that question 5 years ago I would have said ‘I want to do this, this and this’ but over the last few years all of that has come to fruition. So if I never wrestled again, I would have no regrets. But hopefully that's not the case."
On being ok with putting over young talent: "It's my job. If I was an actor in a Spielberg movie and he said on page 10 you die and I said I don't think I should do that then he'll say well get the hell out of here and we'll get another actor. And it's the same thing in the WWE. If I'm going to be going back on a part time basis which is basically the way is it for me now... if Vince is going to let me come back for two months, who am I to say no to anything that he wants me to do. And it's kind of a fun thing for me to go there and work with some younger guys. I'm kind of bulletproof, so I can lose to pretty much everybody and it doesn't really make a difference. But if I had my way I would be winning every match. It's not like I'm going in there and choosing, 'I must be the guy who puts guys over'. Screw that, I want to win. But if Vince says you're not winning, then I don't."
During the interview, Chris Jericho stated his last custom made light up jacket cost him $15,000. He also discusses how much he talks about Vince McMahon when he is in WWE, his phrase "Best in the world at what I do", being rumored as the '#August1Warning' star, and more. The full interview can be seen below:
- John Cena remains hard at work during his "time off" as he recovers from a torn triceps. The former WWE Champion is doing physical therapy two times a day. While no return date for Cena has been announced, the company is hoping to have him back for Royal Rumble 2014.
- Curtis Axel did an interview with The State Journal-Register out of Illinois to promote Sunday's WWE live event. In it, he said he loves playing a bad a guy that he travels with Paul Heyman. Axel said it started with Paul teaching him but now they're friends. Click here to read the article in its entirety.
- Jim Ross is still working for WWE even in "retirement." Ross wrote the following on Twitter:
- Caprisun has launched their sweepstakes with John Cena at this link.
- The re-filing of Brian Jack'slawsuit against WWE was dismissed in Florida last week.
- WWE posted a kayfabe news update on The Miz, reassuring fans he'll work this weekend's live events despite "injuries" suffered at the hands of Randy Orton on Monday Night Raw. Click here for dot com's coverage.
- 2KSports continues to keep fans updated on the "30 Years of Wrestlemania" matches, announcing them by era. Eras covered so far - Hulkamania Runs Wild, The New Generation, The Attitude Era and Ruthless Aggression. You can check them out at this link.
- Jack Swagger wasn't able to work the shows in Canada due to his drug conviction. R-Truth, on other hand, was obviously allowed in.
- The latest episode of WWE Inbox is online at this link and embedded in the video below:
- Shawn Spears is back under WWE developmental contract as he was re-signed following a recent tryout camp. He worked last week's NXT live event in Ft. Pierce and has been keeping fans updated with his status on Twitter.
- With Ryback aligning with Paul Heyman the speculation is the inevitable program will be Ryback vs. Brock Lesnar. We're told this isn't entirely true but is more of an end game.
"If Ryback fails in the Heyman role, it's easy to write him off and have Brock destroy him." One observer told WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
The problem with it is that it could draw a major babyface pop for Ryback, perhaps bigger than anything he's experienced to date. We're told there are plans for a Lesnar face turn but not until after Wrestlemania XXX so if they would do it before then, the preliminary plan would be for Ryback to be babyface and Lesnar to be heel.
- Total Divas will return in the United States on Sunday, November 17 at 9 PM/8 CT with six new episodes. Note the time slot has been moved back an hour. One of the promotional points for the new episodes is Nikki Bella moving in with a just injured John Cena.
- The show comes to the United Kingdom on Monday, September 23 at 10PM local time on Sky Sports 3.
- Below are links to bonus clips from Total Divas:
-The Monitor has posted a new interview with United States Champion Dean Ambrose, who discusses his transition from fan to performer, a potential feud with CM Punk, and more. Click here to read it.
- Vickie Guerrero posted the following update on the return of her daughter Shaul Guerrero:
- Trish Stratus provided an update on her pregnancy via her Twitter account:
Midwife says baby's head is down but not fully engaged yet so I'm just patiently waiting for my little baby boy!!
- WWE just announced that tickets for WrestleMania XXX will go on sale Saturday, November 16, 2013 at 11 AM/10 AM CT. Ticket prices will range from $25 to $850. In addition, "Gold Circle" VIP packages will be available. For more information, click here. WrestleMania XXX will take place Sunday, April 6, 2014 from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. We’ll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com.
- WWE has updated their Key Performance Indicators with the preliminary 2013 SummerSlam buyrate. The show did an estimated 293,000 buys, compared to 358,000 buys in 2012 and 296,000 in 2011. The show's main event was John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship, followed by Randy Orton cashing in his Money in the Bank contract. The show also featured Brock Lesnar vs. CM Punk. Click here to view WWE’s Key Performance Indicators.
- Believe it or not, Mike Tenay and Taz actually had the New York Jets at New England Patriots Thursday night NFL game on at ringside at last week's Impact Wrestling tapings. A fan actually noticed the monitor and took a photo. If you have a photo of it that you'd like to share, we'd love to see it.
- So far, the NFL hasn't touched Impact Wrestling's viewership as the audience has grown the past two weeks. Last week's show ended up with a 1.08 cable rating.
- Hulk Hogan wrote the following on Twitter:
- Mickie James' contract with TNA Wrestling expires this week. The current TNA Knockout Champion signed a deal with the company in September 2010. As of press time it's unknown if the two parties are negotiating a new deal as TNA has been in the process of restructuring contracts at lower rates to save money. To see how Mickie is booked on this week's episode of Impact Wrestling, click here.
- TNA Wrestling is considering pulling Impact off the road and returning to a regular taping location. The move would be a cost cutting measure that would likely go into effect next year.
We reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium early last week that one of the hang-ups on a physical WWE Hall of Fame at Universal Studios is that WWE wants exclusivity to the park, meaning TNA would be unable to return to the Impact Zone. We're told Universal Studios has been reluctant to offer that exclusivity unless WWE is willing to tape a show there.
Sources within Universal have told us they were happy with TNA's deal and do not want to shun their return to the park. In fact, TNA recently inquired about possibly returning to theme park for future tapings. At the time, I was under the impression it was for possible "One Night Only" shows but it looks like they are seeing if they would be welcome to return to their former taping location. In total, the expenses of taping Impact Wrestling on the road are becoming more than the company can handle.
- To update on an earlier item, Mickie James' contract with TNA Wrestling has expired and the two parties are currently in negotiations for a new deal. The situation is obvious as the company is trying to re-sign talent at lower rates to save money.
I've pushed back about as long as I can push back. The fact of the matter is taking Impact on the road was a risky move that hasn't paid off. The move shot company expenses through the roof and revenue streams didn't increase. This has created a myriad of cost-cutting measures including restructuring contracts, releasing talent and scaling back live events.
- SoCal Val was arrested early on the morning of Saturday, August 31, 2013 in Orlando, Florida. The former TNA Knockout was charged with Driving Under the Influence and leaving the scene of an accident with property damage. The arrest file is available at this link.
Val's real name is Paige Nicole Mayo and she left TNA Wrestling earlier this summer after her contract was up and she chose not to re-sign.
- AJ Styles is locked into his contract with TNA Wrestling through December 2013. His deal recently expired and the company signed him to a short-term extension to keep him through Bound for Glory. The hang-up on the negotiations is TNA trying to get him to re-sign but at a lower rate than he's been working.
TNA does have decent leverage in negotiations as we're told WWE interest in Styles is "minimal" at best. We're told WWE respects Styles' talent but sees him as someone they'd have to "start from scratch" with at the age of 36.
One thing working against Styles and a possible opportunity in WWE is the WWE Network and plans for a proposed show around cruiserweight talent being delayed. Styles is featured on this week's Impact Wrestling with complete taping results available at this link.
- Word about Hulk Hogan's contract status with TNA Wrestling is beginning to make rounds. As we reported exclusively here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com in August, the company has been trying to sign him to a new contract. His current deal is believed to up at the end of this month.
We're told TNA has been spinning the new deal as a "contract extension" but they're trying to get him to commit to a lengthier deal at a lower rate. This shouldn't come as a surprise as TNA has been asking everyone to take less money but Hogan, due to his high profile, is a different case. I've been told on two occasions from sources close to Hogan that he is not interested in taking less money. In fact, we're told Hogan still has desire to work for WWE
- TNA Wrestling has postponed their October 5, 2013 live event from the Landon Arena in Topeka, Kansas. Refunds are now available at the point of purchase.
- Tickets go on sale on Friday at 10 AM for the Impact Wrestling tapings in Cincinnati on Thursday, November 7, 2013.
- Taz discusses the retirement of Jim Ross in a new Impact Wrestling Podcast that you can listen too at this link or embedded below:
- To update on SoCal Val, she's pled "not guilty" to charges of Driving Under the Influence from her arrest last month in Orlando. She's hired legal representation and plans to fight the charges in court.
- In addition to the TNA show in Topeka, the company has postponed the show scheduled for the night before in Wichita, Kansas. The dates were changed due to a scheduling conflict.
- Join in the extra screen experience on this week's Impact Wrestling 15 minutes before the show and during the commercial breaks at this link.
- Below are the advertised lineups for this weekend's TNA live events:
September 20: El Paso, TX
WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH: Bully Ray of Aces and Eights vs. Samoa Joe
WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH (TEXAS TORNADO RULES): James Storm & Gunner vs. Christopher Daniels & Kazarian
X DIVISION TITLE MATCH: Manik vs. Eric Young
Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode
Lei'd Tapa vs. ODB
Joseph Park vs. Hernandez
September 21: Tucson, AZ
WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH: Bully Ray of Aces and Eights vs. Samoa Joe
X DIVISION TITLE MATCH: Manik vs. Kazarian
Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode James Storm with Gunner vs. Hernandez
Lei'd Tapa vs. ODB Eric Young vs. Christopher Daniels
- John Gaburick has big plans for the Knockouts division in TNA Wrestling. We're told Gaburick sees it as something that used to set the company apart from WWE and that it's dwindled down to pretty much nothing over the years. However, Gaburick is loaded down with responsibilities so he's given Christy Hemme a lot of authority in terms of handling talent relations for the division. We're told Hemme has been scouting new talent, is heavily involved in the screening process and reports straight to Gaburick to keep him abreast of the progress in revamping the division. We're told Hemme has received high marks for how she's handled the managerial role and with all the cost cutting lately, expect more people to end up juggling responsibilities in different areas that would normally be covered by more than one person.
- The past two week's of Impact Wrestling seen an increase of viewership even though the 2013 NFL season started. This week, however, saw it's first decline in viewership... as Dixie would say a "Marginal" decrease. While the NFL football game received over 9 million viewers, Impact Wrestling received 1,332,000 viewers with a 1.04 cable rating.
I am glad to see Daniel Bryan shockingly win the WWE title, but wow what a short reign for the "face" of the company. Does this mean there still isn't much faith in Randy Orton?
The Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton feud is not over. As I discussed in my Richard Reacts that you can listen too at this link, there were two things that happened in this match that indicate it's part of storyline progression - the referee swap and the fast count. A lot of people didn't notice the fast count made by Scott Armstrong because they didn't play it up on announce but there's more to the story. So while Daniel Bryan fans left the pay-per-view excited, there's more to the story that will be told on Monday Night Raw.
Alberto Del Rio fails to connect with a live audience and his character is incredibly stale, so why does WWE continuously try to shove him down our throats? They've tried for three years to make him a main eventer and it hasn't worked?
I don't think Alberto Del Rio is one of the best heels ever or anything like that but I disagree with your opinion of him. I feel Del Rio is an established top heel and WWE likes him to help carry the Latino fan base. There is nothing particularly eye popping with his work but he can hold his own and make people buy into his gimmick. If you want to hear a guy that I'm sick of having forced at me - it's Ryback. Aligning Ryback with Paul Heyman seems to be the company's way of trying yet again to establish him as a top guy but so far, it hasn't worked. Blame the booking, blame the talent - I don't care who gets the blame. The bottom-line is no one buys him as a viable threat. It's been a year now and fans are still chanting "Goldberg." I know I'm on record as to saying a mouthpiece could help Ryback but as we've seen with the Curtis Axel experiment, putting Paul Heyman with a talent doesn't guarantee success.
What do people backstage think of Kane? Even more so, what do critical people like CM Punk or Triple H think of him?
I haven't heard anything bad about Kane so I assume he's a guy that is well respected. Kane is a versatile talent that is capable of getting over multiple gimmicks. Comedy? He can do that. Monster? He can do that. Starring movie role? He can do that. Kane is one of those guys WWE is extremely fortunate to have. I've never viewed him as a "face of the company" type talent but I think he is a very valuable asset. As for the opinions from CM Punk and Triple H, I have no idea what they think of him personally. Punk, a known liberal, has opposite political views of Kane, a known Libertarian. Other than that, I don't know. My focus, and this website's focus, is what is going on in regards to storylines, injuries, contracts and things of that nature. I don't focus on the gossip with stuff like who gets along with who, who is dating who, etc.
Rumors have been flying around about Sting leaving TNA and heading to WWE. As with all good rumors this has been the case for over three years. Do you think he will ever jump ship and head to WWE or do you think he very well could retire as one of the greatest to never sign a contract with the WWE?
We get the Sting question all the time but there's a reason I'm bringing it back today. Did anyone else notice that Sting and Hulk Hogan won fan polls as the greatest US and WWE Champions of all-time on the Night of Champions pay-per-view? Now, let me ask some questions. Why do you think WWE would do this? Are they just a very honest company that doesn't mind featuring talent working for another organization? Did you notice that Hogan had more than half of the vote in a poll that featured Steve Austin and John Cena? WWE would clearly love to work with both Sting and Hogan and the door with Hogan has already been re-opened with WWE 2K14. I don't care how much Eric Bischoff lies or Hogan downplays it, the fact of the matter is Hogan wants to work with Vince. Why wouldn't he? Sting is year to year with TNA and keeps his status open so he has options. Until Sting hangs it up, there is always a chance.
Does Damien Sandow have heat? He's lost pretty much every single match since Money in the Bank and the latest have been in less than five minutes. What's up?
Damien Sandow is 2-12 in singles matches since WWE Money in the Bank on July 13, 2013 (credit IWD for the stats), which includes a dark match loss to Sin Cara. I can't explain why WWE does this but I can speculate it's the "tear him down" before "building him back up" theory. I'm not sure what the thinking is behind it but we can assume the company wants him as under the radar as possible so it's a surprise when he "cashes in." There was actually talk about having Sandow cash in at WWE Night of Champions, which obviously didn't happen. I am not aware of any backstage heat and believe this is the plan as the "long-term" briefcase holder.
Does CM Punk have heat backstage and is he being punished for something as he has lost every PPV match except one? Is he no longer a top guy in the company?
CM Punk is still a top guy in WWE but has clearly taken a backseat to Randy Orton in the absence of John Cena. I don't like all of his losses on pay-per-view and was particularly upset with what happened at WWE Night of Champions. WWE wants to keep Punk's feud with Paul Heyman going, I get that. However, did he really need to take another loss for another attempt to make Ryback relevant? I don't care about the story at this point, the loss was bad and shouldn't have happened.
I've read that you feel like Ryback hadn't gotten over but I disagree when he was facing CM Punk last year the Goldberg chants stopped and they only started when he turned heel… So doesn't that prove that Ryback is over as a top heel?
No, Ryback is not over as a top heel. There have been small glimmers of hope in the Ryback character but they were short-lived. He's had opportunities to take it to the next level but hasn't taken the leap. One match that I brought up on Monday in the comments area was his bout against Chris Jericho at Money in the Bank in July. Let's just consider the opportunity. You have a guy in Jericho that has had some of the best matches of the year and is determined to help WWE get the new guys over. The perfect opportunity for Ryback to emerge, right? Well he didn't and the match was average at best. If Ryback can't take the step when being spoon fed Jericho, then when can he take that step? We've seen the program with CM Punk and I'm not interested in seeing it again.
It seems that Dolph Ziggler chasing the United States title is a downgrade from him being in the World Heavyweight Championship hunt. What happened to his push?
Things went from bad to worse for Dolph Ziggler. After receiving what we can now term the "Damien Sandow treatment," WWE finally pulled the trigger on his push as World Heavyweight Champion. However, a concussion halted his push and ended his title reign prematurely. He came back but got into the company doghouse with comments made leading up to SummerSlam. Now he's in the hunt for a mid-card title. The good news is Zigger is still in a program; the bad news is it is a significant downgrade from the World Heavyweight Championship.
Has Vince McMahon finally acknowledged Paul Heyman's key role in WWE by giving him his pet project in Ryback?
Vince McMahon likes Ryback, there's no doubting that. Ryback is everything that Vince has been known to push over the years and putting him with Paul Heyman is a "last ditch effort" to make him a top talent. A lot of people want to know how much influence Paul Heyman had and the honest answer is, I don't know. Heyman has been consulted about creative direction but his job is simply an on-air talent. The creative situation in WWE has been in disarray lately so I have heard of multiple situations where Paul was consulted but I'm not sure about the Ryback pairing.
Given the fact that Ricardo Rodriguez can actually wrestle, is there any reason why WWE keeps him in his current role as a "stooge" and nothing more?
Let me ask you a question and we'll analyze it. Where do you think Ricardo Rodriguez is best utilized? As a ring announcer/manager where he is involved in a top program or as another forgotten in-ring name? You're right that Rodriguez can work but that doesn't mean much in WWE. There are a lot of guys that can work but not everyone has the personality where they can be featured in top level programs. The ceiling for Rodriguez [as an in-ring talent] probably isn't more than a secondary title so unless you see him as a viable World Heavyweight Champion, where he is working is a good thing for him and his career.
Given Ryback's alliance with Paul Heyman, do you see Ryback vs. Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania XXX next year?
This is what a lot of people are already clamoring for and let me make sure to put it out there - it's not a bout I want to see! I feel like all I've done this week is hammer Ryback but I just don't understand the infatuation with this guy. I gave him a chance, I really did. Go back and read my work, listen to my recordings - I wanted Ryback to succeed. He hasn't succeeded and has become one of those guys WWE continues to force feed us. Ryback vs. Brock Lesnar, the battle of the big men, isn't much of an upgrade from Ryback vs. Mark Henry that we saw this year. How did that work out? Look, Brock can work and is not your typical big man. However, the Lesnar of today is different from the Lesnar his first time in WWE. Now he's a guy that is going to keep it more basic and is going to be portrayed more as a "fighter." Ryback hasn't proved he can have a good match against one of the best in Chris Jericho. If Jericho can't get it out of Ryback, do you think Lesnar could? I hope I'm proved wrong on Ryback but I just don't see it.
Do you think WWE should have separate stars for Raw and Smackdown?
Here we go IWC! For years all I heard was that it was time to end the brand extension and combine the roster. It's been gracefully phased out and now we have readers that want to return to it. The brand extension was needed when it was in place but over time the WWE roster thinned out to the point where it wasn't needed. I like how WWE phased it out slowly rather than making a big deal out of it but I don't see enough main event talent to re-enact the brand extension.
When is Dixie Carter going to realize that TNA Wrestling will never be as big as WWE. Why doesn't she just sell it?
Dixie Carter knows that TNA Wrestling isn't on the same level of WWE. There are thousands of independent pro wrestling promotions that run shows all the time, none of which even come close to the giant that is WWE. What gets lost in all the TNA opposition is the fact they are still the number two promotion in the world. Perhaps it has to do with frustration in that TNA has a national television deal, a loaded talent roster and a multimillion-dollar financial backer but TNA makes every promotion other than WWE small potatoes. As for selling TNA, that would be up to Dixie's parents, Bob and Janice Carter. They are the top of TNA's financial funnel and are the ones that have been pushing for costs to be cut across the board.
With Scott Armstrong being 'fired' on Monday, do you see The Road Dogg returning to the screen as part of the storyline?
The Triple H/McMahon family angle currently involves the Rhodes family as opposition so I could make a logical argument for it to also include the Armstrong family. I haven't heard about Road Dogg getting involved but that's a reasonable assumption to make given he works as a producer backstage. Is there any interest in WWE in Cody Hall?
As far as I know WWE isn't interested in Cody Hall yet but you have to remember, he's still very green. He is big and athletic and has a tremendous advantage over normal kids his age trying to break in. Scott Hall has had his problems but no one has ever doubted his ability and impact to the wrestling business. Cody has access to all of Scott's resources and as long as he sticks to it, he has a very high ceiling.
Why is Stephanie McMahon unloading so much of her stock?
I had a slight meltdown on my Twitter account (located at Twitter.com/wnwndotcom) on Wednesday where I voiced some of my pet peeves. One of those had to do with stock trades making news headlines. WWE is a publicly traded company. Shares of the company are bought and sold every day. The stock pays a dividend, meaning if someone owns it, they are paid an amount from every share they own each quarter. The difference between me or you and Stephanie McMahon is that Stephanie is a WWE executive. Because of her status, she is required by the SEC to report all of her stock transactions to avoid an insider advantage. Without making it complicated, stocks are bought when the price dips and are sold when the price rises, thus making a profit on the difference. Stephanie is selling stock and making a profit. This isn't news. It doesn't matter if she completely liquidates every share of her WWE stock. It's a publicly traded company and she, along with anyone else, is free to buy and sell as she chooses. This is also why WWE is required to report all of their financial information and keep the public informed with what is going on with the company.