City Loses Out On Wrestlemania, Sheamus Injury Update, Edge Returning, Backstage News On Surprising TNA Departure, Cena Beyond Frustrated, Christian Has A Concussion, What Vince Didn't Want To Do On Raw, Major Dissension Between Dixie Carter & Hulk Hogan?

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WNW Premium Newsletter

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

This week's edition covers news from Saturday, August 31, 2013 to Friday, September 6, 2013 as well as all five Ask WNW segments from the week. Use this newsletter as your own personal tool to catch up on any of the news that you may have missed during the week. Below is a table of contents:

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

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

WWE News

- This week's episode of Backstage Fallout Smackdown is subtitled "Scared Silent" and is online at this link.

- The Windsor Star is reporting that the joint bid between Detroit and Windsor to bring Wrestlemania 32 to Ford Field in 2016 has been turned down. Detroit Sports Commission executive Dave Beachnau told the publication they were informed of WWE's decision in June. Click here for more.

- has an article on Ted DiBiase leaving WWE to pursue a career with The article notes it was a broken ankle that resulted in DiBiase questioning his future as a wrestler. You can read the piece at this link.

- The Rock was asked on Twitter about how he is healing from injuries that he sustained in his WWE title match against John Cena at Wrestlemania 29. Below is his response:

- Mark Henry suffered an injury to his right hamstring during Saturday's WWE live event in Boston. The injury's severity is not yet known. Click here for more information.

- Wrestling News World reader Patrick Peralta sent word that William Regal attended Saturday night's Pro Wrestling Guerrilla show in Los Angeles. Regal was scouting talent for WWE.

- The official promotional poster for the WWE Hell in a Cell 2013 features R-Truth and is online at this link. WWE Hell in a Cell 2013 will take place Sunday, October 27, 2013. We’ll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at

- John Cena sent out another tweet from his official Twitter page today showing the progress of his injury. The tweet and picture is below:

- WWE interviewed Stone Cold Steve Austin on their official website. Stone Cold talks about Daniel Bryan, Triple H, and Vince McMahon. It goes right along the lines of the current storyline right now. The interview can be seen here.

- Following news of his injury, Mark Henry posted the following to his Twitter account:

- The latest episode of "After Total Divas" is available at this link.

- Sheamus is currently home in Ireland as he continues to recover from a torn labrum in his left shoulder that required arthroscopic surgery last month. Sheamus' left arm is still in a sling. You can check out a photo below:

Sheamus underwent surgery on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 for the injury suffered in the Money in the Bank All-Stars ladder match earlier this summer. He's expected out 4-6 months.

- Fandango suffered a broken nose in his match against The Miz on this week's episode of WWE Monday Night Raw. The injury occurred when Fandango took a stiff boot to the face. It was announced on commentary that the bleeding was stopped during the commercial break and aired on the WWE App.

September 2, 2013 9:45 PM EDT Update: We can confirm the injury was legitimate and Fandango did indeed break his nose. End update.

Miz ended up going over clean in the match.

- Cody Rhodes is indeed getting married this week as was alluded to on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw. Rhodes will be marrying Brandi Reed, who formerly worked for WWE as a ring announcer under the ring name Eden Stiles. The happy couple was engaged last November as we posted photos of the ring at this link.

- WWE announced that Edge will return to Monday Night Raw for "one night only" on next week's episode. Edge, who is a WWE Hall of Famer, abruptly retired from WWE in 2011 due to a severe injury. Next week's episode of Monday Night Raw will take place from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. We'll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at

- It was announced on this week's episode of Monday Night Raw that AJ Lee will defend the WWE Divas Championship in a Fatal 4-Way Match at Night of Champions. The challengers, as announced in a backstage segment by Stephanie McMahon, will be Brie Bella, Natalya and Naomi. WWE Night of Champions 2013 will take place Sunday, September 15, 2013 from the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. We'll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at

- As we reported here on, Edge is returning to WWE Monday Night Raw on next week's episode. The following is from his verified Twitter account:

- After this week's WWE Monday Night Raw went off the air, Daniel Bryan received assistance to the back. The dark match main event was next. CM Punk beat WWE Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel & Paul Heyman in a 2-on-1 handicap match. After the bout, Punk chased Heyman to the back with a kendo stick. He returned to the ring to continue to take out Axel to send the crowd home happy.

- This week's episode of Backstage Fallout Raw is now online at this link.

- The venue for next week's episode of WWE Smackdown is advertisingEdge to make a special appearance. As we've already noted, Edge is advertised for next week's WWE Monday Night Raw as well. Next week's episode of Smackdown will be taped next Tuesday, September 10, 2013 from the Canadian Tire Centre (formerly known as Scotiabank Place) in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. We'll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at

- Below is a preview for next week's episode of Total Divas:

"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 must reveal something to Vincent.

We'll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at

- Wade Barrett was in England over the weekend at Preston North End's match against Walsall. You can check out a video of his appearance at this link.

- For those that missed Bray Wyatt's promo from Monday Night Raw, the story of "Sister Abigail," you can watch it online at this link.

- The latest vignette for Los Matadores is online at this link.

- John Cena continues to update fans on his status following surgery to repair a torn triceps on his Twitter account. The following is from Twitter:

Cena underwent surgery on August 21, 2013 under the care of Dr. James Andrews. He's expected out 4-6 months.

- Christian suffered a concussion during his match with Randy Orton on last week's episode of WWE Monday Night Raw. He's been pulled from all upcoming dates as a result of the injury.

Dot com updated his status at this link where they included quotes from WWE physician Dr. Chris Amann. Below is an excerpt:

"We've pulled him out of all activity," said Amann. "His ImPACT scores are normal, but he’s still having some symptoms of fogginess and cloudiness."

He continued, "We are waiting for symptoms to get better until we perform an in-ring exertional challenge later this week at the Performance Center in Orlando. At that point, if he’s able to get in the ring and exert himself, and work without symptoms, we'll go ahead and clear him [to compete]."

- Triple H wrote the following on Twitter in regards to criticism about his on-air character playing the role of a bully:

Triple H, who is now a heel that "fired" Cody Rhodes, kayfabed about the "decision" as well:

- Last week's episode of WWE Smackdown drew an average viewing audience of 2,794,000 viewers on SyFy. The show ended up doing a 1.93 cable rating. The show's numbers were delayed because of Labor Day in the United States on Monday. The numbers for this week's episode of Monday Night Raw should be reported on Tuesday.

- is reporting that Celebrity Apprentice contestant Omarosa Manigault is dating Titus O'Neil. Manigault was previously engaged to actor Michael Clark Duncan, who died last year following complications from a heart attack.

- Scott Fishman of The Miami Herald has a new article online featuring quotes from Paul Heyman. Below is an excerpt:

“When CM Punk sat down on the stage and dropped a ‘pipe bomb’,” Heyman said. “I think at that moment just by the reaction from the audience and from the passionate response, not just from online, but from every measure of indication that this truly got the message across. I would totally suggest to you CM Punk’s oratory skill is what WWE noticed, and he happened to be a great wrestler to back it up. If CM Punk was a terrible wrestler, and he delivered that promo, people will still notice him. WWE would say, ‘This guy is a main eventer. It just so happens he can back it up in the ring.’”

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- WWE Elimination Chamber 2014 will take place from the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Sunday, February 23, 2014. The presale password to obtain tickets is CHAMBER.

- The Great Khali beat Ariya Daivari and Craven Knyte in a dark match prior to this week's Smackdown taping in Minneapolis.

- Dean Ambrose will defend the WWE United States Championship against Dolph Ziggler at WWE Night of Champions. The match will be announced on this week's episode of Smackdown. WWE Night of Champions 2013 will take place on Sunday, September 15, 2013 from the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. We'll have exclusive live play-by-play coverage here at

- The Creative Coalition and WWE have announced four $25,000 grants that will be awarded to qualified nonprofit public charities that have programs focused on developing and implementing anti-bullying programs. Click here for more.

- The Charlotte Observer has an article on songwriter Mark Crozer. Crozer wrote Bray Wyatt's "Broken Out in Love" theme music. You can read it at this link.

- This week's episode of Total Divas did an average viewing audience of 1,527,000 viewers on E.

Backstage news from WWE Monday Night Raw in Des Moines…

- We're told Vince McMahon did want to "load up the show" because it was a holiday (Labor Day in the United States) and viewership was expected to be down. One observer called it a "paint by numbers" show.

- The initial diagnosis for Mark Henry's hamstring injury was a torn muscle but he's getting a second opinion.

- The situation with Cody Rhodes and his "firing" was two-fold. One, his contract was up at the same time that Ted DiBiase's deal was up so WWE was hoping some of the smarks would falsely report he was really leaving. Two, he asked for time off so he could get married and go on his honeymoon. While Cody put his request in early, the producers and creative team didn't really communicate the timing until late last week. He's expected out for a few weeks.

- Vince McMahon is very high up on the CM Punk/Paul Heyman storyline and feels the realism in it is some of the best work he's seen in a very long time. However, he also realizes they booked things backwards because he wanted Punk vs. Brock Lesnar so bad at SummerSlam.

- We're told this week's show had a heavy Triple H influence with Vince McMahon giving him a long leash. Hunter made most of the calls on the angles involving him. There continues to be some dissension between Triple H and Vince over the angle, however, as Vince doesn't like the way the top babyfaces looked standing on the stage and doing nothing.

- Edge is returning to television next week to cross promote his role on SyFy's "Haven" and there's been talk of putting him in an angle, obviously as a babyface.

- WWEannounced on Wednesday the hiring of David Bailey has the General Manager of the WWE Performance Center. Bailey comes to WWE following a stint as General Manager of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Blue Unit at Feld Entertainment. He'll report to Jane Geddes.

- E posted a Total Divas bound clip from this week's show at this link. To say the series has been a home run for both WWE and E would be understating it. I compiled all of the viewership numbers since the premiere at this link.

- Renny D, Ariya Daivari and Craven Knyte worked a security guards on this week's Monday Night Raw. As we reported here on, Daivari and Knyte worked a dark match prior to this week's Smackdown taping on Tuesday night against The Great Khali.

- John Cena is not phased by criticism or praise but hates complacency. The following is from his verified Twitter account:

- This week's WWE Raw received a 2.85 cable rating with an average viewing audience of 3,936,000. This is obviously down from last week's show since Monday was Labor Day. The hourly viewership breakdown is below:

Hour one - 3,690,000 viewers
Hour two - 4,146,000 viewers
Hour three - 3,974,000 viewers

- Dolph Ziggler did an interview with and the always outspoken Ziggler had some quotable highlights. They are as follows:

Lack of patience:

"I've made it clear; I'm not patient at all - several times. I've been very vocal about my position on the card and in the company. I'm not trying to say 'Hey, everybody sucks and I'm great!' But I love doing this, and at some point you go 'OK, It's not my time right now and I got to figure something out' And when it's time, that's when I must go out there and make as huge of an impact as I can and let everyone know 'I dare you to follow that, I dare you try something better.'

And when they don't (counter or match what I'm doing in the ring) I'm very outspoken about it and it can get me into very hot water (with the company). Then you never know where we're going. Everybody can be just so outspoken about taller guys, and guys like Randy Orton being the face of the WWE, the WWE Championship. I dare you to put me in a back alley with Randy Orton or someone like that. I guarantee I'm not afraid of someone taller."

What drives him:

"I'm always trying to make myself a better sports entertainer. I'm always trying to find out why people cheer at certain times. I love this, I love doing this. I have no desire to switch companies or go to UFC or anything like that. As of right now, working on the entertainment aspect is my favorite thing to do, my favorite hobby right now (he does stand-up comedy on the side). I'm very ambitious, and I'm very outspoken about where I should be and where I need to be in the WWE. I love that I've never been one handed anything - ever. If I would've have been handed things, I don't know if I would've been able to enjoy it as much. Every time I turn a corner, it seems like the rug is being taken underneath me. It's like 'Hey, great job!' and then nothing. It's like 'Hey, wow, look what you can do!' and I'll say 'Thanks, boss!' and then there's nothing. And so, it's hard (to stay upbeat), but you have to deal with it and it makes me hungrier every single day knowing that I've scratched and clawed for everything I've earned in this business."

Click here to read the piece in its entirety.

- This week's episode of WWE Inbox is subtitled Prime Time Edition of Inbox and is online now at this link.

- The Miz is currently doing media for WWE in Abu Dhabi. Miz did his "1st and Awesome" Fantasy Football radio show with Nathan Zegura on Sirius/XM from the city on Wednesday.

- Total Divas is filming a special episode in front of a studio audience Thursday afternoon in the Tampa Bay Area. The audience was filled by local casting director and PR guru Shannon Rose. The taping began at 1 PM EDT and is underway as of press time.

- Daniel Bryan will appear at the Nashville Comic Con next month. The details of the appearance are located at this link.

- We reported earlier here at that Daniel Bryan is scheduled to appear at Comic Con in Nashville next month. It looks like he'll be replacing CM Punk, who was pulled from the appearance. The following is from Punk's Twitter:

- The word going around on Mark Henry is his MRI didn't reveal any structural damage and he should be good to return to the ring. Henry was injured at a WWE live event last week. Dave Meltzer first broke the story of Henry's clearance at this link.

- The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that The Rock is in negotiations to star in a big-screen remake of the 1980s TV series The Fall Guy. What is particularly interesting is the film is being financed by Hyde Park Entertainment and WWE Studios. Click here for coverage by The Hollywood Reporter.

- As we noted on Thursday here at, Total Divas was filming Thursday in the Tampa Bay area. The show was a reunion special and featured the entire cast, including Jimmy Uso. Renee Young operated as the host. Other details are unavailable as of press time but expect the special to air some time on the E Network.

- What does The Miz think of Lionel Messi and Gareth Bale? You can watch what he said in Abu Dhabi at this link. Oh dear. I apologize on behalf of my fellow Americans, not all of us are this way.

- Crave Online interviewed the director of the Leprechaun reboot starring Hornswoggle. You can check it out at this link.

- A lot has been written about Kharma's new look and her weight loss. We're told she's been hoping to return to WWE but was told she would have to lose a significant amount of weight before they would consider it. We're told she opted to undergo gastric bypass surgery to assist with the weight loss and had to plan for some time off because the surgery requires a lengthy recovery period.

TNA News

- TNA's "One Night Only" pay-per-views are returning to DirecTV next month. The company's Knockouts Knockdown show will air on September 6th at 8 PM and 11 PM. TNA 10 Reunion, which wasn't on DirecTV last month, will air on September 6th as well at 6 AM and again at 9:30 AM and 1 PM. The shows are available on channels 121 (HD) and 122 (SD).

- Madison Rayne and her husband Jesse Cabot welcomed their daughter into the world this week. The following is from Madison's verified Twitter account:

- TNA Wrestling announced that TNA Champion Bully Ray, Magnus, Samoa Joe, Chris Sabin, Austin Aries, Bobby Roode, X Division Champion Mannik, Gail Kim and TNA Tag Team Champions James Storm & Gunner will be on next year's overseas tour.

The dates are as follows:

Glasgow, Scotland on January 30, 2014
Manchester, England on January 31, 2014
London, England on February 1, 2014
Birmingham, England on February 2, 2014

Click here for more information.

- We're told TNA Wrestling attempted to re-sign SoCal Val but they were unable to come to terms. Like many names before her, TNA wanted Val to take a pay cut. She wasn't making that much to begin with and ended up declining the reduced rate. One source with knowledge of the situation said that WWE had some interest in her a few years ago but it's unknown if that interest is still there. Val was very well liked in TNA so there were some people surprised to see her go. She's always been good at finding gigs outside of wrestling so she felt she was in a position where she could leave.

- TNA Wrestling's next "One Night Only" pay-per-view, titled Knockouts Knockdown, premieres on pay-per-view this Friday. Official information for the show is available at this link. You can watch a video preview at this link.

- TNA will tape Impact Wrestling on Thursday, October 10, 2013 from the Cox Business Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A presale to obtain tickets begins today at this link.

- A new Impact Wrestling Podcast features the Knockouts and is available at this link.

- Brooke Hogan wrote the following on Twitter:

- The presale password for the Impact Wrestling taping in Tulsa on October 10 we wrote about earlier is IMPACTTULSA.

This Week on Impact

Get ready for this week's episode of Impact Wrestling with this video.

- We're told that Hulk Hogan's camp hasn't been receptive to the idea of renegotiating his contract with TNA Wrestling. As we previously reported, TNA is offering him a longer deal but at a lower rate. Hogan believes he'll have options when his deal expires as he feels there will be interest from WWE. For the first time since signing Hogan, we're told Dixie Carter is finally starting to wonder about his loyalty to TNA. While Dixie's affection for Hogan was once described as "blind devotion," she's now under a tremendous amount of pressure to cut expenses. It will continue to be an interesting situation to follow.

- Jay Bradley is now accepting independent bookings through Bill Behrens at

- TNA Wrestling is currently hiring a Social Media Manager. The job description is listed below:

Social Media Manager
TNA Entertainment

Position Description:
TNA Entertainment, LLC is seeking a Social Media Manager to develop strategies for timely, dynamic, interactive and engaging content across IMPACT WRESTLING’s digital and growing social media platforms including the website, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram. We are looking for a highly motivated and organized individual with experience and a passion for content creation and online community engagement.

Acting as a spokesperson for TNA and IMPACT WRESTLING, this candidate would establish an understanding and comfort with the IMPACT WRESTLING brand and voice and be willing to experiment with current and developing trends/platforms to enrich the overall 24/7 IMPACT WRESTLING brand experience.

• Develop and implement innovative, effective, on-going social media plans across all channels of TNA’s social footprint to connect existing and future fans with IMPACT WRESTLING talent and properties.
• Contribute to TNA profitability goals by further building the IMPACT WRESTLING fan community and nurturing relationships among constituencies.
• Cultivate relationships and establish credibility among TNA team members and talent.
• In partnership with the marketing, public relations, creative and production teams, contribute to the development of a content editorial calendar that would direct company efforts to create, publish and curate content designed to foster dialogue and inspire brand loyalty.
• Manage TNA’s day-to-day social media activities across all channels.
• Monitor, capture, analyze, interpret and report social activity and trends. Identify and act on opportunities and threats in user-generated content, and news and pop culture trends.

• A minimum of three years demonstrated experience leading online community management and social engagement on behalf of a brand, preferably within the entertainment industry.
• Results oriented professional with documented strategic planning, editorial calendar and content development experience.
• Proficiency in using social monitoring tools to monitor, analyze and report activities and trends.
• Strong written, oral and interpersonal communications skills.
• Extremely detail-oriented and driven to consistently meet deadlines.
• Able to quickly assess business needs and make critical decisions under time constraints and pressures.
• Energetic, with a great attitude
• An ability and willingness to work flexible hours in a fast-paced, ever-changing business environment.
• Occasional travel.

• On-air hosting capability/experience.
• Knowledge of IMPACT WRESTLING, its storylines and talent.
• Experience using social media to cover high-profile live sporting events.
• Video production capability.
• Proficiency with Adobe Creative Suite products, website and graphic design.

Please submit resumes and any other applicable material to with Social Media Manager in the subject line.

TNA is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against persons because of age, race, color, creed, religion, disability, gender, ethnic or national origin, or veteran status. TNA prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities and will reasonably accommodate applicants with a disability, upon request, and will also ensure reasonable accommodation for employees with a disability.

- The following Bound for Glory Series matches will take place on next week's No Surrender episode of Impact Wrestling:

AJ Styles vs. Austin Aries
Bobby Roode vs. Magnus

The winners will face each other later in the night, with the person going over challenging for the TNA Championship at Bound for Glory next month.

We'll have exclusive live coverage here at

- In addition to the Bound for Glory Series matches we reported earlier, Bully Ray will defend the TNA Championship against Mr. Anderson on next week's No Surrender episode of Impact Wrestling. The company will tape next week's Impact next Thursday from St. Louis, Missouri. Click here for official event information.

- TNA Knockouts Knockdown premieres on pay-per-view Friday. A video preview is available at this link.

- As we've reported previously here on, TNA Wrestling has inked AJ Styles to a short-term contract extension while they continue to negotiate his new deal. Basically, TNA is offering a "pretty steep" pay cut but they've been doing that across the board so it's not a surprise that Styles is not an exception.

Styles' negotiation power isn't as strong as one might think. We're told that WWE's interest in Styles is "lukewarm" at best. The company has concerns with him being 36-years-old and do not necessarily see him as a "ready made" star. We're told WWE does respect his talent but they view him as a guy they would basically be starting from scratch with.

The interest in Styles would be "much higher" if WWE knew if and when they were launching the talked about revamp of the cruiserweight division. However, with the status of the WWE Network as unclear as ever, there is no confidence in the concept or prospective show actually becoming a reality.

- The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has a new Q&A online with Hulk Hogan. Below are the highlights:

Why he chose to come to TNA Wrestling:

I talked to Dixie Carter (president of TNA Wrestling) a couple of times. A lot of it was timing. I lot of it was I could live without the wrestling business but pursuing other projects, trying to reshift gears and move in a different direction business-wise, I realized no matter what I did, I was always thinking about wrestling.

It's kinda like when you get addicted to chocolate or cigarettes or something, you gotta have your fix. It's almost like wrestling is in your blood. ... I got to the point where I got hooked on watching the TNA show.

I finally called Dixie back and told her I understand where I fit in. It was being addicted to being around the business. I thought I could shake it, but I'm still addicted to it. I just love being here. And the choice was made because I finally figured out that I could add to the mix, I could contribute and I could wrestle on a limited basis because I'm in the twilight of my so-called wresting career.

I knew I could bring my brand and bring awareness to the company and then behind the scenes, creatively, I could contribute and basically keep the art form alive with the timing, instinct and help the young guys.

Obstacles he encountered when he first came to TNA:

Communication was tough. The creative people were kind of a wild card. It was a situation where we all sat in a meetings and agree on creative directions. ... We would agree on stuff, then I would sit back and watch the show and it was completely different than what we talked about earlier in the production meetings. ... Those were the biggest hurdles I had in the beginning was why this perfect little unit wasn't functioning as planned. The biggest obstacle was keeping people from going into business for themselves.

How much creative control he has:

I do not control creative at all. I'm kind of like the last pass before we go out in front of the cameras. I will be here during the day listening to ideas and contributing, but at the end of the day, the decision lays in the hands of the writers and Spike TV because they have equal say in direction.

Creatively I'm not involved. I cannot even begin to tell you the direction of a story six months from now backwards. But I do, on a weekly basis, get very involved with development and make sure 'OK you guys, you have to mention that Chris Sabin is having personal problems and he is not here this week' and mention that Rampage Jackson wasn't supposed to touch Tito Ortiz this week. I make sure that we stay within the parameters of that we've drawn for ourselves.

If Rampage Jackson & Tito Ortiz have increased TV ratings & live event attendance:

I think they're intriguing. Some people watch wrestling and want to see wrestlers. Some people watch MMA and only want to see MMA. These guys have a chance to cross over like Brock Lesnar did. They have a chance to bring a new demographic to Bellator and bring a new demo to Impact Wrestling.

I talked to Tito (over 10 years ago) about wanting to be in the wrestling business. He's been a fan. He's had the passion for such a long time. And "Rampage" has national sneakers ads and the movies he's done and his exposure, I think it brings a lot to the table because these guys are passionate about the business.

I think it translates into a different demo into a larger audience. I think it makes the ratings shift. At the end of the day, it's not an overnight process. I think the more "Rampage" and Tito train in the ring for professional wrestling, I think the more interested the fans will get. We are going to have them hooking horns here soon.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

- Kurt Angle has been discharged from an inpatient rehabilitation center. Angle checked himself into rehab on Monday, August 5, 2013 following an arrest just days earlier for Driving While Intoxicated. The arrest was Angle's fourth alcohol-related arrest since 2007. He's had the full support of TNA Wrestling and Dixie Carter.

- This week's episode of Impact Wrestling did an average viewing audience of 1,310,000 viewers on Spike TV. The show ended up with a 0.98 cable rating. The fact of the matter is while the rating was slightly down from last week, viewership was up. This should be considered a "win" considering they were up against the return of the NFL on NBC.


With Alberto del Rio saying that he doesn't like most of the guys in the locker room, doesn't he run any risks to get in the doghouse by saying that?

I don't see Alberto Del Rio accumulating any backstage heat for being honest. The fact of the matter is not everyone gets along and there is a lot of jealously of Del Rio for his success. He's been booked at the top of the card since coming to WWE and is obviously making more money as a result. His best friend is Drew McIntyre, who was the best man in his wedding, and he is also good friends with Ricardo Rodriguez. These guys spend a lot of time together and there are a lot of strong personalities. Would it have shocked anyone if it were CM Punk making these comments? It's just how things work but it’s not really a big deal.

Besides getting married, is there another reason why Cody Rhodes is getting written off of television?

Cody Rhodes is indeed taking time off to get married as we noted here on I am not aware of it being anything more than that but I was very high up on Rhodes' work on Raw from his stuff in the ring to his departing backstage segment.

Do you think it was poor taste for Triple H to get heat by insulting Doink the Clown on this week's Raw?

Perhaps I have been around the business too long but I took Triple H's mention of Doink the Clown as a tribute to the late Matt Osborne. The Doink character was never intended to a champion but it was very effective.

David Otunga hasn't appeared on TV in months. Is he still with WWE?

David Otunga is still under WWE contract but that's all the information I have as of this writing.

Where will Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber take place respectively next year?

The rumor is Royal Rumble 2014 will take place from the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Elimination Chamber will take place from the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We just posted details to presale to obtain tickets to Elimination Chamber at this link.

I have heard from multiple people that the work of Daniel Bryan is great, but no one views him as a believable champion for the business. Most people believe he will fall down to the Mid-Card, have great matches and hold the IC / US title. My personal belief is his in ring work is flat out amazing and worthy of top billing, but what do you think Richard?

Whoever you're hearing this from is incorrect. From everything I've heard, Vince McMahon realizes he was wrong on Daniel Bryan and they're playing it up in storylines. We can't predict the future but the tide has turned for Daniel Bryan. He consistently has the best work and is as over as anyone on the roster. As someone that has followed Daniel Bryan since the early 2000s, it's surreal seeing him finally being able to compete at the highest level. I think Bryan will remain at the top of the card or at the very least in the upper mid-card.

Do you see Shane McMahon being involved in the currently Triple H/Vince McMahon storyline?

Anything is possible but it's not likely. Shane McMahon has moved on from his time in WWE and is working for/running You On Demand. You can watch an interview Shane did back in 2012 at this link.

How do you think some of the bigger stars of the WWE feel about their real life friends & their position on the card? For example, Alberto Del Rio being friends with Drew McIntyre, what do you think ADR feels about Drew's position in WWE, especially considering Drew's potential and they way he entered WWE being dubbed "The Chosen One"? Same with CM Punk & Kofi? Can these big stars influence management to look at them differently & try and get them a push? Or do you feel they'd rather work hard and earn the push themselves?

First of all this is a "dog eat dog" business and workers can only be concerned with their own spot. There are only a few spots available at the top and the pay differential is so substantial that it's beyond competitive to land them. While I'm sure Alberto Del Rio and CM Punk want to see their friends have success, they have to look out for their own careers. It doesn't hurt having friends at the top, however, as Punk has been able to get Colt Cabana tryouts but that's about it. Don't forget WWE recently released Del Rio's brother and the brother of Dolph Zigger, as they were working the company's developmental system. If these guys can't save their own brothers, don't read much into them saving their friends.

Through the years we see backstage "security guards" getting involved. We know these are wrestlers in training, etc. Can you tell us more about how it all works?

WWE routinely uses "call-in talent" as extras on their television programming. Extras are used in different roles but one of the most common positions is as a security guard. This is done for a couple of reasons. One, it gives WWE an opportunity to use a trained wrestler in a role where the majority of the audience will not recognize them. Two, it gives the company a chance to look at prospective talent. WWE has their talent relations department secure the call-in talent for their shows.

How can WWE promote Ryback and Triple H as bullies alongside their Be-A-Star anti-bullying campaign?

There has been a lot of discussion about the characters of Ryback and Triple H playing the roles of antagonists that bully in light of WWE's commitment to eliminate bullying. I will admit there is plenty of hypocrisy in the anti-bullying efforts; however, I am not bothered or "offended" by the characters of Ryback and Hunter. In order to have a protagonist you have to have an antagonist. There has to be a villain for every hero. Villains have to do villainous things to make people buy into their characters. It's essential that wrestling fans understand the difference between what is make believe and what is real-life. Now on the same notion, there are roads that shouldn't be traveled. For me, it's a case-by-case basis. One program I found particularly disgusting was the Piggy James stuff from several years back. Yes, this was "part of the show" but I hated the message it sent.

What is your opinion of Wade Barrett? I feel he is capable of being a top heel. His work leading The Nexus was top notch and I'd like to see the corporation utilize him as their punisher.

I'm high up on Wade Barrett and three years ago I felt it was inevitable that he would be a top guy. He's had some injury concerns and the knock on him was he needed to improve his in-ring work. Barrett still has a lot of potential but is now awaiting the right opportunity. The case of Wade Barrett shows just how rare opportunities are at the top. Three years ago he was a highlight of WWE programming, now he's a background character. If the opportunity comes again, he must be ready to capitalize.

Why do you think WWE trusts Randy Orton with the WWE Championship when he has two Wellness strikes against him? Are they not worried he could get strike number three anytime and screw up the whole storyline?

WWE humbled Randy Orton for an entire year due to his Wellness problems, however, he's regained the trust of Vince McMahon and Triple H. It took him a year to regain the favor of the company brass and right now, he's WWE's top guy. I can't explain why because the only people that could answer that would be Vince and Hunter. We all know what Orton makes a month so given how big of an investment, it's not exactly surprising he's the guy with Cena out. Would WWE derail the entire storyline if Orton turned up a positive Wellness test, I can't answer that because I don't know.

When Cody Rhodes returns do you think he will get a World Title push?

We heard this summer WWE planned to push both Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow. They put Sandow over for the Money in the Bank briefcase but have stopped on him since. Cody Rhodes seems to be getting his but will now take approved time off for his wedding and honeymoon. There is no way I can predict a World Title push upon his return as there are too many things to factor. As I've stated previously, Rhodes was very impressive on Monday night and he should be in a good place going forward.

Do you see Fox Sports 1 adding pro wrestling programming?

I have not heard of their being interest in pro wrestling programming on Fox Sports 1. The pro wrestling connection I draw when I think of Fox Sports 1 is that WWE wanted to do what Fox did with the former Speed network with the WWE Network. At one point WWE tried to purchase the former G4 network and revamp it as their own. The thinking here was to take a network that already had wide clearance and revamp it. That's how Fox Sports is hoping to compete with ESPN.

What would be your thoughts be if someone like a Mark Cuban or a Donald Trump were to invest in TNA?

I heard at one point that Jeff Jarrett was interested in bringing on Royal Capital Corporation as an investor in TNA Wrestling. Nothing ever materialized but right now, TNA doesn't have a problem with their financial backer. The Carter family has plenty of money, the only question is how long will they remain committed to the TNA product? A good piece of news is Viacom is high up on the TNA brand and would entertain the thought of doing what they do with Bellator should Panda Energy back out. Now, keep in mind these are just some whispers we've heard and it may be a different situation if Viacom had to put their money where their mouth is. However, TNA has a good relationship with their network and that's important to the company's long-term viability.

Is CM Punk no longer considered a main event talent considering another pay-per-view loss last month?

I didn't like CM Punk's loss to Brock Lesnar and feel he's done way too many jobs but the fact of the matter is it's easier to rebuild a guy that's on TV every week than it is to put Lesnar under and have it kill his long-term value. CM Punk is still a top-level guy in WWE but has clearly taken a backseat to Randy Orton with John Cena out.

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