Beth Phoenix Leaving WWE, Backstage Fallout Of Alberto Del Rio Unmasking Sin Cara On Raw, Full Details On Major Tension Between Vince McMahon & John Cena, Lesnar Delivers, Christian Has Surgery, Vince McMahon's Unbelievable Reaction To Raw Rating, Senate

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Welcome to the Premium Newsletter. This is where you will find all of the big news and Ask WNW segments from the week neatly archived for your viewing pleasure.

This week's edition covers news from Saturday, September 22, 2012 to Friday, September 28, 2012 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

WWE News

- We're still working on the details but as of this writing Beth Phoenix intends to leave WWE when her contract expires next month. As always, nothing is 100% until it actually happens but word coming out of this week's TVs is she has given her notice she won't be seeking a new contract.

- Wrestling News World reader Tim attended Friday's WWE Raw live event in State College, PA and sent in the following notes:

  • In questionable creative calls, Dean Ambrose went under to Michael McGillicutty and Justin Gabriel pinned Damien Sandow.
  • Big Show returned against WWE Champion CM Punk in the main event as a babyface. He got a lot of love from the crowd as they seemingly forget he was a heel. Show won the match via disqualification after Punk hit him with the belt thus Punk retained. Paul Heyman was not with Punk.

We'll have quick results for the entire show online shortly.

- Wrestling News World reader Logan Walker sent word that WWE posted an article here on dot com about two new features in WWE '13.

- Politico has more on the McMahon family paying off creditors from their bankruptcy back in the 70s. You can read their coverage at this link.

- Jim Ross has a new blog on his official website at this link.

- Times Record News out of Wichita Falls, Texas has a new article online featuring quotes from WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz. Click here to read it.

- While not exactly top story news, Wrestling News World reader Logan Walker sent word that the Twitter accounts of John Cena, The Uso's and John Morrison were hacked over the weekend.

- The latest regarding Beth Phoenix is her contract runs through October. She is booked at shows through the month but as of this writing, is leaning towards leaving WWE when it expires.

- Ezekiel Jackson is back in Guyana, where he was born, for the first time since achieving fame in WWE. You can read more about Jackson's visit home at this link.

- Last night, John Cena posted a picture of his right arm, five days after having surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow, to his Twitter account. The picture is available from his tweet below:

- WWE announced a new multi-year agreement on Monday with Hulu for their programming to appear on the Hulu Plus platform. Below is the official press release:

STAMFORD, Conn., September 24, 2012 – WWE (NYSE: WWE) today announced an exclusive, multi-year agreement that will bring WWE programming to Hulu Plus. Starting today, Hulu Plus will offer WWE fans unlimited instant streaming access, additional content and programming on-the-go, as it becomes the exclusive home for next-day access to all WWE TV programming. Hulu Plus subscribers can also go to Hulu Latino to see WWE’s popular digital show, WWE En Español, the Spanish-language magazine program that recaps WWE’s most exciting moments each week.

Hulu Plus delivers one more way for WWE fans to access content and experience the WWE, offering the chance to relive or catch up on all of the action from WWE’s weekly television programs the next day. Subscribers can access content across mobile phones, tablets, PCs, internet-connected TVs, set-top boxes and gaming consoles. In addition, the Hulu Plus subscription service offers hit TV shows and award-winning movies anytime in HD when available for $7.99/month.

“As a clear leader in digital content delivery, Hulu is an ideal partner for WWE,” said Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman and CEO. “Hulu delivers more ways for our fans to experience WWE programming than ever before.”

For more information, visit

- Dot com has a funny article online looking at "The 20 Most Impressive Physiques in WWE History." "Ravishing" Rick Rude tops the list at #1 and John Cena is #2. You can check out the article at this link.

- WWE Champion CM Punk is scheduled to appear at the Wizard World Ohio Comic Con this weekend on Saturday, September 29th from 6-6:30 PM EDT. As a result, Punk will not perform at Saturday's WWE Raw live event in Topeka, Kansas.

- Edge appeared on WWE television last week to promote "Haven" and has not agreed to a new contract with the company.

- Brian Soscia recently interviewed Daniel Bryan. In the interview, Bryan reveals he is no longer a vegan because he developed a soy intolerance and without it, it become impossible to get a desirable amount of protein in his diet. Bryan clarified he's not "eating loads of meat" and eats mostly eggs for protein.

- After this week's WWE Raw went off the air, World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus beat WWE Champion CM Punk via disqualification in a non-title match. The referee called for the bell when Punk used the WWE title belt to hit Sheamus in the head. After the match, Paul Heyman proclaimed Punk was still WWE Champion and the best in the world.

- The UK Sun interviewed WWE Champion CM Punk about his heel turn and working with Paul Heyman. Click here to read it.

- The latest WWE Studios movie release, "Barricade," is out on DVD and Blu-Ray on Tuesday. You can read more about the film here on

- For those that missed it on this week's WWE Raw, Alberto Del Rio pulled up the mask of Sin Cara. We have a photo here on our Facebook page.

- There was a lot of chatter backstage at WWE Raw on Alberto Del Rio pulling up the mask of Sin Cara (pictured here). I'm told there has been "insane heat" on Cara lately and Del Rio has been one of the main guys complaining about him. The two have had heat with one another since their time in Mexico. In fact, one source with knowledge of their past, told me there was an incident where Sin Cara allegedly pulled a gun on Del Rio. Back to Monday, I'm told backstage after the match Del Rio claimed to producers that pulling up the mask of Cara was an accident. No one believed him but there isn't heat on him because of the amount of heat on Cara. Some feel Del Rio even scored points with the office for doing it. The same observer says they wouldn't be surprised if someone quietly put Del Rio up to it. All and all the vibe backstage was Del Rio intentionally pulled up the mask of Sin Cara and more guys may start to mess with him until his attitude changes.

- Material will be taped for WWE's newest show, WWE Main Event, at next week's TV tapings. The show premieres next Wednesday on ION Television. If you missed the initial details on the show, click here.

- The Stamford Advocate has an article online titled "Edgy WWE videos are back -- after Election Day" and mentions WWE's decision to pull edgier footage from its digital platforms only to release an Attitude Era DVD after Election Day. Click here to read it.

- The final shot of Ryback starring at WWE Champion CM Punk to conclude this week's WWE Raw was not shown on the big screen to the live audience.

- ESPN'sSkip Bayless said on Tuesday's episode of "First Take" on ESPN that the NFL has turned into WWE after the horrendous call that ended this week's Monday Night Football game between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks.

- WWEannounced here on dot com that Larry King will be the Social Media Ambassador for next week's Raw.

- Big Show, who returned to WWE television on this week's Raw, visited an Albany, New York high school on Monday. You can read an article about the appearance at this link.

- To clear-up the massive amount of questions we've received regarding Beth Phoenix, she is booked through WWE Raw on Monday, October 22, 2012 from the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. You can view the official details for the show at this link. I am under the impression because of this that her WWE contract runs through October as she will reportedly be leaving the company when her contract expires. Speaking of Beth, she wrote on Twitter she will work at this week's Smackdown TV tapings from her hometown of Buffalo, New York.

- TMZ is reporting that Cameron(real name Ariane Andrewentered a plea of "not guilty" to charges of Driving Under the Influence in the state of Florida on Tuesday. A pre-trial hearing has been scheduled for October 23, 2012. Cameron was arrested in August for allegedly Driving Under the Influence in Tampa, Florida. She registered a BAC of .20… more than twice the state's legal limit and allegedly offered one of the police officers $10,000 to "let her go because she would lose her job." Making matters worse, she listed her employer as Wells Fargo, didn't notify WWE officials of her arrest and subsequently was suspended for 15 days.

- TMZ has a story online on Justin Roberts receiving two traffic tickets in two weeks while on his way to WWE shows. The first ticket was in Toronto when he was cited for making an illegal left turn and fined $52. The second one was in Pennsylvania when we was stopped for driving 74 MPH in a 55 MPH zone. That cost him $160. You can read coverage by TMZ at this link. This week at Raw, Roberts doubled as event staff when he tackled a fan who jumped the crowd control barrier and was going for the ring.

- Mister Saint Laurent reporting:


This week on MLW Radio, available right now on, Court Bauer joined Konnan and Mister Saint Laurent to discuss the friction between Vince McMahon and John Cena stemming from Cena's surgery last week in Birmingham, AL:

"John Cena has this procedure done in Birmingham, AL. puts out there that he'll be down for only two weeks and that life will go on. It was basically like removal of fragments and bone spurs in his arm or his elbow, which if you follow sports, baseball players have it done all the time, usually in the offseason. NFL guys will have it done here or there. It's a pretty easy deal. So, I don't think anyone was thinking it was going to be this long stretched out thing, but then the reports came out about how long John Cena was going to be down for. John Cena then took to Twitter saying that got the story wrong and that he's going to be out for a full six [weeks] and he just buried and all the guys over there. The story obviously then switched to 'now he's out six weeks.'"

"From what I know, Vince McMahon himself, in the agent meeting, the producers meeting, told everyone straight up the dude is out for just two weeks, 'we dodged a bullet and that he's very much in the mix moving forward.' That was Tuesday, he said that. Then Cena had very different things to say and I understand did talk to James Andrews [Cena's doctor], who WWE and Cena did give them the blessing to talk to. That's standard protocol at WWE. They always try to interview the doctor, get insight so they can have the news. Sometimes it's a kayfabe site and sometimes it's a legit news site. Sometimes it's a TMZ site, but that's the story. They interviewed him and Dr. James Andrews did say he'd be out just two weeks."

"So you have to wonder if Vince and the doctor said it and Cena is saying six weeks, there is an interesting issue there. Is it that John Cena wanted the full six weeks out? Was John Cena then told something after Tuesdays that conflicted with this? But it was very quickly thereafter they reported it on the website that this was not in fact the situation. The reality of it is, John Cena is coming off a divorce, he's beaten up. He's got a bad neck, a bad hip, bad everything. He's closing in on 36. The wear and tear of a guy like that, that goes, goes, goes and is a company man, you gotta think about."

"And if you're Vince McMahon, you look at the clock, you look at the calendar and you think, is it time to build the next John Cena?"

The new episode of MLW Radio is available for free at: and on iTunes (search: MLW Radio)

- We've received a lot of questions about popular indy names signing WWE developmental contracts. Below is the updates:

  • PAC has completed the pre-screening process and passed his physical. He is scheduled to report to NXT Wrestling in Tampa, Florida shortly.
  • The same can be said for Sara Del Rey as she has pass her physical and is set to report to developmental in Tampa.
  • Matt Taven had a problem that prevented him from being signed thus he was let go from his contract.

- Wrestling News World reader Gesus Oliver sent this in… I watched this week's WWE Raw on Hulu an there were a series of edits. The show went from CM Punk's opener to Punk and Mick Foley, then Ryback vs The Miz, Anger Management, Jerry Lawler the midway through the 6-man tag.

- The Miz is scheduled to appear on "Pair of Kings on Disney XD on October 1.

- For those looking to obtain tickets to WWE Raw from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on December 10th there is a presale taking place Wednesday. The password is WWECENANJ.

- Ricardo Rodriguez worked this week's WWE Saturday Morning Slam television taping under a mask as El Lo Cal. He faced Sin Cara in a match that is scheduled to air on this week's telecast. Rodriguez, who was born in California, was a regular on the state's independent scene before being signed by WWE which is the reason for the nickname. As for WWE using him as a masked talent, Vince McMahon considers the Saturday morning audience of children a "merchandising dream" to market masks.

- We reported earlier this week that WWE Champion CM Punk was scheduled for the evening session at the Wizard World Ohio Comic Con on Saturday thus wouldn't be at Saturday's WWE Raw live event in Topeka, Kansas. Punk has since been moved to the morning/early afternoon session from 10:30 AM to 2:30 PM on Saturday, making him available for Saturday's show in Kansas.

- WWE Hall of Famer, Edge was interviewed on The Matthew Aaron Show. The interview ranges from his appearance on Haven to his book. Edge talks about the reaction he got when fans saw his hair cut, joining Twitter, his favorite bands, but most importantly he talked about his physical condition. Edge reveals that his back is in excellent condition but he is going in for neck surgery November 8th. He has been holding it off since he retired in 2011. The surgery is to relieve pressure on his spinal column. Edge discusses his upcoming surgery at the 30 minute mark. On a side note, he talks about being the last person to fight Owen Hart.

- Wrestling News World reader Graham Spector interviewed Zack Ryder about his social media success at this link.

- Democrat Chris Murphy is pulling ahead of Linda McMahon in the Connecticut Senate race. You can view the latest poll at this link.

- We are able to confirm there has been a considerable amount of drama lately between Vince McMahon and John Cena. As we've previously reported, WWE keeps promising John time off but keep changing their minds. He was originally slated for time off after Wrestlemania XXVIII but he ended up agreeing to work Brock Lesnar at Extreme Rules. I'm told he wanted to put CM Punk over at WWE Night of Champions and take time off to not only get his elbow cleaned out but to rest his ailing hip. Vince insisted he work Hell in a Cell in October so Cena's answer was to take off between Night of Champions and Hell in a Cell to get his elbow cleaned out as well as take some time off the road to heal up. I'm told John felt it was a convenient time to try and get his elbow taken care of in addition to taking time to heal. Usually John doesn't stand up to Vince, so Vince decided he would give Cena two weeks off after the surgery but no more. Vince specifically told the office he would be back in two weeks but didn't tell John, assuming he would do whatever he said. Cena was extremely upset when he found out and things got pretty heated with Cena even threatening not to work Hell in a Cell. My source says they comprised last Friday on how many appearances he would do between then and the pay-per-view, however, this was after Cena appeared at the WWE NXT taping on Thursday. Backstage at NXT, I'm told Cena tried to be professional about it but was clearly not happy at the show. Vince actually made sure that anything Cena taped at NXT would be immediately sent to him for his approval. This led to Vince making Cena re-tape a lot of segments and bumpers because Vince felt Cena seemed "pouty" in them, further upsetting Cena.

- WWE announced in their key performance indicators that SummerSlam, headlined by Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar, did approximately 350,000 buys. This number is up big and has a lot of people singing Lesnar's praises. I'll have much more later.

- WWE dot com added former ECW World Champion, Sandman, to their Alumni Section. His profile can be seen here.

- Shaul Guerrero, the daughter of Eddie and Vickie Guerrero who worked as Raquel Diaz, has left WWE. Her profile has already been removed from the NXT Wrestling website. Guerrero signed a WWE developmental contract in 2010 and is believed to have requested her release.

- The new WWE Studios production 12 Rounds: Reloaded starring Randy Orton is slated for an R rating for violence and language. The original film starring John Cena was rated PG-13.

- I am able to confirm that Christian underwent surgery on his shoulder to take care of lingering issues since haws told he wouldn't be used much on WWE programming until after he makes a scheduled appearance at TNA Bound for Glory next month. Many, including me, had speculated the story of Christian undergoing surgery was a cover-up put out by WWE to prevent TNA from accusing them of an act of bad faith regarding their agreement for a quick talent swap. While some of that may be true, Christian did indeed undergo the knife.

- I'm told Vince McMahon attributes this week's lacklusterRaw rating to John Cena's surgery and him not working. The problem with this logic is Cena was in the final segment and the show posted its lowest viewership in hour three. Further, a large portion of the audience wouldn't have known Cena wasn't going to be working because it wasn't announced on television the week prior. I'm told some of the quarter numbers sent some company officials screaming and the overrun ended up being the lowest rated since the 90's. The obvious answer is viewer fatigue has set in and it's time to return to two hours. Basically the pro to remaining three hours is the additional revenue from advertisements against the cons of a burned out writing team, a lack of talent, lackluster storylines, poor ratings and "nuclear" backstage rapport. It's gotten to the point where complaints just aren't going to Vince but many are saying it's just not worth it.

- Remember the criticism from the Stamford Advocate regarding WWE pulling edgier footage from its digital platforms only to release an Attitude Era DVD after Election Day? Well it looks like plans for the project due out in November may have been called off. is reporting that listings for WWE: The Attitude Era on DVD and Blu-ray formats have been removed from internal schedules for both the United States and Australia. The DVD is still listed on some retail websites but at, the standard version is no longer available for pre-order. As of this writing there is no confirmation the DVD has been canceled but it certainly looks like the criticism has caused a reaction from the company.

- WWE announced Friday here on dot com that Kelly Kelly has been released. Below is the official statement:

WWE has come to terms on the release of WWE Diva Kelly Kelly as of today, September 28, 2012. WWE wishes Kelly Kelly the best in all her future endeavors.

- Former WWE Divas Champion Kelly Kelly had the following to say about her release on Twitter:

- WWE played up Alberto Del Rio's beating on Randy Orton after this week's Smackdown via their mobile albert service. They sent out a text, promoting the fact Del Rio "ruthlessly assaulted" Orton once the show went off the air. This obviously took place at the taping on Tuesday. You can view video footage on dot com at this link.

TNA News

- Bobby Roode revealed on his official Twitter page today that he suffered a broken nose at last night's TNA Wrestling live event. The tweet is embedded below:

Roode teamed up with Austin Aries last night and fought James Storm and Jeff Hardy. The results of the live event can be seen here. - Mickie James, TNA Wrestling knockout, has been working through pain the past two weeks. She revealed the extent of the pain on her official Twitter page. The tweet is embedded below:

- Hulk Hogan wrote on his official Twitter page today that he wants Devon back more than anyone. The tweet is embedded below:

It was reported that Devon finished with TNA Wrestling several weeks ago but Richard Gray brought up an interesting point in WNW Youtube video yesterday where TNA is advertising that the Television Title will be defended on this week's Impact Wrestling. - As I posted last night, Mickie James has been working injured for the past two weeks. She got X-rays today and the results came back. Her ribs are deeply bruised and she will take a few weeks off to heal. She wrote it on her official Twitter page and the tweets are embedded below:

- TNA Wrestling announced on Wednesday the TV Championship has been vacated due to negotiations with Devon breaking off. Below is their official statement:


“Championship Thursday” returns to Impact Wrestling on Spike TV this Thursday with an added wrinkle; there is no defending champion. Negotiations between TNA’s current TV Champion Devon and TNA have been ongoing over the last month and have reached an impasse. As of today, The TNA TV Championship last held by Devon is vacated. TNA hopes that Devon returns to the active roster in the future. A new TV champion will be crowned LIVE on Impact!

Usually, in the “Championship Thursday” format, four challengers meet with IMPACT WRESTLING GM Hulk Hogan and plead their case as to why they deserve the shot at the champion. This month, one of the four men is guaranteed to be the new TV Champion! The challengers selected to compete in this “Championship Thursday” are Samoa Joe, Garett Bischoff, Magnus and Mr. Anderson. Hulk will hear these men’s arguments why they should be the one to get the title shot and then Hogan will make the hard decision of which two will face off. Tune into Spike TV at 8pt/7ct this Thursday night to see a new champion crowned.

- We spotted WWE Tough Enough winner Andy Leavine outside the TNA Impact Wrestling tapings at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. No word as of this writing if he is there to work or simply a fan, however, we can confirm he's at the venue.

- For those that missed this week's Impact Wrestling, Samoa Joe won the TNA TV Championship, going over Mr. Anderson.

- TNA Wrestling has officially removed the profile of Devon from the Roster page of their website. As of this writing, Ric Flair remains.


Why does WWE change John Cena's ring gear so often?

The short answer is it sells. Every time WWE introduces a new John Cena t-shirt design or color, take a moment to scan the audience. You'll see it all over the arena and this is the reason WWE refuses to touch his character.

What has happened with Crimson in TNA?

Crimson is still under contract with TNA Wrestling, working in Ohio Valley Wrestling (TNA's official developmental territory) and occasional live events. TNA spent a lot of time building him up as a dominant superstar, giving him a 470-day undefeated streak only to end it and send him to developmental. I can't explain the logic other than they wanted him to get seasoned, as he is the current OVW Heavyweight Champion.

Do you think that Vince McMahon would do a show like Hard Knocks for the WWE? Now that its called entertainment and most watchers know its not real, then why not pulled curtain back and show us fans how the day-to-day operation works.

When I first read this question I immediately recalled "Rowdy" Roddy Piper's interview on HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" in 2003 where he made controversial remarks that led to WWE ceasing to use him. Vince has generally welcomed documentary type shows to follow WWE so I don't see why he wouldn't welcome the publicity. Vince would make sure viewers only saw what he wanted them to see but I don't see him shying away from publicity as long as it's not negative in nature.

Is there any chance Brock Lesnar works another match before the end of the year?

I was told right after SummerSlam it was likely that Brock Lesnar would work Survivor Series in November but I have heard little since. Lesnar still has plenty of dates on his WWE contract and given The Rock is confirmed for Royal Rumble, it seems likely to happen. With that being said I do not have any new information on a possible opponent.

Why did WWE have The Miz job to Ryback in under three minutes on Raw?

If you've been keeping up on Richard's Backstage Blog then you read here a couple weeks ago that Vince McMahon was ready to take Ryback to the "next level" despite concern from most workers and officials. As we saw at the conclusion of this week's Raw, it's happening and WWE is ready to start feeding Ryback in the main event. Some are speculating Ryback is the backup plan to work against Punk should John Cena not be able to go but one thing is clear, he's getting ready to get his push at the top. Check out my report from a couple weeks ago for some interesting details that will prepare you for the major push.

Is Beth Phoenix being booked as a jobber because she plans on leaving WWE?

As I discussed in Monday's YouTube report, WWE has made sure Beth Phoenix has "hit her head" several times on the way out the door. Obviously they've known for awhile Beth's contract was coming up and she wasn't intending to re-sign so they wanted to send her out as cold as possible. It seems harsh but it's the way the business works.

With Jeff Hardy's contract with TNA Wrestling reportedly coming up soon, do you see a WWE return in the near future?

Anything is possible, however, TNA's ongoing litigation against WWE has prevented WWE from signing TNA names. When the lawsuit is cleared up there are going to be some "chips to fall" although I don't know if Hardy will be among them. It will depend on WWE's interest at the current time and will likely hinge on their belief on whether or not Jeff has moved on from past problems that have caused him to have two Wellness strikes (that would return with him).

What does being a "mark" mean?

A "mark" is someone that believes a wrestling storyline is real. Generally, marks get legitimately upset at the heels and have a genuine love for the babyfaces. While we're at it let's take a look at some commonly used wrestling terms:

  • Shoot - off-script or legitimate
  • Work - scripted, contrived, preplanned
  • Mark - uninformed wrestling fan that legitimately believes storylines
  • Smark - informed wrestling fan that understands storylines are contrived

It seems likely that WWE wouldn't have put so much pressure on John Cena to return to action so soon after surgery if the stipulation for the main event of the next pay-per-view was not already predetermined. Do you feel this demonstrates a knock against having stipulation-themed pay-per-views, particularly Hell In A Cell? Might WWE be better off scrapping the Hell In A Cell PPV and going back to only using the match sporadically when it is warranted, for example HHH vs. Undertaker?

The gimmicked pay-per-view has nothing to do with John Cena's return timetable and WWE already has a backup plan in Ryback should Cena not be able to go. The gimmicked pay-per-views are done to give viewers a reason to order them. Rather than hinging on name value alone, WWE surveyed fans years back and determined there was substantial interest in certain gimmicks that would motivate pay-per-view buys. I like the way WWE has done the pay-per-views by not overkilling the gimmick by only highlighting them in main events.

When do WrestleMania 29 tickets go on sale?

As we broke here on (with the help of WNW reader Kevin Eperjesi), tickets for Wrestlemania XXIX will go on sale Saturday, November 10, 2012. There should be a presale earlier that week and we'll have details before it happens.

With CM Punk being "a Paul Heyman guy", can we expect a future tag team between Punk and Brock Lesnar? After the closing segment of this week's Raw with Ryback I thought it would be an awesome idea if WWE make a match CM Punk/Brock Lesnar vs John Cena/Ryback. Are there such plans?

For the record, are you suggesting you would be for a Brock Lesnar vs. Ryback program? There is an update you need to read here on Richard's Backstage Blog. This scenario would present several problems in which I do not see a plausible outcome.

When Linda McMahon's campaign for United States Senate ends (win or lose), will this end WWE's focus on PG, politically-driven (to avoid talking points for Linda's campaign) programming and a beginning of more risqué/attitude-like content?

There is a short answer to this question; no. Vince McMahon has remained committed to PG programming because he feels it gives WWE more opportunities to spread their product across a myriad of platforms. The best hope any wrestling fan can have is that Linda McMahon won't win the race and throw in the towel to her political career. However, given the fact she has spent tens of millions of the family fortune, I'm not sure that is something she would be willing to do.

Do you ever see Batista returning to a WWE ring?

I expect Batista to return to WWE for a retirement tour but we know it won't be this year. Meanwhile, Dave has focused on his acting career and is aspiring for success in Mixed Martial Arts. His first fight is scheduled for October 6, 2012 against Rashid Evans.

With WWE coming out with new shows on the CW Network (WWE Saturday Morning Slam) and ION Television (WWE Main Event), were these shows originally slated for the WWE Network and will they just scrap plans for the network entirely?

WWE has been planning on these new shows in addition to the WWE Network for several months. We do have an article about how content originally taped for the network could end up on the CW Network Saturday mornings. For more information on that, click here. The company continues to release minimal information regarding the impending WWE Network and it has most investors beyond frustrated. The latest I can tell you is there are no plans to nix it and the company is still looking for clearances. As of this writing it doesn't look like the network is going to be here by the end of the year but that's conjecture based on what I know about the project.

Did you know that some bookmakers actually take bets on WWE PPV matches? Did you know this and have go ever considered making money on the outcomes of matches?

I'm aware that people do place bets on pro wrestling matches, however, whenever I get an email from a reader looking to do it I always urge them to reconsider. Some of my friends in the business do place bets, however, I won't do it because of the rate things change. If you're looking to "get in on the action" in terms of sports betting, stick to the sports where the outcomes are not predetermined.

Given the fact SummerSlam did 350,000 buys and Extreme Rules did 250,000 buys, are we going to see Brock Lesnar in WWE beyond Wrestlemania XXIX?

Brock Lesnar's stock has once again skyrocketed after the company reported the preliminary SummerSlam buyrate that flew past their optimistic projections. The company was already looking to re-sign him past Wrestlemania and the most recent number will only increase their desire to get a new deal done. I have the latest backstage information on Lesnar and contract negotiations here on Richard's Backstage Blog.

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